by Carl Joye w/ Apex Real Estate
There Battery Creek meets Beaufort River, leading out to the Atlantic Ocean, is Port Royal Sound. It is there that lies the sleepy little South Carolina town of Port Royal. First explored by Frenchman Jean Ribaut in 1562, the town was named after the sound it overlooks. Eventually avenues were named after international cities such as Paris, London, Madrid, Columbia, Richmond and Edinburgh. These streets were laid north to south, intersected by numbered streets running east to west. Over the years, the southern tip of the Port Royal peninsula, the deepest natural port on the Atlantic coast, became an active shipping port connected to the mainland by a railroad along the western shore.
Until recently, this 50-acre tract with 2 miles of waterfront property has been fenced and controlled by the Ports Authority. In 2006, Governor Sanford closed the Port and ordered it sold. Ten years later, Governor Hailey accomplished the sale, returning the property to the town. As the fences come down and development progresses, the excitement of anticipated changes grows stronger.
The vision of connecting the western shore back to the Old Village and keeping the waterfront open to the public is certain to enhance the natural beauty of Port Royal with its abundant majestic centuries old Spanish Moss draped Live Oak trees throughout the Old Village. The community that exists today will be enhanced and grow stronger becoming even more one of the most desirable places to make home on the southeastern coast.
Excitement is in the air with anticipation of the 50-acre Waterfront Development at the Old Village of Port Royal in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. From the spectacular eastern sunrises over Beaufort River to the stunning western sunsets over Battery Creek, the point of Port Royal is truly unique with never ending salt marsh and river vistas. Situated on the intra-coastal waterway at the mouth of Port Royal sound, the over 2 miles of waterfront property is on the deepest natural port on the East Coast with unobstructed access to the Atlantic Ocean between Hunting Island State Park and Hilton Head Island.
The plan for the property consists of three major development areas, all connecting to the existing Old Village to create a new vibrant walking community with access to the waterfront for all. Detailed planning continues from one end to the other of this unique property. Along Battery Creek, the Dry Stack Marina in the Port Village is set to open any day and renovations at Port Royal’s premier waterfront seafood restaurant to be known as Fishcamp at 11th are underway. Much of this that is underway is expected to open in July. Unsure of exactly what the remaining development will become, but it is certain to be something very special!
East of London Avenue, and down Sands Beach Road, lies Port Royal’s most treasured natural park. It features the Sands, boardwalk and observation tower, Port Royal Sound boat landing, all with expansive eastern views over Beaufort River, southern views over Port Royal Sound, and western views down Battery Creek. Sit and enjoy a sunny day on the beach nearly any time of the year or drop your boat in the river and explore the endless rivers the Lowcountry offers.
Enjoy an early morning or afternoon stroll from the Old Village or ride down in your golf cart to admire the spectacular colorful sunrises and sunsets that are simply beyond compare. Walk through the narrow path through the high marsh to the western end of the boardwalk, climb the observation tower for a stunning birds eye view and continue down the boardwalk across the boat landing to the Sands. Mother nature has a new light show to amaze every day.
The boardwalk also connects the Sands to the Port Village, with its soon to open Dry Stack Marina, where you can store your boat and call ahead to have it waiting for your fishing or river cruising adventure. Plenty of experienced boat captains are ready and waiting to show you where the plentiful fishing is at its best. Home sites and homes are planned adjacent to this beautiful area bringing it even closer to home. Relax or play on the beach, kayak the rivers, fill your cooler with fish, or cruise the river to sandbars or the nearby Atlantic Ocean beaches. It’s all available for you just a short walk from the Old Village of Port Royal down Sands Beach Road.
The 50-acre waterfront development site in the Old Village of Port Royal is known as the Port Village. It is at the eastern end of the site, the south end of Paris Avenue, where the old shipping port greeted cargo ships from all over the world. Boasting the deepest natural port on the east coast, with unobstructed access to the Atlantic Ocean, the port anticipates welcoming ships again, this time carrying passengers for pleasure instead of cargo.
Over 270-degree views from east to west offer opportunities to witness the most amazing sunrises and sunsets found anywhere in the world. Anchored by a future upscale full-service hotel with supporting shops and restaurants along Battery Creek, the Port Village will soon grow to become the commercial town center with large and smaller public parks to rest, relax and enjoy summer breezes from the salt marshes and rivers.
Already in progress, and soon to open, is the Dry Stack Marina with waterfront walkway and grassed park area connecting the Port Village to the boardwalk and beach area. The old port building overhanging Battery Creek with two story interior spaces with all its development possibilities is the major existing feature. The former spacious rail yard, adjacent to the Port building, offers plenty of space for future development of retail and dining spaces. This is all tied together by natural parks and the future extended waterfront boardwalk. Endless opportunities and unmatched anticipation await all who currently live and are soon to come to this unique waterfront playground in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.
