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Real Deal Countertops | 818 Central Ave Unit A, Summerville, SC 29483

866-707-1414 843-832-0819 sales1@realdealcountertops.com

Mon - Fri: 8:30AM - 5:00PM Sat: 8:30AM to 1PM

The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?

At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.

Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in Ravenel, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.

At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:

Kitchen Countertop Installation Ravenel, SC

Quartzite

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Ravenel, SC

Caesarstone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Ravenel, SC

Silestone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Ravenel, SC

Marble

 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Ravenel, SC

Sensa

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Ravenel, SC

Pollar White

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Ravenel, SC

Vicostone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Ravenel, SC

Quartz

We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!

Most Popular Countertops in Ravenel, SC

Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.

Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:

Marble Countertops in Ravenel, SC

There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.

  • Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
  • Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
  • Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Kitchen Countertop Installation Ravenel, SC
 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Ravenel, SC

Granite Countertops in Ravenel, SC

When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.

  • Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
  • Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
  • Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.

Quartz Countertops in Ravenel, SC

Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).

  • Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
  • Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
  • Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Ravenel, SC
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Ravenel, SC

Silestone Countertops in Ravenel, SC

A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.

  • Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
  • Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
  • Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver

Quartzite Countertops in Ravenel, SC

Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.

  • Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
  • Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
  • Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Ravenel, SC

Which Countertop is Right for You?

If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Ravenel, SC

How Will You Use Your Countertops in Ravenel?

The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.

  • Do you cook a lot?
  • Do you host a lot of parties?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Ravenel, SC

How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?

Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.

Keep these points in mind:
  • Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
  • Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
  • Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.

The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in Ravenel, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?

You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:

  • Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
  • Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
  • Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
  • If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
  • Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.

Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?

For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.

Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
  • Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
  • Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
  • Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
  • Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
  • Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Ravenel, SC
Kitchen Countertop Installation Ravenel, SC

Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:

Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Ravenel, SC  Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Ravenel, SC

Countertop Remodeling Done Right

At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in Ravenel, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.

The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in Ravenel, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.

What Clients Say About Us

Ready to get started? Have questions about our inventory?

We're here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to give our office a call today at 866-707-1414 Before you know it, you will be ready for your new set of Real Deal Countertops!

Contact Us

Latest News in Ravenel, SC

MUSC provides much-needed dental services

Tooth pain is nothing to laugh – or cry – about.A few months ago, Ravenel, South Carolina, resident Maurilia Basurto experienced some pain on the right side of her mouth. Never having been to a dentist before, she tried to ignore it until the pain got increasingly worse.After dropping off a neighbor to receive prenatal care at the Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach’s Women’s Health Clinic, she learned that the facility offered dental services as well. She made an appointment and was recently evaluated ...

Tooth pain is nothing to laugh – or cry – about.

A few months ago, Ravenel, South Carolina, resident Maurilia Basurto experienced some pain on the right side of her mouth. Never having been to a dentist before, she tried to ignore it until the pain got increasingly worse.

After dropping off a neighbor to receive prenatal care at the Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach’s Women’s Health Clinic, she learned that the facility offered dental services as well. She made an appointment and was recently evaluated for her tooth pain and quickly scheduled to see a specialist during the Jan. 13 endodontics clinic sponsored by Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and the MUSC James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine.

The program marks a return of full endodontic services to the clinic after an extended period, closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Theodore Ravenel, D.M.D., associate professor in the Department of Oral Rehabilitation and director of postgraduate endodontics in the Division of Endodontics.

Basurto was evaluated by endodontist resident Kyle Williams, D.D.S., assisted by volunteer third-year dental student Madison Covington. They talked, took several X-rays and started a root canal of her upper bicuspid tooth. Two hours later, her tooth was almost pain-free.

“Although there are community dental clinics around the Tri-county, none or very few are able to provide endodontic services or the ability to provide root canals for patients,” said Ravenel. MUSC has partnered with the Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Dental Clinic over many years and brings our dental students and now residents to respond to the community’s needs.

Prior to the pandemic, Ravenel accompanied dental students as part of a weekly clinical rotation for 1 1/2 years to work at the clinic with patients. As a precaution, the clinic closed for some time and eventually re-opened for general dentistry needs. For a short time, Ravenel coordinated the services of a few dental students at the clinic to perform root canal work for some patients, but the effort didn’t fully launch.

The Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Dental Clinic started from humble beginnings in a trailer back in 1989. About 34 years later, it’s now located in a modern facility funded by donations and grants and has expanded to include a small but growing dental clinic located in the heart of downtown Charleston to provide dental services to Tri-county underserved and rural populations, free of charge. The MUSC team volunteers its time and services at the clinic at no charge.

During the Jan. 13 dental clinic, the endodontics team treated 23 patients from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a team that consists of six endodontic residents; two third-year dental students, who are volunteer dental assistants; Ravenel, the faculty preceptor; and dental assistant/endodontics program coordinator Vanessa Chapin.

First-year endodontics resident Alex Black, D.M.D., assisted Ravenel and the endodontic team in today’s free clinic.“The facilities here at the Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Dental Clinic are very good. It’s well-stocked and has the basic items we need as well as our own scopes and other equipment we brought to help us do our work efficiently,” said Black. “The dental clinic personnel does a great job screening patients in advance for this clinic. They provided X-rays, notes and conducted some diagnostic tests on qualified patients prior to today’s treatments.”

Endodontists are dental specialists that focus on the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth and use advanced techniques to treat dental pulp, root issues and relief of tooth or mouth pain caused by decay, tooth injuries or abscesses.

In many cases, a tooth can be saved, which will help a patient preserve his or her natural teeth, according to Black. After evaluating the tooth for inflammation or infection, the specialist can perform a root canal to remove the infected tissue and pulp, apply a special irrigant to kill bacteria in the tooth and cover it using a temporary filling. Next, a general dentist will provide a tooth buildup to prepare a permanent crown.

Second-year endodontics resident and chief resident Ann Nicholas, D.M.D., explained their approach to patient care.

“As endodontists, a big thing of what we do is conducting a patient history and review of their present illness. We only get a small idea of what’s going on, based on what we see in a patient’s mouth. It’s important that we talk to the patient about what they’ve been doing, what elicits their tooth pain, etc. That information, plus the imaging, testing and what we see in the mouth provides a comprehensive look at the situation so we can determine the best course of care,” said Nicholas.

Time can also present a challenge for endodontists, according to Nicholas. Unlike general dentists, endodontist don’t have the long-term established relationship typically built with their patients – they only see patients for one or two encounters in order to diagnose their situations quickly and provide relief for their pain.

“Sometimes the diagnosis is not black and white; it’s a spectrum, so it’s a challenge for us to take enough time and take the patient’s health history to determine the best treatment for them,” Nicholas said.

Fortunately, an endodontist’s work can be very rewarding for both patient and practitioner.

“What we provide – relief from tooth pain – is an immediate, tangible benefit. Oftentimes, dentistry focuses on treatment and providing preventive care for the patient. What we provide mostly is emergent dental care that has a huge effect and positive outcome for the patient. It’s impactful and satisfying to be able to especially help this patient population,” Nicholas said.

At the post-procedure follow up, it was explained to Basurto, via the clinic’s Spanish-speaking receptionist-interpreter, that she received a root canal. Williams also explained that she would need a crown and would experience some soreness that could be relieved with over-the-counter pain relief medicine. He cautioned her to avoid hard foods like ice and nuts and to check for any abnormal swelling.

For Basurto, things were already good. The pain was gone, and already, she was smiling. In a few weeks, she’ll return to the clinic with her husband, as they will both receive their first dental cleaning.

Ravenel Curry pledges $10 million gift for Furman’s Timmons Arena renovation

By Clinton Colmenares, Director of News and Media StrategyBusinessman and philanthropist Ravenel B. Curry III has pledged $10 million to Furman University for renovations to Timmons Arena, home to the Paladins’ men’s and women’s basketball programs. The gift is the largest in Furman Athletics history and will be the cornerstone of a $40 million project, funded primarily by donations, to make Timmons a premier venue among mid-major universities in the nation.“Investing in major renovations of Timmons Aren...

By Clinton Colmenares, Director of News and Media Strategy

Businessman and philanthropist Ravenel B. Curry III has pledged $10 million to Furman University for renovations to Timmons Arena, home to the Paladins’ men’s and women’s basketball programs. The gift is the largest in Furman Athletics history and will be the cornerstone of a $40 million project, funded primarily by donations, to make Timmons a premier venue among mid-major universities in the nation.

