For a concise overview of Daniel Island – from its history and master plan to a summary of its neighborhoods, amenities, schools and current population – review this summary of important Daniel Island facts.
Daniel Island is an award-winning island town located within historic Charleston, South Carolina. Integrated with the island’s natural beauty are traditional neighborhoods, community parks, bicycle and walking trails, schools and churches, retail businesses, a library, corporate offices, a private country club, two professional sports facilities and world-class recreational opportunities. Recognized with an “Award for Excellence” by the Urban Land Institute, the community is a national model for smart growth.
4,000-acres, surrounded by 23 miles of rivers, creeks and waterways.
Conveniently located in the center of the Charleston region, Daniel Island is just 15 miles from Charleston’s historic district and 8 miles from the airport. The area’s Atlantic beaches and most other popular local attractions are within a 20-minute drive. Daniel Island is directly accessible via I-526 (the Mark Clark Expressway) at Exit 24 (the Daniel Island exit).
Construction on the first homes on the island began in 1996.
First inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Etiwan, the island was granted by the Lords Proprietors of England to Robert Daniell (who later became the governor of the colony of Carolina) in the late 17th century. It was eventually divided into several large plantations and used mainly for farming. The Guggenheim family of New York purchased it in 1947 for cattle ranching and use as a hunting retreat. In 1971 the land passed to the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, which sponsored the creation of a master plan. The island was sold to the Daniel Island Company in 1997 and is being responsibly developed in accordance to the vision outlined in the master plan.
Unique among master planned communities, the ownership behind Daniel Island has remained stable since the 1990s. Comprised of a number of prominent individuals and entities, including Frank W. Brumley and Matthew R. Sloan of The Daniel Island Company, Crow Holdings (the holding company of the Trammell Crow family), Greystar Capital Partners and J. Ronald Terwilliger (the former national managing partner of Trammell Crow Residential), all share a common vision and goal of long term value creation.
Day-to-day development activities on Daniel Island are being managed by the DI Development Company, one of the most experienced community development teams in the southeast.
Daniel Island is intended to be a natural extension of the City of Charleston, providing a self-sustaining regional center that offers a complete range of residential options as well as places for businesses and opportunities for recreation, shopping, dining and more. Traditional planning and design principles ensure the creation of an authentic community that fits naturally within its regional context.
Daniel Island has been recognized with numerous accolades for its outstanding community design and recreational amenities, including being named the Nation’s Top Suburban Smart Growth Community by the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) and a “Top 100 Golf Community” by Travel & Leisure Golf magazine. In 2007 the Urban Land Institute named Daniel Island among ten “Awards for Excellence” winners, the real estate and land planning industry’s most prestigious award.
Homes & Neighborhoods
With sidewalks, front porches, ample setbacks and community-linking bike paths, the neighborhoods of Daniel Island were designed with traditional precepts in mind. Homes, homesites, townhomes and condominiums are available at a wide range of price points. Daniel Island Park is the island’s country club neighborhood, featuring the social and recreational offerings of the Daniel Island Club, including private golf courses by Tom Fazio and Rees Jones.
The island’s downtown has become a popular residential choice for those seeking a more urban setting. A variety of condominium choices offer convenient proximity to shops, restaurants and recreational attractions.
Number of Households & Overall Population
The current breakdown (as of 1/2015) of households on the island is as follows:
- 2000 Single-family Homes
- 250 Townhomes
- 920 Condominium Units
- 586 Apartment Units
Approximately 10,000 residents currently call Daniel Island home. The island’s daytime population is currently approximately 14,000, which includes residents, students and employees of island businesses. The island will eventually be home to approximately 15,000 residents.
Homes on Daniel Island are built by the finest independent builders in accordance with design guidelines set by Daniel Island’s Architectural Review Board.
The Island’s Master Plan ensures that Daniel Island builders are carefully chosen for their credentials, knowledge and experience.
