Real Estate

Hilton Head residential development to launch after several years on hold

The entrance to Silver Moss on Hilton Head Island.
The entrance to Silver Moss on Hilton Head Island. Southern Lifestyle Properties

A Hilton Head Island marsh-front development put on hold during the Great Recession is finally launching.

But the project has been revamped in light of a burgeoning industry demand.

Silver Moss, originally proposed in 2008 as a community of quad condominium homes, has been reimagined as an upscale, fee-simple development, according to David Brown, president of Southern Lifestyle Properties, the real-estate company developing the plan. The 48-home development is off Spanish Wells Road on the north end of the island.

"When you look at the national statistics, there is a shortage of land," Brown said Monday. "New homes are the hot thing right now."

National construction spending rose 0.6 percent in September to the highest level since March 2008, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report released Monday. Construction of single-family homes rose 1.3 percent. Silver Moss is following that trend.

Fee-simple homes are also more on trend than condos, Brown added. Buyers have full ownership in as opposed to condos, in which the property owners association retains ownership of the land on which the home sits.

Brown and his business partner, Robert Denckhoff, are spearheading the project.

To gauge interest in the new version of Silver Moss, the Southern Lifestyle Properties team held a focus group with 10 real estate experts.

Their findings indicated that upscale, private communities such as Silver Moss are in top demand for buyers -- nationally and locally.

"There's hardly any land left on Hilton Head," Brown said. Opportunities to develop neighborhoods on the island are closing in as a result. Since current homebuyers largely want new construction, he said the timing felt right to launch the project.

"Hilton Head is screaming for new," he said.

Silver Moss homes will range in price from the low $440,000 to mid-$550,000.

There are two model home choices -- the Bordeaux, a one- or two-story structure, and the Saint Emilion, a two-story option that overlooks the nearby saltwater marsh.

Homes will be between 2,200 and 3,000 square feet.

Typical upscale amenities, such as granite countertops in the kitchen, wood flooring and 10-foot ceilings, are planned for the homes, in addition to 400-foot "Palmetto Bluff porches," Brown said.

Forty-eight memberships to the Spanish Wells Club are planned in lieu of a clubhouse facility within the Silver Moss community.

Brown anticipates Silver Moss to be fully developed and sold within two to two-and-a-half years.

This summer, a street sign honoring the late Charlie Simmons, an iconic ferry operator who transported people from Savannah to the island before the bridges were constructed, was accidentally razed during Silver Moss construction.

The Simmons family previously owned the land Silver Moss sits on.

At the time, Brown said it was too late to rename the street -- now Lavender Circle -- Captain Sim Drive. But to remedy the oversight, a garden inside the gated community will be named after Simmons.

"We're planning to design something that will be fitting to what he used to do," Brown said, adding the landscape design is in its early stages. The garden will be at the center of the development, with a plaque honoring Simmons.

Follow reporter Ashley Fahey at twitter.com/IPBG_Ashley.

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