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Latest News in Sullivan's Island, SC
Visitors and residents recall coyote encounters, attacks on Sullivan’s Island
Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.This comes a day after town officials reported five coyote-led attacks involving dogs within the month of August.They say the wild animals has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often than usual.The Jourdan...
Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.
This comes a day after town officials reported five coyote-led attacks involving dogs within the month of August.
They say the wild animals has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often than usual.
The Jourdan family says they experienced a too-close encounter with a coyote over the weekend.
“They were out halfway to the water, from the dune, so middle of the beach. And they were attacked by coyotes,” Jourdan said.
Five-year-old Willie Nelson, the Jourdan family dog, was taken by two coyotes early Saturday morning while on a walk with a babysitter.
Jourdan says it happened in broad daylight and in the middle of the beach.
He adds the family was devastated by the loss of their “wonder dog.”
“I was trying to get closure for my family’s sake, for Willie, because we weren’t even there. Which was frustrating. I crawled on my belly for over four miles between stations 26 and 28,” Jourdan said.
The attack occurred at Station 27, a part of the beach several residents have called a “breeding ground” for coyote packs.
Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources say the breed has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often.
They add that mid-summer and fall are peak active times for these animals, meaning it is when coyotes migrate to new spaces, feed and have young.
SCDNR officials say another reason for the increased interactions could be from them being opportunistic feeders, meaning they will be quick and take anything they need.
Others say they have been chased by coyotes in the past but escaped.
“We were walking in June when a coyote came out of the dunes and started chasing,” Sullivan’s regular Shelly Carson said. “I was able to chase it away, and it ran down the beach to chase a golden retriever.”
Now, they avoid the area altogether or take proactive measures to be able to walk safely.
“I’ve always known there are coyotes here,” Carson said. “Never seen one until this year. Really, March was the first time I had my first sighting and started carrying pepper spray on the beach. In June I started carrying a birdie alarm. And now I carry a stick with me too.”
Visitors are asking for help from officials to curb the problem.
“It’s close to our hearts, but the coyote system is unfortunately not something that is new, declining or lessened. Rather the opposite,” Jourdan said.
They ask for coyote population control, area management and listening to residential concerns.
Town officials say they do have systems in place to manage the problem, which include education, tracking, hazing and lethal control.
They ask anyone who experiences an encounter or sighting to report the problem immediately.
If you run into a coyote, you’re advised to react loudly, throw small sticks or cans or spray the animal with water.
For more information on coyotes along Sullivan’s Island, click here.
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SCE&G’s former seaside worker perk eyed for $30M-plus social club on Sullivan’s Island
Warren L. Wise firstname.lastname@example.org://www.postandcourier.com/business/real_estate/sce-gs-former-seaside-worker-perk-eyed-for-30m-plus-social-club-on-sullivans-island/article_a75c0c3c-353e-11ee-b1f4-5bb7ca099762.html
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A newly formed development group plans to invest more than $30 million to acquire and renovate a 90-year-old, vacant private oceanfront club on this seaside enclave.But elected officials want more details before signing off on allowing a commercial project in a residential area....
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A newly formed development group plans to invest more than $30 million to acquire and renovate a 90-year-old, vacant private oceanfront club on this seaside enclave.
But elected officials want more details before signing off on allowing a commercial project in a residential area.
Sullivan’s Island Bathing Co. is asking the town to allow a members-only social venture called the Ocean Club at 1735 Atlantic Ave. as a conditional use in an area zoned for single-family homes.
Shep Davis, the development firm’s managing partner, pointed out last week that the property operated as a private club for close to a century without being open to island residents.
Under this latest proposal, they’ll have that option for the first time — at a cost of a $60,000 sign-up fee and an estimated $500 in monthly dues.
The property had been known for decades as the Sand Dunes Club. It was a private beachside retreat for employees of the former South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., which Dominion Energy acquired in early 2019 after the V.C. Summer nuclear plant debacle 18 months earlier.
