A Columbia-based company is developing a $50 million lakefront residential community in the Santee area.

Three Twisted Oaks unveiled its plans Monday at the quarterly meeting of the One Orangeburg County group.

"The growth and opportunity we see in Orangeburg with the industrial parks that you currently have and all the international companies looking to come here, you are in dire need of upscale housing," Three Twisted Oaks Marketing and Operations spokeswoman Bernita Jamison said.

The McCords Ferry development is touted as a “multi-generational community with amenities for all ages.” It will cover 691 acres with 1,100 homes/units including single-family homes, patio homes, estates, cottages and apartments.

The project's estimated cost is between $40 million and $50 million. It will be built out over the next few years, as funding becomes available.

In addition to a residential component, developers say the project will include nature walking trails with proposed connectivity to Santee State Park, retail and restaurants, waterfront dining, boat slips, a community club house with recreation facilities and lighted bike paths.

"We want to create a lifestyle. When you purchase a home, you don't just purchase a home, you purchase a place where you want to be comfortable, where you can raise your kids and where you can feel secure," Jamison said.

Jamison said the project could be like the Hampton Lakes or Palmetto Bluff developments near Bluffton.

Currently, the property has 20 developed lots. The property has a gated entrance with paved roads, street lights and landscaping as well as access to water.

There are an additional 50 lots that can be quickly developed.

Developer Bob Farnsworth said there is currently a home for sale with others soon to follow.

"We are hoping to have properties available immediately," he said.

The property was initially eyed by Hilton Head-based Blackwater Development, which was formed in 2000 with the intent to build between 650 or 750 single-family residential homes including villas to overlook the cove on Lake Marion, while patio homes and cottages would be set among the forested landscape.

The $300 million Blackwater at Lake Marion development project never did get off the ground, reportedly due to economic challenges and health issues with project officials.

"There is so much potential with the land and with what can be done,” Jamison said.

One Orangeburg County Commercial, housing and retail task force co-chair Jim Johnson said, "It is refreshing to see this group, Three Twisted Oaks, come along. That is what we need. We need more housing developments and more people willing to invest and step forward."

The company's website is www.threetwistedoaks.com.

Also during the meeting, One Orangeburg County leaders provided updates on various efforts.

Highlights include:

* The One Orangeburg County website has launched: www.oneorangeburgcounty.org. It carries the motto “Live and live well.”

* Efforts to improve the gateways into the city of Orangeburg, especially at I-26 and U.S. 601, are continuing. The first intersection mast arm has been constructed. The plans are to beautify and modernize the U.S. 601 corridor from the interstate to the colleges and universities in Orangeburg.

* A non-profit youth summit is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College small auditorium. The summit will seek to gather all area non-profit organizations that help with youth in an effort to better coordinate efforts to promote youth programs locally.

There are also plans to develop a mentor volunteer training program for any individuals dealing with youth in the county's school districts, churches and businesses. A volunteer management system will keep track of the volunteer hours countywide.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.


Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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