The Lowcountry's newest address is also one of its most attractive. Daniel Island has grown from an undeveloped expanse of forest and farmland into a thriving community of more than 5,000.
The 4,000 acre island at the tip of the Cainhoy Peninsula was essentially uninhabited when Interstate 526 crossed it in the 1990's, linking the land between the Wando and Cooper rivers to the mainland for the first time. Development, guided by a master plan worked out in conjunction with the Guggenheim Foundation (which owned the island from 1947 to 1997), began in the late 1990's. Today, the Daniel Island community spans nine neighborhoods, a central commercial district, more than 400 acres of public parkland, two golf courses, a professional soccer stadium and a world-class tennis facility home to the Volvo Classic each year.
Daniel Island is incorporated into the city of Charleston, even though it is located in Berkeley County and residents must pass through Mount Pleasant or North Charleston to reach it. Though generaly considered a bedroom community, the island's daytime population swells to an estimated 8,500, thanks to employers such as software firm Blackbaud and the 34-acre campus of Bishop England High School, which moved to the island in 1998 after more than 80 years in downtown Charleston.
Home prices range from the $300,000's to more than $3 million, with select lots selling for upwards of $1 million.
Condominiums are available for less than $200,000, but the island's network of public spaces, services, shopping, education and amenities generally tends to put a premium on property values.Plans point toward an eventual full-time population of 15,000.
Life on the island benefits from 23 miles of shoreline, much of it open to the public, and the extensive system of parks and docks give neighborhoods plenty of public spaces and room to socialize.
The island's event calendar gets more crowded every year, thanks in large part to the Family Circle Cup Tennis Center (its namesake women's tennis tournament is played there each April) and Blackbaud Stadium, home pitch for the Charleston Battery Soccer Club. These modern facilities are increasingly in demand for concerts and festivals.