The Richmond, Va.-based utility closed the property at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, and it never reopened, according to attorney Brian Hellman, a Sullivan’s resident who is representing the development group.
Built in 1933 for $14,000, the then 5,400-square-foot structure was called Jasper Hall, an officer’s club for military personnel stationed at nearby Fort Moultrie. SCE&G acquired it in the 1950s and expanded it over the years to just under 10,000 square feet.
Davis said the property has not been properly kept up for several years and is in disrepair.
One neighbor recently complained of the uncovered pool starting to smell and becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Hellman and Davis said the pool is being maintained.
Davis estimated it will take an investment of “in excess of $30 million” for his group to buy the property, overhaul the building and amenities and place a stormwater retention pond underground. Retrofitting the pool alone, he said could cost half a million dollars.
Improvement plans include offering separate pools for families and adults, upgrading the existing building and landscaping the parking area. The developers also would add a fitness center, dining terrace and gazebo along with a new entry area off a beach access path.
“We can preserve the building and re-create the club for its historical use,” Davis said.
Hellman said the current proposal comes after gathering input during several meetings with residents and town leaders over the past few months.
He said the private-membership venue will provide a place for homeowners to eat and exercise without having to drive off the island or jockey for tables with tourists at the restaurants in the town’s small business district.
“It will be a gathering place to socialize that won’t compete with beachgoers,” Hellman said. “Dining will not be open to the general public and will reduce the need for residents to leave the island.”
The 3.5-acre club site is owned by a company affiliated with Charleston real estate investor John Derbyshire, the former owner of the chain of Money Man Pawn shops. The firm paid Dominion $16.2 million for the property in 2022, according to Charleston County land records.
A large house is being built for Derbyshire, who plans to remain a partner in the project, on part of the property next to the club, according to Hellman.
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The developer said the goal is that the Ocean Club will be open to all Sullivan’s residents who want to join. Davis estimated the venture will need at least 400 members to get the project off the ground.
The proposed Ocean Club would give priority to individuals and families who primarily reside on the island, said Jim Wanless, one of the partners. Off-island residents could join, too.
The proposed parking rules to allow a social club in a residential area require at least one parking space for every 10 memberships whose primary or secondary residences are within 2½ miles. Sixty percent of those spaces must be designated for golf carts and low-speed vehicles.
For members living outside the 2½-mile range, which is basically anyone who doesn’t live on Sullivan’s, one vehicle parking space would be required for every five memberships.
The rules also would require one bicycle space — through a rack or corral — for every 20 memberships.
“For whatever the number will be of those living off the island, they most certainly would come by car,” Davis said. “On-island residents would have much less need for parking” since they’d have the option to come by golf cart, bike or foot.
Tentative plans call for 50 car parking spaces, at least an equal number of golf cart spaces and “adequate” bicycle parking spaces, Hellman said.
Though the membership will be open to all island residents, the developers don’t expect everyone to join. They also have not set a cap on membership.
“We are trying to come up with the right number of members for the club without excluding property owners,” Davis said.
Talking to the town
During a public workshop last week, where a standing-room-only crowd spilled into the hallway, the developers addressed a list of written questions from elected officials, including the benefit to the town if the club is allowed.
Davis said, under the current zoning, the property could be sold for residential development that would allow three to five homes that could be taxed at the 4 percent rate if they are primary residences. If the club use is allowed, the developers will pay the 6 percent commercial property tax as well as licensing and permit fees.
The developers also said they won’t allow corporate memberships or agreements with hotels to provide dining or other services. In addition, no reciprocal-use deals with other private clubs are planned.
The projected hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for interior services, with the earliest morning hours set aside for fitness activities. The club would be open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Outdoor activities would be allowed 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day except until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Some island residents see the idea as another amenity for Sullivan’s while others are concerned about increased traffic and noise a club would bring to a residential area.
In letters to the town, supporters pointed to the property’s long history as a site for dining, fitness, sports, recreation and cultural, educational and social events. They said those uses should continue to be allowed.
Others said they’re against the rezoning to allow a restaurant or for it to become a for-profit entity.
