CHAPIN, SC — Homes, stores and offices could sprout soon around a technology hub planned in Chapin.
Plans are in the works to start residential and commercial development on more than 200 acres adjoining the hub as soon as mid-2014, Midlands developer Stewart Mungo said.
The hub also could open the way for another neighborhood adjoining a cluster of schools rising in the Spring Hill area nearby, Mungo said.
Those plans show the hub is going to be a game-changer, spurring growth in the town of 1,500 residents and the largely rural area around it, Lexington County councilman Johnny Jeffcoat said.
County officials are preparing to put in roads and utility services at the hub near I-26 and SC 48 (Columbia Avenue locally) while they recruit computer data firms and related services to settle there.
Mungo isnt sure yet on the type of homes and stores that would be built, but promised the projects will be stuff that blends in with the look of the community.
Living there will appeal as much to those who like the communitys quiet lifestyle and its proximity to Lake Murray as to those whose work in the hub, he said.
The technology hub will rise on a Y-shaped tract of 220 acres extending from near Chapin High north to Brentwood Road. Buying and developing the site is expected to cost $13 million.
The project also sets the stage for partnerships between technology firms and local students, county economic development director Chuck Whipple said.
Mayor Stan Shealy predicts the technology hub will attract a series of small operations with a few dozen jobs each instead of one with a major payroll.
The challenge will be guiding development in the area in line with plans to widen Columbia Avenue eventually, he said.
Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.