Over 20 years ago, one name occupied the newspapers: I’On. What we see of this Mt. Pleasant community today is an elegantly styled, people-friendly neighborhood designed to engage activity among neighborhoods and offer a lifestyle that invites outdoor living. Sidewalks run alongside homes while neighborhood gathering spots bring families together -- like the I’On Club. At the core of this community’s development was the founding philosophy of new urbanism. This is where I’On got its fame and it’s where the story begins.
Mount Pleasant, by nature, is a bedroom community to Charleston, SC. Known for its quiet suburbs and proximity to both the beaches and historic downtown, it has been a sought after location for many homebuyers. However, with the growth of sprawling neighborhoods rose an inherent livability issue. Subdivisions were springing up all across town, but the sense of community was limited. Vince Graham, Founder of the I’On development community, had an idea to bring "community" back to Mount Pleasant -- utilizing his previous experience with new urbanism in nearby Beaufort, SC. With that, I’On was born.
THE EARLY YEARS
Planning started in 1995 and first construction broke ground in the late 1990’s. I’On was envisioned as a departure from the ubiquitous, generic subdivision and took a different focus than traditional neighborhood planning. It’s sole attention was on creating a "human-centric" community. Not just a place to live, but a place to engage with other residents.
This is why Vince Graham deliberately designed houses to reflect the historic ‘vertical’ homes of the Lowcountry, and it’s why you’ll notice paved sidewalks running alongside homes and streets made narrower by design. The idea is to bring people closer and together.
HOUSE LIVING turned into COMMUNITY-LIVING
Complementing the residential boroughs of I’On are the commercial and community areas. Vince Graham and other associates didn’t want I’On to only be a place to live. They wanted it to be a walkable and environmentally friendly version of a town. So, they designed the area to feature multiple recreational facilities, plus a commercial district known as I’On Square.
With over 30,000 square feet dedicated to office and retail space, residents of I’On can find places to shop and dine -- all within a walking distance of their home. More importantly, they’re tucked within the community, so they don’t have to worry about busy traffic racing by on major roadways. Instead, they can feel safe and comfortable living in and moving through the neighborhood. As a planned "new urbanism" community, I'On means homes closer together on smaller lots, with a variety of recreated period homestyles reflecting a neighborhood that is built over time, most with generous porches for "catching up with the neighbors." I'On features the concept of "neighborhood within a neighborhood" so that you feel a kinship to the people and neighbors closest to you for an more intimate feeling of connectivity.
On the recreational side, you’ll find facilities dedicated to improving health and putting you at nature’s doorstep. This is a true "walk everywhere" lifestyle. Since the community is conveniently located next to the creek, residents can fish from small docks and go on the occasional kayak ride. For family fun and fitness, you can also join the I’On Club, where you’ll enjoy the swimming pool during the summer months or even whack a few balls on the tennis courts.
And lastly, are the social events. I’On has no shortage of them. Based on their founding philosophy and the over-arching vision of new urbanism, they believe residents should continually get together, mingle, and contribute to a better living environment.
Recognized nationally for its innovative community-centric design, I’On is a live/work community and architectural wonder and reflects the standard that has been envisioned for new urbanism planners prior to, and since, its development.
NOTE: In addition to the community of I'On, Mount Pleasant is home to many neighborhoods that deliver a "small town" feel and blend the best of urban elegance with traditional Southern living. If you’d like to visit and experience the I’On lifestyle for yourself, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about what this incredible neighborhood has to offer.
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