“Investing in major renovations of Timmons Arena is a wonderful opportunity to invest in our student athletes and the overall Furman student experience,” said Curry, a 1963 graduate of Furman and founder and chief investment officer of Eagle Capital Management in New York. “The plans presented by Vice President of Athletics Jason Donnelly and President Elizabeth Davis will enhance our home court advantage, but more importantly they will improve our competitiveness off the court for talent.”

The 100,000-square-foot Timmons Arena opened on Furman’s campus in 1997 with 3,500 seats for basketball. The first phase of renovations began in September 2021 with coaches’ offices, locker rooms and film rooms. Subsequent phases will include the addition of donor suites; improved student experience; enhanced food, beverage and merchandise concession areas; upgrades to the entrance and exterior; and changes to the court and seating area. A timeline for completing the project will depend on raising the balance of the $40 million total, but Donnelly said more than half of that total has been reached. Furman has partnered with Ken Betsch of Betsch and Associates for architectural design and with Harper General Contractors for construction management.

“Paladin basketball teams are competitive, dynamic and fun to watch, thanks to coaches Jackie Carson ’00 and Bob Richey and their staffs, and to our amazing student athletes,” said Furman University President Elizabeth Davis. “This very generous pledge by Ravenel Curry will help us take basketball to the next level. It will greatly enrich experiences for our students and our fans in the Greenville area. When renovations are complete, Timmons Arena will be a college basketball showplace.”

The renovations will immediately help recruit and retain top talent, Donnelly said. “Improving and expanding the spaces in which all off-the-court activities occur is a critical need in order to elevate the competitive success of Furman basketball.” He said the men’s and women’s basketball teams and coaching staffs have been integral to providing creative direction and design for the spaces. “Their input and expertise have been critical as we have considered recruiting, retention, player development, competitiveness and gender equity for the renovation.”

As teams become more competitive nationally, they can expect more national exposure, which will help raise the profile of Furman in general.

Curry’s gift, and others that will fund the project, also represents Furman Athletics’ shift to being funded by sports revenue and philanthropy, Donnelly said.

Curry, a native of Greenwood, South Carolina, launched Eagle with his late wife, Beth Rivers Curry, in 1988. The company is now a $25 billion investment firm. He and his wife, Jane Moss, continue to support causes through the Beth and Ravenel Curry Foundation. His $10 million gift makes Curry one of the university’s largest living donors and the largest single donor to Furman Athletics. In 2004, a $1 million gift from their foundation greatly enhanced the Chinese studies program, including study away in China, which remains one of the most popular study away programs at Furman.

Curry is a former member of Furman’s Board of Trustees, former chair of the Investment Committee and former president of the Alumni Board. He also serves as a trustee of The Duke Endowment, the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute and the Genetics Endowment of South Carolina, and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Ravenel has repeatedly stepped forward as a leader for Furman University, and he has done so again with this gift,” Davis said. “We are fortunate to have as our alumnus not only one of the nation’s leading investment professionals, but someone who is continually willing to help us develop world-class programs and facilities. The entire Furman community and I are grateful for his generosity.”

Furman Athletics plans to share details of the Timmons Arena renovations, and stories about philanthropic investors in the project, as they become available.

Anyone interested in becoming a philanthropic partner to advance capital priorities for Furman Athletics may contact Erin Wissing, senior associate athletics director/executive director of Athletics Development, at 864-294-3732 or erin.wissing@furman.edu.

Ravenel standoff ends with man in custody after 24 hours

RAVENEL, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County deputies say a standoff that began Tuesday night at a Ravenel home has ended with a man in custody.Michael Shawn Sweeney, 52, is charged with domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, first-degree assault and battery, and four counts of pointing and presenting a firearm, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Knapp said.Deputies took Sweeney, who had barricaded himself inside a home in the 6400 block of Farm House Road, into custody at approximately 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, just over a fu...

RAVENEL, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County deputies say a standoff that began Tuesday night at a Ravenel home has ended with a man in custody.

Michael Shawn Sweeney, 52, is charged with domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, first-degree assault and battery, and four counts of pointing and presenting a firearm, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Knapp said.

Deputies took Sweeney, who had barricaded himself inside a home in the 6400 block of Farm House Road, into custody at approximately 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, just over a full 24 hours after they first responded to the neighborhood.

“SWAT team members made entry in a tactical operation and located him,” Knapp said. “He was arrested without significant incident.”

Deputies received a report about a domestic disturbance involving a weapon at approximately 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 6400 block of Farm House Road, Knapp said.

