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Old 10-02-2006, 06:52 AM
 
57 posts, read 203,891 times
Reputation: 31

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After months of reasearch my family and I finally visited Summerville. All the sites we found showed a quaint and charming older historic town and what we saw was a dumpy run down older town.

We wanted to be wowed to justify moving our family from Orlando and what we say driving down main st were strip plazas in dilapidated old buildings, pawn shops and car title loan shops. That town is in major need of a facelift.

All I can say is that no matter how much research you do there's nothing compared to actually visiting the town yourself. The difference from website to reality is shocking.
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant South Carolina
1,125 posts, read 3,385,553 times
Reputation: 239
If you are looking for a quaint and historic town/area you need to drive through the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, located just over the Cooper River Bridge from the Charleston Historic District. The history goes back to the Revolutionary War. The town has architectural controls in place and although many of the older buildings have been "grandfathered" in, any new construction must meet strict architectural standards. The Mt. Pleasant area is clean with a "consistent" look and has excellent schools, relatively low crime rate and was voted in the top 100 small cities in the US by Money Magazine. After months of research, I would have hoped you would have discovered Mt. Pleasant and have had an opportunity to preview the town youself firsthand when you were in town. If not, I think that it would be worth a trip back to the Charleston area.
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Summerville
890 posts, read 3,968,077 times
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Are you sure you went the right way? If you went toward Berkeley County on the other side of I-26, then yes I agree that area over that way is not very pretty and more commercialized, I never even go over that way, but going towards Dorchester County and the historic district I'm kinda baffled on how you could say Main Street was dumpy. I go out of my way to go down Main Street just to look at it. Azalea Park looks like something out of Southern Living magazine (which by the way it has been in) and the cute buildings and restaurants in downtown as well as the old historic homes are something I never tire of looking at.

Summerville was basically a unheard of sleepy little town until people started looking for alternatives for affordable homes and schools. The growth is just starting and Summerville seems to move a little slower in getting things rolling than I would like, but in the last month I have seen 4 buildings torn down on Main Street to make way for new banks and some other buildings remodeled and updated. A Best Buy and a D i c k's Sporting Goods are in the works as well as several restaurants and numerous neighborhoods that haven't even broke ground yet. Places like that don't come to areas with no future. Older buildings and stores will be forced to update to keep up with the newer competition.

You really can't get the feel or the happenings of an area just by driving down Main Street either. There are many tucked away neighborhoods and establishments that aren't seen off the main drag that you would really have to live here to know about.

Mount Pleasant 10-12 years ago didn't look the way it does today either. We have friends that looked for a home in Mount Pleasant over 10 years ago and she wouldn't live there because the area scared her. They ended up buying a home in Summerville, ironically. Growth is what has changed the look and demographics of Mount Pleasant, the same growth that is now occurring in Summerville. It won't happen overnight, just like it didn't happen overnight in Mount Pleasant. There are also rundown homes and buildings in Mount Pleasant. Some might like a consistent look, personally I find it boring myself. The price of homes and cost of living in Mount Pleasant have forced many to look to other areas to live. I personally know a sales agent in a new Summerville development and was told that they are getting many buyers from Mount Pleasant because it is just too expensive there.

Last edited by scjj; 10-02-2006 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 10-02-2006, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant South Carolina
1,125 posts, read 3,385,553 times
Reputation: 239
I agree that Summerville is growing and along with growth comes more choices in restaurants, shopping, ammenities etc. My concern, if I were a Summerville resident, is that the appropriate restraints must be put in place by local government to insure that the growth does not out pace the infrastructure. I believe that Summerville did give the governing authorities the power recently to put a building cap in place to slow down growth,but I don't believe it has been implimented like the town of Mount Pleasant. There certainly are some lovely subdivisions and areas in Summerville, but I would be concerned as to how unrestrained growth in Dorchester County might affect the city.
With regards to my comment on "consistency" in Mt. Pleasant, I was referring to the town's emphasis on insuring that any new buildings and construction be built in a manner and in appearance that they are visually pleasing and pedestrian friendly like the Mount Pleasant Town Center. The residents take pride in maintaining their yards and enforce covenants and restrictions in their neighborhoods to insure that their property values are maintained. A visitor will find all kinds of architectural styles throughout the newer communities in Mt. Pleasant which fit into the traditional "Southern style", that a visitor to Charleston would expect and anticipate. I certainly do not find clean, well maintained and well though out neighborhoods and commercial areas boring. As I have pointed out, the cost of housing in Mt. Pleasant is higher than Summerville. The price of housing in any given area is generally reflective of the desirabilty in terms of location, convenience, schools, crime rate,taxes, education of it's residents and accountability and affectiveness of it's elected officials. As I have mentioned before, Summerville has a lot to offer, but if a family or individual has the financial resources to live in either area, Mt. Pleasant certainly should be considered.
With regards to an individual being afraid to live in Mt. Pleasant 10 years ago, I am at a loss to know why. Having moved to the Charleston area 18 years ago and employed in Federal Law Enforcement until 1994, I know of no reason why anyone would have had a safety concern with living in Mt. Pleasant 10 years ago. I suspect that Mt. Pleasant has had one of the lowest violent crime rates in the Charleston area.
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Summerville
890 posts, read 3,968,077 times
Reputation: 380
Well property values in Mount Pleasant ought to be taking a nose dive then.