Parks & Greenspaces
Great care has been taken to preserve Daniel Island’s natural environment in the form of more than 400 acres of parks and open greenspaces. Daniel Island is also home to a Riverwalk, being built in stages along the edge of the Wando River, and a nature preserve which offers a quiet refuge for native wildlife.
Daniel Island Club – The Island’s private in-town country club is home to two nationally-ranked golf courses. The Beresford Creek course, designed by Tom Fazio, has been ranked among the country’s 50 best residential courses by Golfweek magazine. The Ralston Creek course, designed by Rees Jones, was ranked among the country’s top ten “Best New Private” courses by Golf Digest. Additional amenities for members include a golf learning center, golf clubhouse, on-site luxury accommodations for Club members and guests, and the Park Club, housing the club’s swim, tennis and fitness offerings. The Daniel Island Club is the primary social and recreational amenity of Daniel Island Park, the exclusive neighborhood located on the north end of the island.
Family Circle Tennis Center – Featuring 17 tennis courts available to residents year-round and a stadium court that seats over 10,000 spectators, all in a waterfront park setting. The tennis center is home of the internationally televised Family Circle Cup women’s tennis tournament each April. Throughout the year, it hosts a variety of outdoor cultural events and concerts by national recording acts.
Blackbaud Stadium – This state-of-the-art soccer stadium is the home of Charleston’s professional soccer team, the Charleston Battery, and the site of a series of special events throughout the year.
23 Miles of Rivers and Creeks – Private and community docks and community boat ramps draw islanders to the water for boating, fishing, crabbing and other aquatic pursuits.
Parks – The island is home to more than 20 parks offering a wide range of recreational options, including swimming, tennis, soccer, basketball, volleyball, canoeing, kayaking and more.
Bicycle and Walking Paths – Over 20 miles of trails and paths connect neighborhoods, parks, the waterfront and downtown areas.
Bellinger Island – Offering a quiet and pristine waterfront refuge from which to observe wildlife.
Downtown Daniel Island
Located in the center of the island and offering convenient access to all neighborhoods, the island’s downtown offers a myriad of businesses and services and is home to the headquarters of some of the region’s top employers.
Retail Businesses & Services – Currently include a Publix supermarket, several banks, a gas station, a day spa, beauty salons, boutiques, wine and gourmet shops, more than a dozen restaurants and much more. A wide array of medical offices and fitness, music and karate studios are also located in the island’s downtown.
Corporate Headquarters – Daniel island is home to some of the area’s largest employers, including Blackbaud, BenefitFocus, the National Golf Course Owners Association and more.
Churches – Daniel Island is currently home to two churches: Providence Baptist Church and Church of the Holy Cross, an Episcopal church.
Daniel Island is served by the Berkeley County school system. The schools in this system have an enviable reputation for their facilities, student-teacher ratios, uncompromising commitment to excellence and impressive technology resources. Students living on Daniel Island attend the K-8 Daniel Island School (see below) and Hanahan High School, located in nearby Hanahan.
Daniel Island itself is home to three schools of the highest caliber, offering educational opportunities for children of all ages:
The Daniel Island School – This public elementary/middle school, located within walking and/or biking distance to all island neighborhoods, opened in August 2006.
Bishop England High School – One of the state’s finest private schools, Bishop England offers an outstanding curriculum and award-winning athletics department.
Daniel Island Academy – A private Early Childcare Center for children age 1-4 accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the gold standard for child care.
Daniel Island is part of two municipalities: The City of Charleston and Berkeley County. The city provides police and fire services, trash pickup, road maintenance and traffic signals. Berkeley County supplies the island’s 24-hour emergency medical services. The city’s fire and police departments and the county’s EMS unit operate out of a City of Charleston municipal center in the center of the island’s downtown.
The Daniel Island Property Owners Association is responsible for overseeing the town’s common areas and facilitating communications between island residents, businesses and the developer.