Two people who were inside the home were able to leave without injury, but deputies learned that Sweeney armed with firearms remained and barricaded himself inside, refusing to come out.

Just before 11 p.m., deputies called in the SWAT team and crisis negotiators as they continued their efforts to establish contact with him.

At times during the hours-long standoff, the man has come out of the home only to walk back inside. On at least one occasion, he was seen carrying a shotgun in front of deputies, Knapp said.

Knapp said throughout the standoff that there was no known danger to neighboring homes, and people who live in the area were allowed to come and go.

Knapp confirmed Tuesday night that they do have knowledge of past arrests and past “domestic-type incidents” at the house.

Charleston County jail records state Sweeney was booked into the jail on a charge of third-degree domestic violence on June 8.

Neighbors and witnesses reported hearing multiple sirens at different points throughout the standoff.

”Throughout the course of a standoff like this, we use various tactics to establish contact with someone inside a home, and that’s just one of those,” Knapp said. “Obviously, for neighbors in this area it can be unnerving, but everything is OK.”

No injuries have been reported in this incident.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

This Month in SC History: Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge opens to traffic

For Bluffton TodayThis July marks the 17th anniversary of the opening of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.The bridge, which connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant, officially opened to traffic on July 16, 2005, following a week-long celebration. The bridge is named after Arthur Ravenel Jr., the former U.S. congressman and state senator who campaigned for the funding needed to construct the bridge.Before the Ravenel Bridge spanned the Cooper River, the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge and the Silas N. Pearman Bridge con...

For Bluffton Today

This July marks the 17th anniversary of the opening of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.

The bridge, which connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant, officially opened to traffic on July 16, 2005, following a week-long celebration. The bridge is named after Arthur Ravenel Jr., the former U.S. congressman and state senator who campaigned for the funding needed to construct the bridge.

Before the Ravenel Bridge spanned the Cooper River, the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge and the Silas N. Pearman Bridge connected Charleston and Mount Pleasant.

Grace Bridge opened in 1929. Eventually, the Pearman Bridge was built alongside the Grace Bridge to alleviate traffic and load limits. Pearman Bridge opened in 1966 to northbound traffic while Grace Bridge remained in use for southbound traffic.

By the late 1970s, Grace Bridge was declared structurally unsound. Additionally, the two bridges were not tall enough to allow for the passage of modern container ships. The state of South Carolina deemed it too expensive to replace the bridges, so the Grace and Pearman Bridges remained in use.

Things began to change when Grace Bridge scored a 4 out of 100 on a safety test in 1995.

In an oral history interview with the South Carolina Historical Society, Arthur Ravenel Jr. recalled, “We got a report from a consultant that the highway department had hired to do a feasibility study on the Grace Bridge. … And I’ll never forget what the gentleman said. He says, … ‘Both structurally and functionally…a perfect bridge is 100.’ He says, ‘The Grace Bridge, in both categories, is a 4!’ And everybody gasped!”

Concerned by this report, Sen. Ravenel returned to the state senate on the single-issue platform of raising funds for a new bridge. Thanks to partnerships with local, state and federal entities, and the creation of the S.C. Infrastructure Bank, Ravenel helped secure funding for the bridge by 2001. The total cost of the bridge was about $700 million.

Following four years of construction, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge Opening Celebration took place from July 9-16, 2005. On July 9 and 10, over 50,000 people visited the bridge for an open house event and had the opportunity to walk on the bridge for the first time. Other events included a black-tie gala fundraiser held on the bridge, an official bridge lighting ceremony, a mile-long display of fireworks across the Cooper River, and a dedication ceremony.

Seventeen years later, the bridge is one of the most recognizable features in the city and popular with locals and visitors alike. Over 80,000 cars and hundreds of walkers, runners and cyclists cross the bridge daily.

On the legacy of the bridge, Ravenel said, “And with tongue in cheek, I tell people it’s the only thing, which in my political experience, it’s the only thing that’s ever been done in the greater Charleston area that no one complains about! Everybody loves the bridge.”

Residential developments expand into Ravenel

This story was originally published in the Oct. 4, 2021 edition of the Charleston Regional Business Journal.A second planned unit development has been pitched for Ravenel, the rural town of 2,700 residents, showing signs that progress is now pushing outward from West Ashley.Residents are concerned the movement could fundamentally change the rural nature of the area they call home.Plans for the Tea Farm Tract, a proposed 400-unit planned development in Ravenel, and the related annexation of over ...

