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Developer Planning Massive Community Near Chester, S.C.

Mon October 23, 2006 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

CHESTER, S.C. (AP) A North Carolina developer wants to build a community with up to 8,000 homes in Chester County.

The 6,000-acre site will have two professional golf courses and commercial sites, according to Mel Graham Jr., a developer of Graham Enterprise in Charlotte and nephew of evangelist Billy Graham.

The development will be called Montrose, named for Graham’s ancestor, the first earl of Montrose. It will be near mile marker 58 on Interstate 77, where a new interchange will be built.

It’s a huge development for one of the state’s poorest and most rural counties. Chester County is about halfway between Columbia and Charlotte, N.C. It had 33,228 residents in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The county has received a lot of good economic news in the past few weeks. County officials previously announced that Poly-East, a Texas-based plastics operation, will build a $100 million plant near Richburg, bringing 400 jobs by 2012.

“It was just a matter of time before good things came to Chester,” said state Sen. Linda Short, D-Chester. “And now is that time.”

Graham wouldn’t give a date to start construction. “We will start as soon as humanly possible,” he said. “I can’t give a hard date commitment because as sure as I do, I’ll miss it.”

It will take 20 years to build the development out and the project will have a $2 billion impact in Chester County, Graham said.

The development will resemble horse farms in the hills of Kentucky. It will have a YMCA, pool houses, medical offices, at least one school and 1,000 acres of open space, Graham said.

“We’re all about quality,” Graham said. “We try to do things with integrity.”

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