Mixson Avenue designed with European flavor
By Dennis Quick
Senior Staff Writer
Cobblestone alleys and lanes, a variety of housing styles, interconnected streets and walkways, public parksâ€”these are some of the features of North Charlestonâ€™s forthcoming Mixson Avenue development slated for the Park Circle area.
The 44-acre development, located on Mixson Avenue, will be a mixed-used community with 950 residential units. Detached and undetached single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums and apartments will be offered. Stucco, brick, wood siding and autoclaved aerated concrete (a termite-resistant mixture of cement, lime, water and sand that provides thermal and acoustic insulation) will be the featured building materials.
Mixson Avenue will have a pedestrian feel. Residents will be able to walk through the development and to nearby East Montague Avenue, location of North Charlestonâ€™s revitalized business district, with its restaurants, spas and shops, said Mark Lipsmeyer, vice president of the Mount Pleasant-based Iâ€™On Group, Mixson Avenueâ€™s developer and the developer of Mount Pleasantâ€™s upscale Iâ€™On community.
The community is designed with smaller cars in mind and with a nod toward public transportation. It will be an interconnected, pedestrian-based community with numerous public parks and other outdoor meeting areas, Lipsmeyer added.
The developmentâ€™s architecture will forego heavy ornamentation in favor of simpler, cleaner styles with lots of porches and balconies. The small yards, narrower streets and overall tighter spaces will give Mixson Avenue the kind of ambiance found in European cities, Lipsmeyer said.
Although Mixson Avenue will include commercial space, the developers are uncertain about the amount. They would like to see restaurants, shops and workplaces in the neighborhood, Lipsmeyer said.
Planning of the $200 million development began 21ÂĽ2 years ago, when the Iâ€™On Group got together with Charleston urban design firm Keane and Co. to create Mixson Avenue. Mount Pleasant-based architecture firm McKellar & Associates designed the homes.
Seaman, Whiteside and Associates Inc., also based in Mount Pleasant, did the
developmentâ€™s civil engineering and land planning. Charleston designers George Holt and Andrew Gould contributed to the land planning and home design.
Homes will range in price from the high $100s to the mid-$300s. The developmentâ€™s sales center will be on East Montague Avenue. Reservations for home sales will begin in July, Lipsmeyer said.
Young professionals most likely will be the audience initially attracted to Mixson Avenue. However, the developers hope to lure to the community a wide and diverse range of homebuyers, Lipsmeyer said.
â€śDiversity leads to a communityâ€™s longevity. People of different socio-economic backgrounds create a synergy, an energy, a vibrancy,â€ť Lipsmeyer said.
Mixson Avenue is being built on the site previously occupied by the John C. Calhoun Homes, a residential tract built by the federal government in 1941 for shipyard workers and military personnel. Over time the houses deteriorated and were used for low-income housing.
The houses were demolished to make room for Mixson Avenue.
Mixson Avenueâ€™s groundbreaking is scheduled for mid-June. The developmentâ€™s initial 29 homes will be built on 1.3 acres. The first phase of construction will include eight acres and 250 homes. The project will be constructed in six phases and be completed in 10 years, Lipsmeyer said.
Dennis Quick is senior staff writer for the Business Journal. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.