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Denser development needed to attract skilled workers to Charleston, some say

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WRITTEN BY lclark 3 years ago

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By David Wren Post and Courier October 3, 2015 Bryan Derreberry is only joking when he says the Charleston region’s current growth level — a net gain of 43 people moving here every day and a population of 1 million by 2025 — could one day make Orangeburg and Georgetown this area’s farthest-reaching suburbs. That’s because he knows that growth — spurred largely by well-educated, high-tech job seekers — likely would grind to a halt long before sprawl got that bad. “These young people are highly savvy and they know if they are spending more than 30 or 40 minutes in a car making a commute one way or the other, they don’t want to be in that community,” said Derreberry, president and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. The threat sprawl poses to healthy growth is one reason the chamber and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance are promoting the development of taller, denser residential structures close to the region’s top employment centers whenever appropriate. That is the type of housing millennials are seeking and, if the Charleston region doesn’t offer it, Derreberry said, there are plenty of other metro areas vying for the same highly skilled talent that will. “Of the people coming here each day, a significant amount are under 40 years old, and their reality is they don’t want McMansions. They want to see communities like Nexton,” he said, referring to the live-work-play community being built in Summerville, where homes are within biking distance of restaurants, shops and employers like the S.C. Research Authority, an advanced technology center. But while the high-density concept is amenable to many, it can be a tough sell in reality. Read the full article at the Post and Courier Reach David Wren at (843) 937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_
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