project strengthens Santee’s “growth environment” |

SANTEE – Santee City Council has given first reading approval to an ordinance to amend its official zoning map to provide for general commercial development and the construction of a planned residential development along the old Number Six Highway.

“About a third of the property is already in town, and the other was out of town. This is done in three areas. The front portion of this property is on Highway Number 6 towards Eutawville. All properties that face Number 6 will be commercial, and all properties in the back will be residential,” Santee Mayor Donnie Hilliard said.

Hussey Gay & Bell, based in Mt. Pleasant, is the developer of the project. Super Land Holdings LLC is the entity that sold the land to the developer, Hilliard said.

According to the South Carolina Secretary of State’s online records, Super Land Holdings LLC was incorporated on December 27, 2019. The company lists James W. Roquemore of Orangeburg as a registered agent.

“The front part, which is commercial property, will stay as it is until someone comes along and wants to build a store or whatever. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but that’s what that front end will end up being once the zoning is finalized,” Hilliard said.

City Council will meet again on February 9 to consider final second-reading approval of the zoning changes.

Most of the land is zoned for single family residences, which will be rezoned for the development of planned residential units, as well as a portion for general commerce. A portion of the land already zoned general commercial will also be rezoned for the development of planned residential units.

“The rear portion of the property will be subdivided into what is called a planned unit development. This is where the developer has agreed to work with the city and try to create an environment where the homes will be something unaffordable instead of building exclusive homes,” Hilliard said.

“A lot of people are upset and say that’s what’s going to happen: it’s going to be a gated community. No, it will not be a gated community,” he said. “The developer has agreed that he will be subject to the restrictions that the council and the city are asking to make the houses a little more affordable.

The mayor said the project will be built in phases.

“Right now they are looking at 50 to 100 units in the first phase. The rest of the property, if they build it to completion…there could be a possibility of building 400 houses on the 69 acres,” he said.

“They are planning this. I don’t see it, but again, it’s me. I am not an engineer. All we (the city council) do is regulate like a regular county or city in terms of getting building permits and what you have after that,” Hillard said. “The city has no investment in this property.”

He said the project is nonetheless welcome because it will help further develop interchange on and off I-95 and US 301.

Spring 2017 included the opening of the new interchange at Exit 97 and the US 301 extension from SC Highway 6 to Interstate 95. The section of road is also known as the US 301/SC Highway 6 connector.

The $45 million project formed the eastern anchor of South Carolina’s global logistics triangle. The Global Logistics Triangle is the name Orangeburg County uses to market the area bordered by I-26, I-95, and US 301.

“The town hall is delighted. It’s part of our overall plan. The City of Santee has been trying for twenty years now to develop an environment conducive to growth. We have this $40 million exchange saying, ‘Here we are, come on,’ but we never really have what I call inventory to try to get people in,” he said.

He continued, “If you have a factory in Santee, there’s no place for people to stay. But it helps us along the way to get to that point. Even with the Dubai project, there seems to be some activity after all these years. Although it’s just outside the city limits, it’s still within the Santee footprint.

It has been more than a decade since Dubai World, the parent company of Jafza International, said it was considering Orangeburg County for a $600-700 million logistics, manufacturing and distribution hub.

Although the company purchased land in the Santee area, the project never materialized as planned following the global economic recession that began in December 2007.

Now there’s movement again at the 1,322-acre South Carolina Gateway Industrial Park, formerly JAFZA Magna Park.

Two blocks have been constructed on the site to house future speculative buildings attracting businesses to the area.

One pad is on a 22 acre site and will house a 250,000 square foot speculative building. The other pad is a 20-acre site and will house a 125,000 square foot speculative building, according to the project’s website.

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