A Hilton Head Island entrepreneur is looking across Calibogue Sound toward Daufuskie Island for his next business venture, one he says will include up to 500 new homes, at least three new businesses, a ferry service that would carry workers to Hilton Head Island and an “ocean-oriented eco resort.”
But first he must raise $30 million to buy more than 1,000 acres spread over two sites on Daufuskie.
Roger Freedman, a former corporate executive and current owner of Broad Creek Marina and Zipline Hilton Head, said Tuesday he plans to raise investment capital.
While he acknowledged that there “are certainly people who don’t want anything to change, I think people on the island will be very pleased if we are able to accomplish this.”
If he is able to secure investors, Freedman said he expects to partner with developers to build the various aspects of the project.
He estimates the construction time frame at about two years.
Under the banner of the newly formed Daufuskie Island Development company, Freedman is looking to raise $30 million for development on a 365-acre site in the Oak Ridge area and a second 735-acre parcel on the island’s Webb tract.
According to Freedman’s plans, the larger parcel will be the future of home of a mixed-use development that would include a grocery store and pharmacy, a restaurant, and up to 500 new houses.
“The Webb tract ... has a pre-existing agreement with the (Beaufort) County that permits nearly 900 units to be built on the site,” according to the Daufuskie Island Plan, a document aimed at guiding growth adopted by the county in 2010. “Currently, this area is envisioned as the primary portal or gateway to the island.”
Freedman said his intent is provide the land for the 500 homes to a third-party developer free of charge, so long as the homes are affordably priced.
“The primary focus (for this proposed new neighborhood) is to provide housing for people who work on Hilton Head,” he said.
Those new residents would get to and from work at Hilton Head’s resorts, restaurants, and other employers using a new ferry service that would embark from a terminal envisioned for a site near Broad Creek Marina.
According to the county’s Daufuskie Island Plan, “intense, mixed use development is (to be) clustered around ferry landings in the spirit of a great riverfront or seaside town.”
In addition to the mixed use development at the Webb tract site, Freedman’s plans include an “ocean oriented eco-resort” focused on cultural tourism, Gullah history, and “glamping” — “glamorous, high-end camping,” he said.
“I love what Daufuskie represents,” Freedman said. “It is sort of like going back and time and creating a unique experience for people.”
Freedman said he realizes his vision is quite ambitious.
“You can succeed or fail, those are really the two options in business,” he said. “But if you don’t try you can never succeed.”