The area of the 50-acre waterfront development site known as the Marina Village is in the center of the site. At the west end of 11th Street, this is the area where countless shrimp, oysters and blue crabs were harvested and brought to the existing shrimp boat docks to be processed for wide distribution. In recent years, Dockside at 11th Street seafood restaurant offered local seafood dining overlooking sunsets and shrimp boats. Currently under renovation and scheduled to open this summer, Fishcamp at 11th waterfront seafood restaurant will soon be ready to take over the space.
A combination of retail and residential development will soon compliment this area along with a new 225 slip marina in the calm waters of Battery Creek located just minutes from the intra-coastal waterway, Beaufort River and Port Royal Sound. Walk to the beach and boardwalk through the Port Village to the east or to Harrison Bluff, to the west. Ride your bike to Historic Downtown Beaufort down the Spanish Moss Trail along the abandoned railroad which used to serve the port. The Marina Village is the perfect place to work or make your home to enjoy everything a coastal community has to offer. The area of the 50-acre waterfront development site known as Harrison Bluff is at the west end of the site, along Edinburgh and Columbia Avenues at 13th through 16th Streets. The area has been mostly undisturbed and is heavily wooded with Lives Oaks. This is where trains occasionally traveled and white tail deer found shelter. Fifteen acres of high bluffs overlooking Battery Creek’s salt marsh sunsets will soon provide home sites for single family interior and waterfront homes with private and community docks along with community parks for all to enjoy. Townhouses along the town’s existing streets and avenues may also be available for maintenance free living. Easily access all Port Royal has to offer by walking or biking down the Spanish Moss Trail or riding your golf cart through the town’s streets and avenues.
Plans are coming soon for the layout of Port Royal’s premier residential community. Adjacent properties along the development’s edge will add to the opportunities available for all who choose to live in the Old Village of Port Royal, the newest old coastal town in the south.
As the waterfront development in the Old Village of Port Royal starts to gain speed, interest in buying homes, home sites and development properties is increasing. People from local areas and beyond are looking to find out just what opportunities are available now and in the future. Uncertainty of exactly what single family homes, townhomes, and home sites will be available and what exactly will become of the 50-acre waterfront development in general makes it difficult to get in early and reserve your spot. Information available at this point is there will be fewer than 20 marsh front home sites with unbelievable expansive views at the Sands beach area, about 80 home sites at the Harrison Bluff area featuring a private dock with boat slips, and a gated townhouse community in the Marina Village area with reservations possibly starting late this year. Plans are currently being developed at this time and when more specifics are available about these limited opportunities is unclear. Much will be developed around the new Fishcamp at 11 th waterfront seafood restaurant and is projected to open before July 4 of this year.
Other exciting news in the town, both in and out of the 50-acre development, is the anticipation of the opening of the new restaurant named Madison’s on 10t h Street inside the Old Village where Moon Doggies was located for many years.
Homes and home sites available today are scattered around the Old Village. Homes of varying ages, size and condition are being privately marketed and sold. What is currently available changes daily and the current inventory can be found at www.DiscoverPortRoyal.com .
Homes range from a 2500 square foot, 4 bedroom, 4 ½ bath, 3 car garage with unique 180 degree expansive views of Port Royal Sound and Sands Beach to a 730 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bath older home on an interior 75 foot by 100 foot.
Many home sites are currently available in the Old Village including five, 50-foot-wide by 100-foot-deep lots on 11th Street and 55-foot-wide by 150-foot-deep waterfront lot on 10th Street with expansive sunrise views, and an interior lot 50-foot lot by 100-foot lot on 9th Street by Madison’s restaurant. There are 12 Streets adjacent to the Marina Village, one street with many other scattered parcels along with development properties available today and in the future around in Port Royal, both inside and outside of the small area known as the Old Village.
As interest begins to rise, prices will follow, making today the best time to secure your piece of Port Royal paradise. Many properties in Port Royal are older, modest homes that most likely will be replaced over time as land values and demand continues to increase.
Working in our Port Royal office over the past 15 years and living here over the past 50 years, we’ve seen the changes first hand Properties values boomed in 2006 at the announcement of the port closure, plummeted in 2010 with the nationwide real estate crash, and are now invigorated with the sale of the port property.
Once again, there is never a better time to invest your future in the Old Village of Port Royal, both inside and outside of the 50-acre development. Stop by our Apex Team Real Estate office at 1503 Paris Avenue in Port Royal to find out the latest and greatest opportunity for you. Give us a call today at 843-321-9204 and we’ll be happy to share our local experience and knowledge with you. Port Royal, South Carolina; Cool, Coastal, and Far from Ordinary!
Carl Joye, Broker/Owner
Apex Team Real Estate