Town Council is expected to discuss the issue further and take public input during its meeting Aug. 15. Mayor Patrick O’Neil cautioned the developers not to expect a quick decision.
“This council proceeds pretty deliberately,” he said.
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Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse a Last of its Kind: Beacon of the Beach
MPM Leave a Commenthttps://mountpleasantmagazine.com/2023/places/sullivans-island-lighthouse-last-of-its-kind-beacon-of-the-beach/
Every nightfall, a rotating light pulsates around Sullivan’s Island twice every 30 seconds. The luminous source is the Charleston Light, also referred to as the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, which has stood watch over the cozy beach town for more than six decades.When the pillar of light was first lit on June 15, 1962, it was recorded as the last major lighthouse in the United States built by the federal government. It was also the second brightest lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere, according to Fort Moultrie National H...
Every nightfall, a rotating light pulsates around Sullivan’s Island twice every 30 seconds. The luminous source is the Charleston Light, also referred to as the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, which has stood watch over the cozy beach town for more than six decades.
When the pillar of light was first lit on June 15, 1962, it was recorded as the last major lighthouse in the United States built by the federal government. It was also the second brightest lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere, according to Fort Moultrie National Historical Park guide Shelby McAllister.
The Charleston Light was erected to replace the defunct Morris Island Light, which was rebuilt in the 1870s after being destroyed in the Civil War. The lighthouse was at risk of being destroyed again by erosion and was later decommissioned.
Standing at 162.5 feet tall, approaching vessels in the Charleston Harbor could see the flash of the Charleston Light’s 28-million candlepower beam from more than 50 miles offshore. Five years after its construction, its wattage was reduced to 1.2-million candlepower, but it is still visible more than 25 miles away.
Its bright light wasn’t the only thing that caught people’s eyes. Many residents felt the original red and white color scheme was an eyesore. As the sun bleached the red to orange, it was decided that a paint job was in order. Black and white was the popular choice, so the Charleston Light received a makeover.
Sixty-one years later, the mid-century monolithic structure serves as more of a nautical landmark than a navigational aid, but its maritime history is not lost at sea. It was a fixture of the U.S. Coast Guard Historic District that includes buildings dating back to 1894.
When the Coast Guard automated the lighthouse in 1975, it no longer needed a keeper. In 2008, the Coast Guard relinquished ownership to the National Park Service.
THE MAN BEHIND THE LIGHT
Architect Jack Graham’s creation was not only the last of its kind, but it was also one of a kind. His vision for the lighthouse lit up in his mind when he was a 25-year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture and a serviceman in the Coast Guard.
In Graham’s last month of active duty, a supervisor gave him a final assignment of designing a lighthouse. The Coast Guard was displeased with the previous drawings that made it resemble a World War I battleship signal tower. By the time Graham was finished, it looked like an air traffic control tower.
Unlike typical circular lighthouses, Graham’s design was triangular with steel girders for the framework and aluminum alloy for siding. He credited his modernist approach and design to his college professor Louis Kahn, an influential modern architect in the post-World War II era known for his monumental and brutalist style.
In September 1989, Graham’s work would be put to the test when Hurricane Hugo lashed the island as a Category 5. The lighthouse’s design was intended to withstand winds up to 125 miles per hour. Hugo brought winds of 160 miles per hour, and the lighthouse never faltered.
In 2009, on Graham’s 75th birthday, he was able to view his creation from the top as he rode in the elevator for the first time. He wasn’t aware that his design was used for the lighthouse until three years after it was built, when he was flipping through a boating magazine.
The lighthouse became eligible to be listed on the National Register as part of the structures in the Coast Guard Historic District in 2012. That same year marked the structure’s 50th anniversary, during which Graham was recognized for the first time with an official ceremony and a historical marker on site.
Before Graham’s passing in June 2022, his wife Martha, who lives in Maryland, wrote “The Charleston Light and The Adventures of Scoops the Seagull.” The children’s book is about the lighthouse, which her beloved husband nicknamed “Sulli.”
