Developers home to bring 'village atmosphere' to Socastee area after receiving final approval

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A new 197 acre development in Socastee that would be constructed near Highway 707 and Folly Road is now officially a go after over a year of negotiating. Horry County Council members gave the final approval for a rezoning request on Tuesday.

Michelle McGee is the co-owner of Folly Estates and has devoted countless hours into being a voice for the community, between collecting petitions and networking. She said a first concern was having something that didn't fit into the area.

The nearly 200 acre development is set to have close to 1,600 housing units- along with 375,000 square feet of commercial buildings- and a Marina Village along the Intracoastal Waterway.

A major concern brought up by many at the last planning and zoning meeting was drainage and traffic issues. However, McGee said the problems were addressed. She said 100 percent of the drainage from the development would go directly into the waterway. They were also promised there wouldn't be construction traffic on Folly Road.

"They've also put in some restrictions on the height of the single-family homes as well as the condos so were pretty happy with the plan. I think you know as a whole, the community has a good feel about it… and it sounds like some of the ideas that they have, it's going to kind of keep that good hometown feel in the Socastee area. I just feel that they came forward with a plan for what we were asking for from the beginning, because from the very beginning, the community said we don't want to stop someone from developing their property, obviously. But we just want something congruent to the area and we feel that they brought that," McGee said.

President of Bennett Hofford Construction company, Hank Hofford, said they hope this major new development will act as a center of activity for locals and some tourists along the Intracoastal Waterway.

He said they hope to create a similar type of atmosphere as Shem Creek in Charleston.

Hofford said the plans include a Marina Village with an area that could also serve as an event space along the Intracoastal Waterway.

McGee said after over a year of negotiating, the community and the developer have finally reached an agreement to move forward with this project.

"I just really hope this will bring Socastee to another level. I think obviously like I said, we're going to have some growing pains with some traffic and that type of thing, which they have addressed. Where we are actually from Folly Road we'll be able to access their property and get to a traffic signal light to be able to get on and off of Highway 707. So, that's a win for us, and we just look forward to it making the Socastee community a nicer place to live," said McGee.

Hofford said they are under contract to buy the land between Highway 707, Folly Road and the Intracoastal Waterway. He said the project will likely take three to seven years to complete.

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