Uncommonly grand
Statuesque oaks give natural feel to well-placed community off Bees Ferry Road

The Post and Courier

Young professionals, families, retirees and other buyers at The Commons at Grand Oaks will wind up, at the very least, with roomy and solidly built townhomes and "paired ranch" combinations.

But the basics aren't all that builder Portrait Homes has in mind for the 250-unit neighborhood. It also is promoting a host of available extras.

"We have a full array of possible upgrades," said xxxx.

The list includes stainless-steel kitchen appliances, fireplaces, screened porches or sunrooms, hardwood floors, lofts and extra bedrooms. There are 13 floor plans to choose from in the Ashley and Regency designs, beginning in the mid-$190,000s. Purchasers can choose features from a design center on-site.

The lineup of special features at the new West Ashley complex complement such standard attractions as screened porches, smooth ceilings, recessed lighting, kitchen microwaves and one-car garages. The Regency and Ashley duplexes and townhomes range from 1,444 to 2,762 square feet, and prices run as high as $267,990.

Floor plans are the Devonshire, Berkshire, Chesterfield, Edinborough and Franklin, and I and II trims of the Richmond, Whittington, St. James and Nottingham. The units have two to three baths and two to three bedrooms with an optional fourth bedroom in the Nottingham II. Certain models provide stand-out features such as sunken tubs and dual family rooms.

"Sales have been very strong," said xxxx, noting that the builder's marketing efforts began last spring. "There's a really good mix of buyers."

Along with the units themselves, a neighborhood perk is the complex's set of amenities including a swimming pool with a building to change clothes, walking trails and sidewalks.

There are a number of ponds throughout the community, and some of the duplexes and townhomes have water views. Groves of tall trees including draping oaks weave in and out of the townhome buildings and paired ranch houses. Units come with landscaped yards.

The complex's location, within the Charleston city limits, is also an advantage. The Commons at Grand Oaks is across Bees Ferry Road from the new Wal-Mart Supercenter shopping area, which is laid out more like a town center than a discount lot. It is a few miles from major home improvement stores and from Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital.

Charlotte-based Portrait Homes, a division of Pasquinelli in Chicago, specializes in the two-story townhomes and in the duplexes, which it calls paired ranches. Portrait has existing Charleston area developments from Johns Island to Goose Creek.

"We appeal to all kinds of people," xxxx said.

To reach The Commons at Grand Oaks from downtown Charleston, take Interstate 26 west to the Cosgrove Avenue exit across the World War II Memorial Bridge. Follow Cosgrove, which becomes Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, to Ashley River Road. Turn right on Ashley River Road and follow the highway to the left split to Glenn McConnell Parkway (S.C. Highway 61 Bypass). Follow the parkway to its end. Turn left on Bees Ferry Road, then a quick right onto Grand Oaks Boulevard. Follow Grand Oaks until it dead ends at Ashley Gardens Boulevard. Turn right on Ashley Gardens. The Commons at Grand Oaks is ahead. 


The Commons at Grand Oaks.


Charleston County.

Total townhomes


Townhome sizes

1,444 to 2,762 square feet.

Townhome prices

$195,990 to $267,990.

Typical features

--Garden tubs

--Brush-nickel fixtures

--Vinyl siding with brick accents

--Stainless-steel kitchen appliances


--Covered patios

Property taxes

$1,513 on a $225,000 townhome.

Area attractions

Historic plantations and gardens along S.C. Highway 61, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Stono River, Bulow Boat Landing, Citadel Mall, area golf courses, Interstate 526.

Distance to downtown Charleston

15 miles.


Drayton Hall Elementary

Grades K-5; phone, 852-0678; enrollment, 650; certified staff, 41; PACT results, (Figures are for West Ashley Intermediate, which was the fifth grade last school year) 18.3 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient or advanced on English/language arts, 16 percent on math, 12.5 percent on science and 8 percent on social studies.

West Ashley Middle

Grade 6-8; phone, 763-1546; enrollment, 470; certified staff, 59; PACT results, 16 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient or advanced on English/language arts, 5.3 percent on math, 12.9 percent on science and 15.5 percent on social studies.

West Ashley High

Grades 9-12; phone, 573-1201; enrollment, 2,053; certified staff, 156; SAT results, 474 verbal and 476 math. The 950 combined score is lower than the state average (985) and the national average (1021).

Housing Trends

West Ashley outside the Mark Clark Expressway:

Number of sales in the fourth quarter of 2006: 141 (down from 269 in the fourth quarter of 2005).

Average sales price: $248,400 (up from $219,300).

Median sales price: $219,000 (up from $206,400).

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or at jparker@postandcourier.com.

This article was printed via the web on 2/12/2007 9:34:47 PM . This article
appeared in The Post and Courier and updated online at Charleston.net on Saturday, February 10, 2007