Graham’s story lives on in the annals of history and is rekindled every time the sun sinks down past the horizon on Sullivan’s Island. That’s when the lighthouse and Graham’s legacy truly come to life.
Today, the lighthouse stands as one of the most technologically advanced for its time. It is the only lighthouse in America that has both an elevator and air conditioning, according to McAllister.
Due to ongoing problems with the elevator, there are no plans to open the lighthouse to the public. Of the 15 historic lighthouses in the state, none are currently open to the public due mainly to structural issues, she noted.
“This is history that is slowly disappearing, but not many people realize that,” McAllister added.
The National Park Service celebrates National Lighthouse Day every August by opening the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse grounds to the public. The last time the lighthouse was open for tours was 2018.
By Zach Giroux
Sullivan’s Island Fire Department Renovates Facility: Fire Station Facelift Charleston & Mount Pleasant, SC Retirement Living Options at Franke at Seaside Southern String Supply: Master of Their Craft The New Praise House Park: Preserving Mount Pleasant History
Sullivan’s Island sizzles with 3rd multi-million-dollar home sale this year
Warren L. Wise email@example.com://www.postandcourier.com/business/real_estate/sullivans-island-sizzles-with-3rd-multi-million-dollar-home-sale-this-year/article_829ce120-d0a1-11ed-8cf7-3f6c3fb575cd.html
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — The home market continues to sizzle in this pricey seaside town, with real estate agents pointing to its community appeal, a longtime ban on short-term rentals and resilient, well-heeled cash buyers among the driving forces.So far this year, three big-ticket residential transactions have closed on Sull...
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — The home market continues to sizzle in this pricey seaside town, with real estate agents pointing to its community appeal, a longtime ban on short-term rentals and resilient, well-heeled cash buyers among the driving forces.
So far this year, three big-ticket residential transactions have closed on Sullivan’s Island, ranging from nearly $8 million to slightly more than $10 million.
Sullivan’s commands a premium partly because it offers limited inventory in a highly desirable location, according to agents familiar with the local market. Some also point to the lack of rentals.
“There is not a transient population out there,” said Lyles Geer, president and broker-in-charge of William Means Real Estate. “You don’t have an abundance of renters or people who don’t live out there. ... Buyers are paying for the exclusivity of living in a residential community.”
Michael Scarafile, president of Carolina One Real Estate, echoed his remarks.
“One reason is that Sullivan’s doesn’t allow short-term rentals,” he said. “Those are all residential sales.”
Scarafile pointed to the recent run of seven- and eight-figure purchases as an example of the age-old principle of supply and demand.
“There just aren’t that many houses on Sullivan’s, and the market for residential use on the islands continues to perform well,” he said. “The high-end market is holding up very well.”
Owen Tyler, managing broker of Cassina Real Estate Group, agreed prices on Sullivan’s are rising because of the dearth of inventory and continued interest among would-be buyers from outside the region or state.
“They aren’t building more of the island,” he said.
Tyler also pointed to a community-minded vibe on Sullivan’s as an attraction for buyers who can afford the lifestyle.
MONCKS CORNER — Cherry Collins probably knew her career path as a toddler.
She had devoured so many books by the time she reached kindergarten age, she was already at a fourth-grade reading level.
After a few odd jobs when she finished high school, Collins invested $4,000 to start a used bookstore called Dreamalot in Goose Creek. It eventually migrated to Moncks Corner.
Over the next few weeks, the business she has operated in three locations for the past 24 years will write its last chapter.
Dreamalot at 1013 Old Highway 52 is going out of business. The last day originally was set for the end of September, but the lease has been extended through October, according to Phil Rowe, a longtime friend from Connecticut who is helping her close the shop.
“It’s breaking my heart,” said Collins, as tears welled up in her eyes while waiting on customers in the 3,050-square-foot shop near a Big Lots discount store. “But I can no longer afford it.”
Her inventory of more than 100,000 books, along with games, puzzles, trinkets, pictures and some clothing, is all marked down 50-90 percent. Shelves and displays also must go. Items in a lending library in the back of the store are free.
