The magazine Bloomberg Businessweek reported in 2011, "Goose Creek is on our list of best places to raise kids for the second year in a row. There are more than a few reasons. This quiet, pretty suburb of Charleston has much to offer, from great parks to solid schools, to rolling bike trails."
Indeed, Goose Creek, located about 20 minutes outside Charleston, has become a very desirable place to live in the Lowcountry. It ranks as the state's 12th largest municipality with more than 37,000 residents.
While the exact origin of the city's name is unknown, this area of the Lowcountry has been called Goose Creek since the late 1600's. Early settlers were planters from Barbados who brought with them knowledge of various crops, including rice and indigo. These crops were successfully grown in the region for more than 100 years.
Fast forward to 1961, when the city of Goose Creek was incorporated and farmlands in the area began to be sold and subdivided to accommodate the fast-growing area and subsequent housing boom.
Today Goose Creek is the most densely populated city in Berkeley County.. It's easy access to I-26 and its proximity to Charleston continue to make it a popular bedroom community in the region. Well-known housing developments include Crowfield Plantation and Cane Bay Plantation. Crowfield, a former rice plantation, spans 382 acres and includes residential housing, as well as commercial development, churches and schools. Its recreation amenities include a golf course and country club, lakes, hiking and biking trails, and recreational areas. Cane Bay Plantation spans 4,500 acres and includes several neighborhoods - including Del Webb, an active adult living neighborhood - as well as schools, parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, hiking and biking trails, and retail centers.
An up-and-coming neighborhood is Nexton, a 4,500-acre master planned development between Goose Creek and Summerville that will include offices, hotels, apartments, parks and trails, and many choices for dining, entertainment and shopping. A ground breaking was held in 2013 for the first building to be built, a 100,000 square foot office building designed to achieve LEED Certification. Part of the building will be occupied by MeadWestvaco Corporation, which is developing the community with the Rockefeller Group.
Opportunities for outdoor living in the Lowcountry are plentiful and Goose Creek is no different. The city's recreation department has constructed several parks throughout the area featuring playgrounds, picnic areas and ball fields. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy 18 holes at Crowfield Golf and Country Club, which also has tennis and swimming.
There are also plenty of activities within a short drive of Goose Creek. Soccer enthusiasts can enjoy a Charleston Battery game at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island, or tennis fans can watch the annual Family Circle Cup tennis tournament, held each spring at the Family Circle Cup Center, also located on Daniel Island.
Goose Creek is home to the Naval Weapons Station, which is prt of the Lowcountry's largest employer, Joint Base Charleston. The Naval Weapons Station employs nearly 13,500. The base is the command center for the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Power Training program.
Other major employers in Goose Creek include aluminum manufacturers Alcoa Mount Holly and JW Aluminum, and lighting manufacturer Quoizel Lighting. Quoizel, founded in 1930 in New York, relocated its headquarters to a state-of-the-art 500,000 square foot facility in Goose Creek.
Google built a $600 million data center in 2008 in Mount Holly, which is between Goose Creek and Moncks Corner, In 2013, the Internet search engine announced it would invest another $600 million to build a second data center. In addition to creating jobs, Google has committed to playing a positive role in each of the communities where it operates facilities. Google's website states that it has given $932,000 to schools and non-profits in South Carolina since 2009. It also awarded a $167,000 WiFi grant to Goose Creek to help implement a free WiFi network downtown.
The WiFi network was incorporated into the redevelopment of Central Avenue downtown and complements improvements such as new sidewalks, buried power lines and street lamps. The improvements have been funded through tax dollars set aside to encourage growth in the area.
City of Goose Creek: 843.797.6220 ~ http://www.cityofgoosecreek.com
Berkeley County School District: 843.899.8600 ~ http://www.berkeley.k12.sc.us
Building Permits: 843.797.6220 Extension 1100
Berkeley Electric Cooperative: 843.761.8200
S.C. Electric & Gas: 800.251.7234
Goose Creek water service: 843.797.6220 Extension 0
Berkeley County Water & Sanitation: 843.572.4400
Charleston Water System: 843.727.6800