Southern Land Company Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony for First Charleston Project

January 21, 2020 – Southern Land Company (SLC) recently celebrated another milestone in its 33-year history, this time at a groundbreaking ceremony in Charleston, SC.  This development, named The Society At Laurens because of the surrounding street names, marks SLC’s first project in Charleston or South Carolina.

During the event numerous renderings and a site plan were on display; the name, brand and tagline, which were developed by Rocket Brand, were also revealed. Guests were served light snacks, coffee and water under a tent adjacent to the construction site. Michael McNally, SLC Senior Vice President, Brian Sewell, SLC President and COO, and the Mayor of Charleston, John Tecklenburg each provided remarks during the ceremony.

McNally began by introducing many of those in attendance and speaking about the history of getting the project started: “I received my first e-mail about this project in August of 2016,” he said. This development has involved extensive negotiations between Southern Land Company and neighborhood and city organizations like the Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association (HANA), Historic Charleston and the Preservation Society of Charleston.

“We’ve worked with HANA, Mayor Tecklenburg and everyone at the city, they have all been wonderful to work with and it’s been a great engagement process,” said Michael McNally. “We’ve also worked closely with Historic Charleston, the Preservation Society, they are both great organizations to work with as well. They held us to a high standard and the result will be a project we all will be proud of.”

Since its founding in 1986, Southern Land Company has continually invested in the communities in which they build, delivering developments that holistically serve the greater region to make a lasting positive impact. This corporate philosophy has been never more evident than with The Society at Laurens.

“Our Founder and CEO, Tim Downey, has done a great job cultivating a culture in all of us at Southern Land Company where we strive to invest in the communities we build in,” said SLC President Brian Sewell. “Our goal is always to deliver projects that create a lasting, positive impact on the cities, neighborhoods and residents that live in them. With The Society at Laurens, we’re honored to join one of the most desired cities in America, Charleston, which Tim has always said is a project he is very excited about. This could not be possible without the entire Charleston community contributing, and we are excited to become a part of that.”

Following his remarks, Brian Sewell presented donations from Southern Land Company to two local Charleston charitable entities: $7,500 to the Gibbes Museum of Art and $7,500 to the Homeless to Hope fund, which was created by Mayor John Tecklenburg to assist homeless individuals and families in transition to permanent housing.

“From the moment I met with your (SLC) folks, I knew that this was a company that was thoughtful, sensitive, and that had a collaborative spirit about working with the community,” said Mayor Tecklenburg. “In my brief conversation with Brian (Sewell) before we started here, it’s so in sync with my comments about Southern Land Company; he said, ‘We have our own Angel Fund to help individuals in need as a company’. I think that just shows the spirit of who they are and how they’re willing to dig in and be a part of the community, and we thank you for that.”

The Society at Laurens is currently under construction and is expected to open in early 2022. For more details, visit