Collins, who uses a wheelchair due to ailments, noted she tried to find a business partner to keep the business going.
“I wasn’t able to do that, and I can no longer do it by myself,” the 51-year-old said.
Dreamalot started on Aug. 1, 1999, in a small shop on Highway 52 in Goose Creek, where it operated for 18 years before moving up the street for a short stint. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the business moved to the edge of Moncks Corner.
“This has been an excellent location,” she said. “My business doubled overnight after I moved here.”
Collins not only sells pre-owned books. She also donates supplies to jailhouses in Berkeley and Charleston counties and charter schools in the Lowcountry. She also tries to help the homeless as much as she can.
“I’m sad that I won’t be able to do it any longer,” she said.
Customers browsing the stacks Sept. 12 lamented the shop’s imminent demise.
“This has always been my place to come when I’m feeling sad,” longtime patron and retiree Penny Maguire said. “This is my happy place. You can come here and look and browse and find all kinds of things you didn’t know you were looking for.”
Dr. Morgan Glass glanced through the shelves for some fiction titles.
“It’s kind of sad that it’s closing,” the pediatrician said. “I bring my boys — 6 and 10 — here all the time. I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I will probably get back to the library more.”
Cane Bay resident Brandon Lorick is part of a group that tries to read at least one book each month, but he aims for two.
He used to shop at Mr. K’s Used Books in North Charleston before it closed last spring. He called the closing of shops such as Dreamalot “a shame.”
“You can get deals online, but you don’t get that personal experience when you go through the checkout line and they talk about the books you selected,” Lorick said.
Rowe, Collins’ friend from Connecticut, called the clearance sale a huge undertaking.
“We have a lot of everything, and we have two storage units filled with books as well,” he said. “Everything has to go.”
He urged shoppers to bring boxes and bags and noted items will be sold in bulk at reduced prices near the end of the sale to help clear out remaining merchandise.
The shop is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
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This is the most expensive neighborhood in SC and what it costs to own a home there
There are expensive places to live in South Carolina.Then there is Sullivan’s Island.CashNetUSA recently ranked Sullivan’s Island as the most expensive neighborhood in South Carolina. The ranking is part of a list of most expensive neighborhoods in every U.S. state, based on Zillow data.Home prices across South Carolina overall ha...
There are expensive places to live in South Carolina.
Then there is Sullivan’s Island.
CashNetUSA recently ranked Sullivan’s Island as the most expensive neighborhood in South Carolina. The ranking is part of a list of most expensive neighborhoods in every U.S. state, based on Zillow data.
Home prices across South Carolina overall have skyrocketed the last two years. For instance, the median home sales price in the state was $311,032 in the first quarter of 2023, up 22% from the first quarter of 2021, according to South Carolina Realtors.
And yet, that is all chump change compared to home ownership in Sullivan’s Island. A home there costs an average of about $5.4 million, the ranking states.
The 2.5 mile-long barrier island and its charming little beach town is about 10 miles from downtown Charleston. The island has a strict preservation plan and so doesn’t have the usual accommodations that visitors would expect, like major hotels and motels. Instead, only vacation rental homes are available.
The island does feature a strong restaurant scene, with plenty of options for fine dining and family eating.
Sullivan’s Island also has a good bit of history. The island was settled in the late 17th Century by Capt. Florence O’Sullivan and was later the site of a major Revolutionary War battle.
To compile the rankings, CashNetUSA used real estate data from Zillow to group together neighborhoods of towns and cities in all 50 U.S. states. It then calculated the average price in each neighborhood by adding together the house prices in each area and dividing them by the number of properties.
Why Sullivan’s Island is pricey, it is still not among the top most expensive places to live in the U.S. Below is a list of the 10 most expensive neighborhoods in the U.S. and their average house prices, according to CashNetUSA.
To keep things more in perspective, here’s an interactive map that shows the latest median sales price for homes in each South Carolina county, using data from Redfin.