Named for the prestigious Capt. Robert Daniell whose presence in South Carolina is noted as early as 1678, Daniel Island (zip code 29492) is part of the city of Charleston and located in Berkeley County. The 29492 zip code is an expansive land area of 53.5 square miles, which also includes the communities of Wando and Cainhoy, SC, and had a population of less than 3,000 in 2009. The master-planned city within a city is centrally located on the southern tip Daniel Island between North Charleston and Mount Pleasant, just 10 minutes from either municipality. From downtown Charleston, Daniel Island is a 30-minute commute via Interstate 26 to Interstate 526 (Mark Clark Expressway). It can also be reached from downtown by taking the Arthur Ravenel Bridge to Highway 17 through Mt. Pleasant, which also connects to I-526
In 1946, much of Daniel Island was purchased by Harry Guggenheim, of New York, and used as the family’s winter retreat and a hunting-and-fishing getaway. They also had horse stables and raised cattle on the island. In the 1960s, the Guggenheims leased portions of the island to the SC State Ports Authority (SCSPA) for use as a spoil area to dispose of silt dredged from the Charleston Harbor; the island remained otherwise undeveloped.
During the late 1980s, with construction of the Mark Clark Expressway in progress and plans for an interchange on the island at Clements Ferry Road, Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant became interested in annexing Daniel Island. Until then, the area was accessible only via rural roads through Berkeley County. Daniel Island was annexed into the city of Charleston in 1991. Also during the early 1990s, the nonprofit Guggenheim Foundation provided development guidelines and sold the tip of the island closest to Charleston to a development group lead by Frank Brumley (who is well known for his success in developing the very popular island of Kiawah, just to Charleston’s south). In 1999, construction began on a second off ramp into the center of development on the island, further improving access.
The development of the master-planned community on Daniel Island was hailed as “one of the most important planning exercises in Charleston’s history,” and in just 20 years, the area duly fulfils Guggenheim’s vision: walkable residential neighborhoods with spacious sidewalks surround a town center with shops, restaurants and a grocery, and there are schools, parks, golf courses and tennis facilities. All is swathed by breathtaking views of the marshes and waterways.
Today, Daniel Island hosts numerous sporting events, festivals, a farmers’ market and live music. The Charleston Battery soccer team plays at the Blackbaud Stadium on the island, and the Family Circle Tennis Center hosts the Family Circle Cup and other tennis events throughout the year. Area schools include Daniel Island Elementary and Middle Schools in the high performing Berkeley County school district and Bishop England High School, a private Catholic school
Housing options in Daniel Island include a mix of townhomes, custom-built houses, gated communities and other single-family homes. Most homes on Daniel Island were built in the late 1990s through the present and are reminiscent of traditional Charleston architecture styles. Lot sizes range anywhere from 0.15 acre on up to three acres and showcase the natural beauty of the island. Prices range from the low $200,000s for 1,200-square-foot townhomes, the mid-$400,000s to upper-$600,000s for mid-sized homes, and up to the multimillion-dollar range for sprawling, luxury-home mansions. Neighborhood amenities are unmatched in the Charleston area, and many residents get around on foot, bicycle or golf cart.
Major Daniel Island jobs providers include software companies BenefitFocus, Blackbaud and others in the high-tech industry, the Daniel Island Medical Center and various trucking and logistics companies (centered around Clements Ferry Road).