WHEN DECIDING WHERE TO RETIRE in the Lowcountry, is it even a contest? Cresswind Charleston was named one of the 50 best master-planned communities in the United States by Where to Retire magazine.
Since opening in 2013, the development for adults 55 and older has been turning heads with its amazing amenities and fabulous light-filled floor plans set amongst the great outdoors.
All of the action takes place just 30 miles outside of downtown Charleston in Summerville. Cresswind Charleston is located within a larger master-planned community called The Ponds, which is nestled against a 1,000-acre nature conservancy never to be developed.
“When you drive into our community, the nature really sets it off,” says Jeff Vandewiel, project director of the Charleston division of Kolter Homes. “Typically, developments will clear out the older trees, but we kept the 100-year-old oak trees. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen in this market.”
Cresswind Charleston’s natural surroundings provide more than beautiful aesthetics, they offer outdoor diversions like walking trails through the woods and fishing and kayaking on natural waterways, including Village Pond and Shultz Lake, which feeds the Ashley River.
Cresswind Charleston residents can avail themselves of The Ponds amenities, which are centered around The Farmhouse, a revitalized homestead built in the 1800s. Cresswind Charleston, of course, offers its own amenities exclusively to its residents. Amongst common attractions like swimming pools, a fitness center, bocce ball and tennis courts, residents will find more rare options.
Ever heard of pickleball? Cresswind Charleston has courts for this tennis and Ping-Pong mash-up, which claims to be the fastest-growing sport in the country. An on-site lifestyle director oversees music and cultural programming in Cresswind Charleston’s amphitheater, and residents can book the space for their own functions and performances. Amateur artisans also have access to a pottery studio and demonstration kitchen at the clubhouse.
“We have a 12,000-square-foot amenity center, and we’re fully geared toward active adults,” Vandewiel says.
After a long day of fun, residents can relax and unwind in their beautiful homes. The 600-home community offers nine-floor plans, all modeled on-site, that feature Lowcountry-style architecture and accents. Floor plans are all single story and range in size from 1,400 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet.
The light-filled houses boast open floor plans and “focal point design,” with windows, doors and cabinets all at the same height. “Visually it looks more uniform,” Vandewiel says.
A number of upgrades come standard at Cresswind Charleston, including granite or quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and full-tile master showers.
Additionally, Cresswind Charleston homes are equipped for the latest tech conveniences. The standard package includes home security system wiring and a “smart” doorbell with a built-in camera. Residents can opt to upgrade for more home automation, including thermostats, audio systems and lighting, all controlled by a smartphone.
“The in-home cameras and whole-house lighting controls are great for when you’re out of town,” Vandewiel says.
Personalization is at the heart of the Cresswind Charleston experience. Future residents can choose from a half-dozen interior wall colors and a dozen exterior color schemes. There are multiple exterior finishes per floor plan, including stone or brick veneer. Several lighting upgrades, tile options and molding trims are also on offer.
Perhaps the best part of the Cresswind Charleston package is the carefree lifestyle that this community affords. A low monthly HOA fee includes the standout amenities previously mentioned, as well as all lawn care, landscaping, trash and pest services.
“We’ve really separated Cresswind Charleston in this market as the place people want to live,” Vandewiel says.*
Alaena Hostetter is a content strategist, editor and journalist who writes about art, design, culture, music, entertainment and food. She can be reached via her website alaenahostetter.com.