The first time I made the trip to Hilton Head from Cincinnati we took exit 8 off I-95. The Exit was not much to write home about. There was a small sign suggesting Hilton Head and Sun City was near as well as a few gas stations with touristy shops. So, we turned towards Hilton Head on Highway 278 and began the 20-minute drive to the Island. About five minutes into our ride, we could see towers that lined the left and right sides of the street. As we passed, we were amazed by the beauty of the entrance. The waterfalls and landscaping suggested that something extraordinary lay behind those entrances. At the time, we didn’t know that we would eventually call this community our home and that it genuinely did offer luxury living at an affordable price.
Hilton Head Lakes has quite a history. Its story began as “The Traditions” in 2005. The original plan included 9,500 homes, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, recreational areas, school sites, and new emergency services. By May of that year, only about 30 homes were built. By January, the bank began foreclosure proceedings on about one-third of the project, and the City of Hardeeville would not allow any further developing of the community until the developer paid the $1 million promised towards the new fire station. The other two-thirds of the development was also in a separate foreclosure.
In 2010, Hilton Head Lakes, who already owned the development on the south side of the street took ownership of The Traditions on the north side of the street, and the development was resuscitated. With the purchase, Hilton Head Lakes could develop a Lake Side, with a higher price point and navigatable boating lakes, and a Golf Side, with a lower price point and a Fazio Golf Course.
The new development still faced obstacles and was slow to develop. But, it was slow and steady that won the race. By the end of 2015, many of the homesites on the North Side were purchased, and construction was booming. By the end of 2017, most of the first phase was fully developed. Enter Latitude Margaritaville.
In May 2017, it was announced that Latitude Margaritaville, a Mintos Development, had purchased the Development of Hilton Head Lakes South (The boating side) to build a new 55+ community. With the purchase, Hilton Head Lakes could now concentrate on fully developing their golf side.
Soon after the sale to Latitude Margaritaville, Hilton Head Lakes began developing a new area inside the development. Also, they have built a new Golf Clubhouse with a Bar & Grill (opening soon), a new Amenities Center with a pool, pickleball courts, a fitness center, and a residents clubhouse (opening in 2018). The development also has one of the best (if not the best) public golf course in the entire area.
As a resident of this community, there are intangible benefits that make this community one of the best communities in the area. The neighbors are social, caring, and engaged. There is no such thing as an outsider here. We are all from different places and backgrounds and in different phases of our lives, but we share the common bond of community. Our social committees organize Euchre, Bunco, Golf, Pickleball, Garden Club, Book Club, on and on and friendly neighbors, that know your name, wave from their golf carts, bicycles, or while walking their dogs. This community is inviting, and I am proud to call it home.
Unfortunately, because Hilton Head Lakes has been a slow and steady development, it fell off the radar of many local Realtors. If you haven’t visited in a while, come to see how it’s changed. If you’ve never been here, come to see what you’re missing. There are some great resale homesites with water views beginning in the 60s which is significantly less than the ones offered at the Sales Office. Any Realtor can give you more information on the resales. And, if you purchase a homesite, you can use the onsite builder or bring in your own custom builder. There is no time limit for building.