The expansion of urbanized areas and the construction of new, more modern commercial areas in and around the Summerville and North Charleston areas of Dorchester County have created challenges for existing and established commercial areas like the Oakbrook area where declining infrastructure and lack of private and public investment have impacted its ability to compete with newer commercial areas.
The Oakbrook Redevelopment Plan outlines a comprehensive, multi-agency plan to revitalize the Oakbrook area. The plan allows for public infrastructure projects that are needed to reduce or eliminate blighted areas.
The objective is to revitalize Oakbrook as an Urban Village/Eco-Tourism Destination. This will be accomplished by focusing on the redevelopment of under-utilized commercial properties into an active urban neighborhood center.
In order to achieve this goal, the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District was created to:
- Improve the transportation and utilities infrastructure
- Create modern streetscaping
- Make improvements to or construct public buildings and environmental, cultural, recreational and school facilities
Tax Increment Financing
- Not a Tax Increase
- Not an Impact Fee
- Method for financing redevelopment in blighted, conservation and sprawl area of Counties
- Uses the incremental increase in assessed value and property taxes to fund public infrastructure improvements in a redevelopment area
- Requires the approval of all taxing entities in a redevelopment area
The Oakbrook area is a priority investment area for both Dorchester County and the Town of Summerville. In order to fund public infrastructure projects in the Oakbrook area a TIF is needed to encourage private capital reinvestment in the area and enhance the current tax base of the area.
The improvements to the Oakbrook area will:
- Make the area more attractive for retail and restaurant activities
- Improve pedestrian and bike safety
- Improve storm drainage around Chandler/Eagle Creek and the Sawmill Branch Canal
- Reduce traffic and improve traffic safety
- Increase public access to the historical, recreational and environmental attractions of the Ashley River Corridor
- Improve public facilities including parks and recreational opportunities
- Implement wayfinding signage
- Bring existing dilapidated buildings up to current building and planning standards
There are numerous public investment opportunities in the Oakbrook area. Below is a list of Redevelopment Projects that Dorchester County has determined should be undertaken to improve the public safety, health and welfare of the Oakbrook area.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Improvements to Transportation Infrastructure including road improvements, stormwater infrastructure construction or improvements and construction of pedestrian and bicycle paths and trails. These projects include, but are not limited to:
- Dorchester Road Crossing
- Eagle-Chandler Bridge Creek Trail Phases 1 and 2
- Old Fort Sidewalk Along Parlor Drive
- Old Fort Sidewalk Phase IV
- Sawmill Branch Trail Extension
- Improvements to Current Public Transportation Park and Ride Areas
Replacement of Existing Sewer Lines
Improvements to Streetscaping
Improvements to Streetscaping including the installation of street lighting, sidewalks, a vegetative buffer, landscaped medians, pedestrian crossings and utility improvements.
Public Buildings and Environmental, Cultural and Recreational Facilities
Improvements to or Construction of Public Buildings and Environmental, Cultural and Recreational Facilities. These projects include, but are not limited to:
- Jessen Boat Landing Improvements
- Town of Summerville’s “Bend on the Ashley” Eco-tourism Center
- Improvements to the Dorchester County property currently operated by the Charleston Battery Soccer Club
- Construct a branch of the Dorchester County Library in Oakbrook
- Improvements to the Dorchester County Fire Rescue/EMS Station on Ladson Road
Improvements to Public School Facilities
Improvements to and/or Construction of school facilities on the Oakbrook Elementary and Middle School Campus including any architectural, design, engineering or land acquisition costs.
Map of the Oakbrook TIF/Redevelopment District