This story was originally published in the Oct. 4, 2021 edition of the Charleston Regional Business Journal.

A second planned unit development has been pitched for Ravenel, the rural town of 2,700 residents, showing signs that progress is now pushing outward from West Ashley.

Residents are concerned the movement could fundamentally change the rural nature of the area they call home.

Plans for the Tea Farm Tract, a proposed 400-unit planned development in Ravenel, and the related annexation of over 3,100 acres of land in Ravenel, were blessed Sept. 16 by the town’s planning and zoning commission, with a recommendation to limit density on over 2,000 acres of land outside the development.

The Tea Farm Tract would sit on 395 acres of land.

Rebecca Baird, who lives adjacent to the property and whose husband runs a grass-fed beef farm on their property, also opposed the annexation and development.

“I’m begging you to not annex this property; it will be devastating for this community, it will change the traffic flow, it will change how we have grown to live in this rural area,” she said.

A public hearing was scheduled be held by the full council and possible vote on Sept. 28.

Earlier this summer, the council approved and filed annexation plans for the Golden Grove Planned Development District, with 381 single-family homes and a commercial area to be built on 597 acres between Highway 17 and Old Jacksonboro Highway.

Similarly, the Tea Farm proposed development would sit along Old Jacksonboro Road and Highway 17, next to E.B. Ellington Elementary School, about 11 minutes from the intersection of Bees Ferry Road and Glenn McConnell in West Ashley.

The site is currently owned by the McLeod Lumber Company.

“We have owned this property for nearly a century…times change, things move on,” said William McLeod Rhodes, president of McLeod Lumber, at the commission meeting. “We would look for a developer who would do it well, and of course all regulations would be done well.”

Representatives from Thomas & Hutton, the land planning firm for the site, said they have been working on the land use plan for the site for a year-and-a-half.

Land planners stated at the meeting that the development may impact wetlands, including a half-acre of “isolated wetlands” on Landover Road.

Nearly two dozen neighbors and community stakeholders — including the Preservation Society of Charleston and The Coastal Conservation League — spoke out against the development at the Sept. 16 commission meeting, which lasted two-and-a-half-hours.

One resident said he would move away from Ravenel if the Tea Farm development was approved.

Others questions why 3,000 acres needed to be annexed for a project a fraction of that size and expressed concern that the town was setting itself up for a larger buildout on the site.

Opponents cited disruption to the site’s wildlife and wetlands, potentially impacting the nearby Charleston County Parks’ Caw Caw Interpretive Center, as well as increased traffic and strains on the area’s sewer system, which could potentially lead to future flooding issues.

“That’s just an incredible amount of land that can be developed like this,” said Tim Blackwell, who spoke at the meeting. “This could start a program where it will cascade (with) partnerships and LLCs adding another 1,000 acres. Once you start this, you’re going to ruin what you’ve got and what Mount Pleasant wishes what they had. We’re going to have Highway 17 South look like Highway 17 North.”

Thomas & Hutton presented a complete plan with renderings of sidewalks, streets and bike lanes. Plans include single-family homes and townhomes, parks and open space, a community center and 16 acre-commercial area that could support a grocery store.

The Tea Farm plan calls for slightly more than two single family homes per acre, and, when combined with townhomes, comes out to six units per acre overall. The density of Golden Grove is three homes per acre.

The board’s conditional recommendation was to limit density to one home per 25 acres in the 2,700 or so acres not expressly in the Tea Farm development, as outlined in the Charleston County’s comprehensive plan for Ravenel,

Rhodes did not return an email from CRBJ, asking if he was agreeable to the density amendment by the commission.

At the meeting, however, he shared that the McLeod family has additional tracts totaling 1,350 acres, but they are not seeking that to be annexed at this time.

In his opening statement, town administrator Mike Hemmer tried to quell some concerns about the development, including that the town does have the capacity to run sewer to the planned development and that existing sewer line limits mean the remaining 2,000 acres could not be built out in full.

During public comments, only one citizen spoke in favor of the Tea Farm development at the meeting: resident Todd Johnson, who said he’s lived in the area for 20 years. He said the development will bring younger people to the area.

“I think it’s a great idea for the young people coming up; they need a place to live and work,” he said. “Everything is growing out this way anyway. I think it’s a wonderful idea and I’m glad for the town to continue to grow. We need to grow.”

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