With so much development going on in Charleston and its surrounding areas, you might have heard the term transitional neighborhood a few times. Every once in a while, a neighborhood will undergo a revival of sorts. As any real estate agent can tell you, most neighborhoods follow a cycle. They start out new and shiny and popular. When the novelty and popularity wear off, these neighborhoods may decline in value. Over time, they may show a lack of maintenance and pride of ownership, and oftentimes become hotbeds of crime. Eventually—whether it takes a few years or a few decades—people might notice potential for growth and begin to clean up these areas. Depending on your outlook, a transitional neighborhood can be beautiful, intimidating, or even scary.
Let's take a look at some transitional neighborhoods in Charleston. King Street is known for deluxe shopping, gorgeous architecture (as is most of downtown), and spectacular options for dining and drinking. Not many years ago, trekking north of Calhoun Street, past Francis Marion Square, meant your options dwindled exponentially. Buildings were in all states of disrepair, and it definitely wasn't one of the safest areas of downtown. Now, however, Upper King is a breeding ground for various culinary delights, upscale bars, and one-of-a-kind shops. Businesses have taken advantage of the previously ramshackle buildings, snagging them for better prices than those south of Calhoun, and a veritable renaissance has occurred.
Park Circle in North Charleston has also made a comeback over the last few years. Decades ago, this neighborhood in North Charleston was a nice area for families to live in. Then the quality declined and the crime rate rose. As crime came under better control, would-be business owners and residents began to sit up and take notice of Park Circle's potential. Neighborhoods were cleaned up, parks were constructed or given facelifts, and even new construction moved in. Now Park Circle plays host to a bevy of trendy restaurants and bars. Another transitional area in Charleston is downtown's Eastside. According to an article in the Charleston City Paper, crime in this neighborhood has drastically reduced, and young people—especially college students—looking for cheap housing are moving in. It looks as though this area housing the well-known America Street is in the beginnings of a renaissance as well. While some people might find areas like the Eastside somewhat sketchy still, there is so much character and local culture to be found there.
What do you think of buying a home or business in a transitional neighborhood? Have you been drawn to another transitional area in the Lowcountry?