May
20

From Driving Range to Apartment Complex

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199 apartments going up in Bluffton

May 20, 2008

By Renee Dudley – Island Packet

Construction on buildings that will house 199 new apartments in Bluffton began last week on what was formerly the driving range and 10th hole at Old Carolina Golf Club.

The new complex on Buck Island Road, called Crowne at Old Carolina, will have one-, two- and three- bedroom apartments, and monthly rent will start at $1,000, said developer Alan Levow, owner of Crowne Partners.

Levow said despite stagnating occupancy rates at other local complexes, he’s not concerned about being able to find tenants.

Bluffton has a variety of condominium complexes, where most units are individually owned, but few apartment buildings. And several area complexes that were once apartments have been turned into condominiums.

The new Bluffton apartments will attract tenants because there will be 24-hour maintenance and every unit will be leased, not sold as condos, Levow said.

The complex — the developer’s first in Bluffton — will include 10 buildings on about 12 acres: eight two-story buildings and two three-story buildings, Levow said. The complex should be finished by this time next year.

The apartment complex is not connected to neighboring Traditions at Old Carolina and will have its own entrance, Levow said. While the new complex is within Bluffton town limits, neighboring Traditions at Old Carolina is in unincorporated Beaufort County.

The 18-hole Old Carolina Golf Club course closed in November 2006 amid financial problems, but has since reopened in a nine-hole format.

Old Carolina residents with homes along the former golf course, where the apartments are being built, were given extra land behind their homes — ranging from .08 to .22 acres — to compensate for the loss of their golf course views, residents said.

Residents in the seven homes affected will end up with just a portion of their property in town limits, however. While their extra land is in Bluffton limits, their existing lots are in unincorporated Beaufort County.

“It’s a weird complication that has yet to be worked out,” said Wendy Powers, assistant town manager for planning, adding that the town does not have plans to annex the rest of Traditions at Old Carolina.

The developer, Crowne LLC, also has rights to build more than 50 condos, but that phase of development has not yet been approved by Bluffton.

LINK TO ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/story/502852.html

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