Before the real estate boom in Mount Pleasant during the latter part of the 1990s, houses beyond the Isle of Palms Connector were scarce. The only large development available past the Connector in the early 1980s was Snee Farm, and even that was considered a bit far out by most East Cooper residents.
Fast forward thirty years. Since the 1980s, Mount Pleasant has grown from a bedroom community of under ten thousand to South Carolina’s fourth largest city with a population of over sixty-five thousand. Mount Pleasant now has a thriving community north of the Connector, which has even expanded beyond Highway 41. Several large, planned communities, including Park West, have been created to accommodate the influx of new residents to the area, and, in the process, have restructured the way that Mount Pleasant is laid out.
Park West is an excellent example of how a planned community can add to an existing city while also fostering a small-town feeling within the community’s boundaries. Park West is connected to the rest of Mount Pleasant via its main entrance on Highway 17, and through smaller entrances on Highway 41.Yet, the community offers so much to its residents in its 1700 acres that the rest of Mount Pleasant can feel optional.
The thirty different communities within Park West provide something for every family and for every budget. Homes can range from the $100,000s to over $1,000,000. There are townhome communities, condos, detached single-family homes and a retirement village. Many of the communities have their own amenities such as pools and tennis courts. Park Island is one of Park West’s newest communities, and is the only gated section of Park West. It offers homes and homesites on a private island accessible only by bridge; Park Island is situated between Toomer Creek and the Wando River.
Not only does Park West boast thirty different communities, it also fuses together commercial and residential within its larger plan. Three schools can be found on site: Laurel Hill Primary School (K-2), Pinckney Elementary (3-5) and Cario Middle School. The Town of Mount Pleasant Recreation Department also has an extensive presence in Park West, with a public pool, track, tennis courts, walking trails and more. In addition, the Shoppes at Park West (just inside the Highway 17 entrance) provide restaurants, banks and a grocery store for the convenience of the residents.
“Mount Pleasant Recreation Department Park West Recreation Complex.” Town of Mount Pleasant. http://www.townofmountpleasant.com/facilities.aspx?RID=29&Page=detail
“Neighborhoods.” Park West. http://www.parkwestsc.com/neighborhoods.php?int_key=1
Parker, Jim. “Moving West: Village of Cottages, Colonials, Parks, Schools, and Stores sets tone for Upper Mount Pleasant.” Post and Courier. http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20121201/PC2110/121209927/1145/moving-west-village-of-cottages-colonials-parks-schools-and-stores-sets-tone-for-upper-mount-pleasant&source=RSS.1 Dec 2012.