It seems the Chinese have cottoned on to what we already knew about Hilton Head, SC; it is a gorgeous island with high, environmentally sensitive, building standards to which developers must adhere when beginning construction on any kind of building or attraction. Last week – reported the Island Packet on July 10, 2010 – several representatives from two development corporations in China and Thailand, came all the way across the world to Hilton Head and toured Harbour Town, with Ed Modzelewski, Chairman of Applied Technology and Management Inc. (ATM), which has offices in Hilton Head and Charleston.
Apparently, they had all first met each other earlier this year in Shanghai at a boat show (go figure) and the Chinese representatives wandered up to Mr. Modzelewski, and said, “Hello. We are corporate partners developing a twenty-two mile stretch of land along the pacific coast where, up to now, we do alot of shrimp farming. But we want to turn this beautiful coastline into an economic stomping ground filled with marinas and condos and beachside towns and hotels and vacation rentals, but we’ve never done this before and do you know somebody somewhere on this green earth that could show us a model or something of how to build such a community without tearing down every single tree, blade of grass, coconut grove, and rubber plantation?” Or maybe, something similar to that, and in the Chinese language.
To which, Mr. Modzelewski probably responded, “Duh. Hilton Head Island, SC, on the other side of the world, was built up in the 1970’s by the Brothers Fraser, Charles and Joe… and some other people, but the Fraser boys were the ones who were adamant about leaving the wildlife and trees and marshes right where they started and we would just have to put our little roads and restaurants and houses in the little spaces in between the trees and the beaches,” is maybe what Ed Modzelewski said to David Zhidong Li, the head rep of the Vanion Group from China.
All of which led to this great visit from our Chinese friends who want to see how we shake things up in Harbour Town with live music under the Liberty Oak tree, and cocktails, yachts, charter boats, condos, shops, a lighthouse, a golf course, and everything highlighted in lowcountry style. Well, I imagine they collected alot of good notes and tips from all the realtors and builders here, and will be able to use that information when they go home to China and start building their own marina resort development project. I hope we can visit this new place when its done, and maybe get a ‘locals’ discount on a dinner or charter boat or something.