In the area around Bluffton’s booming Buckwalter Place, it seems there’s an active construction site on every corner.
Starting early next year, there will be at least one more.
A Tennessee-based builder has plans for a 248-unit apartment community on a 44-acre property north of Bluffton Parkway, west of Innovation Drive and adjacent to the Buckwalter Place development.
The community, called Mystic Bluff, will feature three-story breezeway buildings with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, Joe Fielden of the building firm J.A. Fielden said recently. Mystic Bluff is expected have a large clubhouse with an exercise facility and yoga studio, a saltwater pool and a dog park.
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The project is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2018, and the first residents are expected late next year, Fielden said.
The apartment complex joins a host of other projects either planned or underway in the area.
Bluffton town leaders have long considered the Buckwalter Place area to be ripe for development – a technology and health care-focused town center to complement the Old Town historic district a few miles to the east.
Buckwalter Place is home to the headquarters of health care management company eviCore, one of the town’s largest employers. It’s “within close proximity to approximately 35,000 approved dwelling units and a future population of approximately 80,000 people within a 4-mile radius,” according to documents from the Bluffton Public Development Corporation.
The Great Recession slowed development to a crawl in the area, but growth has picked up steam considerably over the past several years.
Among the projects in various stages of planning and development in the area include:
▪ A 300-unit apartment community near the north end of Hampton Lake
▪ A 44,000-square-foot Alzheimer’s and dementia residential care facility
▪ An expansion project at the eviCore headquarters
▪ A $22 million St. Joseph’s/Candler medical campus
▪ A Kroger Marketplace surrounded by other retailers and residences
After the announcement of the new St. Joseph’s/Candler medical campus, Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka said, “There is better infrastructure (to support growth in the Buckwalter Place area) than you’ll see in any other place in town.”
The area is becoming a prime location for young professionals looking to live close to work, she said.
Fielden said the hope is that some of those folks will choose to live at Mystic Bluff.
“It’s super exciting,” he said of growth in the area. “... We did a pretty thorough market study and saw a great need” for multifamily communities around Buckwalter Place.