Jasper County officials and private developers announced plans Friday for a 300-acre mixed-use community near the intersection of Interstate 95 and U.S. 17.
Gateway Crossing is projected to take eight years to complete and have a total value of $150 million.
It will feature commercial and residential space, including a multi-phased retirement community to accommodate seniors of varying degrees of independence.
Jasper County leaders hailed the economic benefits it would bring.
"This is an excellent example of how great things can happen when town and business come together," said Hardeeville Mayor Bronco Bostick, who added that he expected the community to expand the city's tax base by $100 million.
Carey Smith, Hardeeville city manager, said the plans are a "significant accomplishment" for Jasper County and smiled as he collected signatures from town and private officials on a document finalizing the deal.
Central to Gateway Crossing's design is a continuing-care retirement community, which will include independent-living and assisted-living areas and a 120-bed nursing care facility. It's the only retirement facility of its kind between Hilton Head Island and Savannah, developers said.
Along the east side of U.S. 17, more than 400,000 square feet of property will be devoted to commercial space, including a grocery store, hotel, bank, pharmacy and restaurants. The retail district will also feature an outdoor stage and seating area, which will host farmers markets, festivals and nighttime movies.
Bike and walking paths will wind throughout the community, much of which will be heavily wooded and designated as a nature preserve.
Charles Washington, Gateway Crossing's director of development operations, said the community will inject vitality and jobs into an area that needs both.
"Right now, I think that Jasper County is sleepy," Washington said. "I hope that today we will wake up the city and breathe some life into Hardeeville."
Washington estimated that Gateway Crossing would bring 600 new jobs to the area, in addition to about 200 construction positions during the next several years.
Washington emphasized that housing options within the development would be affordable, although individual property listings and rents have yet to be announced.
Construction will begin by the end of the year, with work on single- and multi-family units, town homes, and patio homes set to start next year.
Plans call for 435 rental units and 279 units available for sale. Developers said they expect an eventual residential population of 2,300.
"We're hoping for a wellness center on the property, going forward," said Ralph Braden, a managing partner at Gateway Development Partners, adding that the center would have a fitness area, gym and pool for seniors. "We'd like to get people healthy."
City officials also would approve a proposed 10-acre city park near S.C. 46 within the community.
Follow reporter Grant Martin at twitter.com/LowCoBiz.