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Lakewilde featured in Times & Democrat News

Posted July 11, 2011

By GENE ZALESKI, T&D Staff Writer
Despite a sluggish economy and housing market, one developer is moving forward with his construction plans.

"I want to be a realist. I don't know how long it will take and how many units we will ultimately do. We will let the market regain traction again, hopefully, and we will let the market dictate just how much we will do," Lakewilde of Santee Property Manager Peter Nash said.

Nash says the approximately 388 acres off Old River Road between Elloree and Lone Star is prime real estate and is ready to move forward.

"It really should be ready for the spring and first-quarter market," he said.

Nash said he has received the first approval from state and local agencies to begin the project's first phase.

The first phase will include the construction of 39 units and about 27 acres. There will be seven two-acre lots, eight one-acre lots and 24 half-acre lots.

Nash expects the homes will be roughly 1,800 to 2,000 square feet, having about three bedrooms and two bathrooms. In addition, Nash said there will be four lakefront homes.

The property was originally owned by Orangeburg dentist Dr. Robert Varn and a local builder who had plans to develop a golf course community in the mid 1990s.

About 25 lots were recorded at the time but the project never materialized, Nash said.

A veteran Maryland real estate agent, Nash said that around 2006 he began to look for properties to develop in the South and found the Calhoun County property ideal.

The county's Planning Commission approved the project as a planned use development with about 388 acres and about 789 units. Construction was scheduled to begin in 2010.

But the market continued its sluggish ways.

"There were no capital markets," Nash said. 

But last year Nash moved to South Carolina on a temporary basis to dedicate his days to bringing the project to reality.

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