Southwind Homes launches first of 200 townhome units at Lakeview Commons, a Goose Creek village that stalled when the prior builder split

The one-story Kennedy floor plan fronts a row of townhomes at Lakeview Commons in Goose Creek. Southwind Homes is the builder and John Vance with Drew Sineath & Associates is handling sales and marketing (Jim Parker/Staff 4-10-2015).

A half-dozen years ago, the first 100 elevations had been raised in a new townhome neighborhood off Redbank Road. Then, seemingly overnight, the builder left.

That’s how the community remained until this year. Southwind Homes, which entered the market in Goose Creek and James Island, assumed construction and intends to complete the final 200 townhomes at Lakeview Commons.

About 30 townhomes are completed or nearly finished. Realtor John Vance with Drew Sineath & Associates kicked off sales after the beginning of the year. Not expecting much in the slower winter season, the townhomes nonetheless attracted interest.

“We’ve got 14 sold,” he says.

The first sales model, the 1,064-square-foot Hartwell design, opened this week. It’s part of the Windsor series, which doesn’t have garages. There are nine floor plans in all, four of them in the Parkside series with attached one-car garages.

The residences, sized from 1,064 to 1,832 square feet, list for $104,900 to $144,900.

“You are talking less than $100 a month,” Vance says.

The neighborhood regime fee, which covers maintenance, insurance and pressure washing once a year, is $150 a month.

“This is an old Portrait Homes community,” Vance says. Portrait Homes exited the Charleston area in 2009 as the real estate market nosedived nationwide.

“During the downturn, everything slowed down. There were no townhomes,” he says.

Now six years later, “Southwind is finishing what Portrait had left,” Vance says.

The property amenities include a sizable swimming pool and pool house. Plans call for a playground near the neighborhood entrance.

The Lakeview Commons project has exceeded expectations.

“I build townhomes in Charlotte,” says Cam Hazen, construction manager for Southwind Homes. “These are selling faster than any units in Charlotte,” he says of the Charleston project.

“As far as location, you are not going to beat that. We’ve got people who work in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston. It’s never far from home,” Hazen says.

Schools are close by, too; Goose Creek High School sits just behind the second, more westerly entrance to Lakeview Commons off Jackson Street.

“It reflects the diversity out here,” Vance says. “There’s really a mixture, (young) people starting out with a baby, downsizers (who want a home that’s) maintenance free.”

Buyers can choose upgrades, such as hardwood floors, 42-inch cabinets and stainless steel appliances, Vance says. Standard features include smooth ceilings, carpeting, dual thermostats and covered back porches. Depending on the plan, townhomes are available with a large kitchen pantry, laundry room and the master bedroom downstairs.

Nearly all the townhomes rise two stories; the exceptions are a few one-story, Kennedy floor plan end units.

Younger shoppers, Vance says, are “buying up” to capture more space for a comparatively low price. The Laurens floor plan, for instance, boasts four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths for just $129,900.

Other two-story designs are the Inman and Fillmore in the Windsor series and the Garfield, Tyler, Benjamin and Calvin in the Parkside series.

Many buyers like that there’s little or no maintenance. “You don’t have to cut grass,” Vance says. Meanwhile, the abundant share of bedrooms makes it easier for a relative to move in. “You could have a family member stay,” he says.

Southwind Homes, a newer builder, recently started constructing townhomes at Coker’s Commons on Montague Plantation Road in Goose Creek and is ready to erect 140 single-family homes priced in the $200,000s at Cypress Grove off Cypress Gardens Road. The company also has raised 30 to 40 houses scattered about James and Johns islands, Hazen says.

“The market has rebounded across the board,” Vance says. “I don’t think we are at the frenzy of 2004-05. I think (more restrictive) lending has a lot to do with that.”

Lakeview Commons is situated off of Truman Drive. Heading northwest, take Interstate 26 to exit 209A, which is U.S. Highway 52. Follow Highway 52 to Redbank Road, and make a right across the railroad tracks. Continue on Redbank for a few miles. Turn left on Truman. Ahead on the left is the Lakeview Commons model.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.