Post and Courier
by David Slade
June 3, 2016
CAINHOY — Taxpayers are spending a quarter-billion dollars to build schools, widen roads and construct a larger bridge to this once-sleepy rural peninsula, where an up to 18,000-home development — the largest yet in the Charleston area — is coming to life.
Some residents here are looking forward to new Berkeley County schools, and to having more places nearby to shop and dine, but they can’t imagine how the area will handle the potential traffic.
Development of the 9,087-acre Cainhoy Plantation property could result in a city-sized community with as many as 45,000 residents, more than Goose Creek or Sumter. Among South Carolina’s 270 towns and cities, only seven have a population that large.
As with other huge, master-planned communities such as Daniel Island, it could take decades for the development to build out, transforming expanses of woods and fields into what Matt Sloan, president of the Daniel Island Co., describes as “the last borough of the city of Charleston.”
Cainhoy Plantation is the largest of at least a dozen mega-developments with 2,000 homes or more than have been approved across the tri-county Charleston metro area, all bringing a mix of benefits and challenges to the surrounding communities.
Sloan is leading the Cainhoy development as well as the ongoing development of Daniel Island, which already has about 5,500 homes and expects to add another 1,000 or so. In both cases, the land was owned by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.
The maximum number of homes allowed at Cainhoy Plantation may not be built, as is often the case with large master-planned communities, but building even half of them would create one of the largest developments in the tri-county Charleston metro area.
The former plantation was used during the 20th century for timber and hunting, and sits between two fast-growing areas; Daniel Island to the south, and Mount Pleasant’s S.C. Highway 41 corridor to the east, just across the Wando River. The Cainhoy area has already seen significant but smaller residential developments including Nelliefield Plantation, The Peninsula, Beresford Hall and River Reach Pointe.