North Charleston

Even long-time locals are amazed when they are told or reminded that the city of North Charleston did not even exist before 1972.  With the scenic Ashley River on its western border and the sea-going Cooper River on the right, the city has annexed or redeveloped an extraordinary amount of prime real estate to quickly become the third most populous city in South Carolina (behind Columbia and Charleston).  Yet during that time, the city overcame one of the greatest challenges in the history of Greater Charleston. Until the mid 1990’s, the Charleston Naval Base was the largest employer in all of South Carolina, so when the Clinton Administration included the base in its historic post cold war base reduction plan, many experts predicted gloom and doom for the entire Greater Charleston region. But thanks to visionary planning and reasonable federal support, Mayor Keith Summey’s administration effected aggressive yet balanced growth in industry, tourism, and 21st century community development to prove the experts wrong and avert disaster.

In addition to continuing as the state’s leader in retail sales for 16 consecutive years, the city has developed a new city hub on a previously undeveloped tract of land at the intersection of I-26 and I-526 (the Mark Clark Expressway).  Named Centre Pointe, the new hub includes the 14,000 seat North Charleston Coliseum, the 2300 seat Performing Arts Center, the Embassy Suites/North Charleston Convention Center, numerous hotels, dozens of restaurants and a substantial retail park anchored by the smartly-designed Tanger Outlet Mall.  With the adjacent support of the Charleston International Airport and the still-thriving Charleston Air Force Base (both directly across I-526), Centre Pointe is already enjoying tremendous success by any measure. By 2010, the city expects to have more than 7000 hotel rooms within three miles of the already bustling new “uptown” of Greater Charleston. Also playing a major role in the recovery from a technological and industrial perspective is the city’s former and current partner, the US Navy. By 2004 the new Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (commonly called SPAWAR) became the largest civilian employer in the Greater Charleston area. With several landmark community developments including the Noisette Community Master Plan already under way, North Charleston is transforming right before our eyes.

North Charleston is also home to the CSS Hunley Submarine, and will also be home to the soon-to-be-built Hunley Museum.

In 2007 North Charleston’s population was estimated to be just over 91,000.

Where is it?

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Browse Some Charleston Areas


Positioned at the northwestern edge of Greater Charleston along the west side of I-26, Summerville is a cornerstone of the North Area of Greater Charleston, and is the purest example of “small town America” in the South Carolina lowcountry. Known best as Flowertown USA, Summerville boasts stunning public azalea gardens, rolling landscapes, atypical roadways, and… Read More

Kiawah Island

Both a town and a private resort community, Kiawah Island is quite simply the most highly regarded of all the resort islands of the South Carolina coast, and by offering 5 different award winning golf courses across the pristine island – an island that boasts the largest stretch of ocean front of all the Greater… Read More

Johns Island

Located a 15 minute drive from downtown Charleston via West Ashley and over the Stono River lies Johns Island. This island is the second largest island on the eastern seaboard next to Long Island, NY. It can be described as the least developed land mass in the Charleston area. The locals of Johns Island are passionate… Read More

James Island

Many would argue that James Island is quite possibly the truest representation of mainstream Charleston culture, which is no surprise considering it is just a few minutes from downtown and forms most of the southern shore of Charleston harbor. James Island is bordered by the harbor to the east, Wappoo Creek (Intracoastal Waterway) to the… Read More

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