Life on Daniel Island South Carolina
A place that offers the slow, quiet pace of island living and the upbeat opportunities of a thriving town seems impossible—until you discover Charleston’s island town, Daniel Island. Once nearly inaccessible to the outside world, this four-thousand-acre island boasts a tight-knit community and world-class businesses. At Matt Anderson Properties, this is one of our favorite areas around Charleston.
The island, located just up the Wando and Cooper Rivers from the Charleston harbor, has modest beginnings. The owner of Newsday, Harry Frank Guggenheim, first used the area as a hunting and recreation facility after he purchased the property in the 1940s. His foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, sold the island to the newly formed Daniel Island Development Company in 1989; this company had plans to make the island into a new residential and business destination in Charleston. However, there was one minor issue to consider: access. The island was virtually unreachable until I-526 was finished in the spring of 1991. A small, two-lane bridge was put in place on the island’s western side to allow access from the newly built road. Yet, by 1992, a New York Times article notes that, “Daniel Island is [still only] home to two caretakers, deer, pigs, cattle and birds.”
It wasn’t until the Daniel Island Development Company re-branded itself as the Daniel Island Company and began the process of creating a master-planned community in 1997 that the Daniel Island of today began to take shape. The small island town slowly began to build a reputation as the up-and-coming community in Charleston. Under the guidance of the Daniel Island Company, schools were built, houses were mapped out, and the Daniel Island Club, a private community with two golf courses, began to thrive. The area attracted growing businesses such as software companies Blackbaud and BenefitFocus. Dozens of shops and restaurants popped up as the number of residents on the island swelled.
Today, Daniel Island boasts a thriving economy. Soccer games starring Charleston’s professional team, The Battery, are a big draw, as is the Family Circle Cup, a professional tennis tournament held each spring. There are banks, a grocery store, several schools, and apartment complexes. Best of all, residents of Daniel Island are often found walking or biking to local eateries and events using the twelve miles of planned trails. Since development started, Daniel Island has won the 2007 Award for Excellence by the Urban Land Institute, and the Best Suburban Smart Growth Community in 2004 by the National Association of Homebuilders.