Between a drunk City Council member terrorizing an innocent woman and child with road rage and punching her in the face at a stop light, and the 11 high school thugs, facing armed robbery and car theft charges. If that is the reflection of the fine educated citizens living in Mount Pleasant, then thanks but no thanks.

As far as the growth out here, I'm not concerned at all. It's the longtime locals that have lived isolated from progress that are having a hard time with it. Where I came from before makes the traffic here look like a cake walk. Schools are really no more crowded then most growing areas.

Last edited by scjj; 10-02-2006 at 02:37 PM..
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:08 PM
 
291 posts, read 1,647,869 times
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I have been to Summerville several times and did'nt find it run down and dumpy. Not at all. North Charleston definitely has those spots. Not Summerville. Maybe your expectations were unreasonable.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant South Carolina
1,125 posts, read 3,385,553 times
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Property values in Mt. Pleasant have gone up consistantly the past 15 years. I am surprised that an objective, open-mined and educated person would use the alleged actions of 12 Mt. Pleasant residents out of 60,000, as an indication of the character of the average Mt. Pleasant resident. The reported behavor of an alleged inebriated middle-aged City Council member certainly should not be a reflection on the other Council members nor of the representation and leadership he provided during his term in office. We are all aware of other much higher government officials and their lack of judgment.
I am also amazed that one would characterize "longtime locals" of any area or town as being isolated from progress just because they might prefer orderly and planned growth to minimize traffic congestion. Certainly the amount of traffic congestion is relative to what one is used to, but I think we all would like to be at home with the family and our friends rather than sitting in traffic coming and going from work, school and play. One of the objectives of a responsible town government should be to minimize, as much as possible, the inconveniences associated with economic growth ,whether one's comute is 5 minutes or one hour. I do agree that most of the schools in the Charleston area are over crowded. Mt. Pleasant like the Summerville has challanges in this area.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Summerville
890 posts, read 3,968,077 times
Reputation: 380
Well Joe just keep being "amazed" and "surprised" maybe you've got too much time on your hands. Hate to break it to you, but your precious Mount Pleasant isn't all that. Your reply is typical of what I expected, afterall you sell homes in Mount Pleasant for a living.
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:07 PM
 
57 posts, read 203,891 times
Reputation: 31
When you drive past pawn shop after pawn shop and title loan companies, that to me is dumpy.

IMO Summerville needs a facelift. The main st area would be much nicer if they restored some of those buildings and maintained the grounds a little better. Some landscaping would have been nice.

Not trying to offend anybody, just giving my opinion. Summerville wasn't for me.
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant South Carolina
1,125 posts, read 3,385,553 times
Reputation: 239
As a Realtor for 12 years in the Charleston area, I have and continue to sell homes throughout the Charleston area. I have sold many homes to clients in Summerville because the area suited their requirements and their pocket book. My loyalty is not to Mt. Pleasant, but rather to my clients and to insure that they are exposed to the entire Charleston area or an area which suits their needs.Some of my clients work in the Summerville area and therefore prefer to be closer to their job and thus the Summerville area works out for them better than Mt. Pleasant. Other clients are avid beach lovers or boaters and prefer to be closer to the Isle of Palms or Sullivan's Island or the many tidal creeks found closer in to Charleston.
As for having too much time on my hands, I work 7 days a week at real estate and feel that by commenting on the differences of the different areas in Charleston objectively, that my comments might be helpful to anyone considering relocating to the Charleston area. I am not aware of describing the Summerville area in a negative light, only mentioning that the town of Mt. Pleasant has been successful in slowing growth down in order to put the necessary infrastructure together so as to not have "gridlock". I am not aware of Summerville having taken such a step. I may have mentioned that the test scores of schools in Mt. Pleasant, in total, are the best in the area. Certainly test scores are not the only parameter one should use to compare schools, but they certainly are one of the few objective facts to consider when moving to a new area.Summerville has some excellent schools, but at the same time has schools with lower test scores than many parents would prefer, if given the choice. Of the 16 schools identified in the Dorchester 2 school district (Summerville), 3 received a score of "excellent" on the 2005 state report card, 10 "good" and 4 "average". In the town of Mt. Pleasant, out of 11 schools noted, 10 were graded "excellent" and one "good". Hopefully the graduates of all these schools will learn to consider facts and be objective when making important decisions in their lives rather than having their emotion control their actions.
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