Kiawah Island is a 10,000-acre barrier island on the Atlantic coast 21 miles south of historic Charleston, South Carolina. This residential-resort community is home to some 4,100 residential properties and a world-class resort. The island’s natural habitat includes 10 miles of beach, 30 miles of marsh and riverhead, and a variety of animal species.
Development began on Kiawah in the mid-1970s when a multi-disciplined planning team was assembled and charged with a single overriding premise – protect the Island’s spectacular natural beauty. To do this, a team of scientists, historians, and environmentalists conducted a $1.3 million study during the course of 16 months. From the study’s findings, a blueprint was crafted to balance the social, recreational, and commercial needs of Kiawah’s future residents with nature.
Kiawah Partners purchased the Island in 1988 and adopted that blueprint as its own. Deciding to focus on the Island’s overall development, rather than the day-to-day operation of a resort, Kiawah Partners sold the resort amenities the following year but remained Kiawah’s official master planner. This enabled Kiawah Partners to focus on real estate and private membership clubs as well as guide the Island’s overall development. The resort, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, remains a wholly separate company that operates five championship golf courses and the Five Star, Five Diamond Sanctuary Hotel.