More than four years after buying back the dirt, MeadWestvaco Corp. is breaking ground on what it says will be one of the region’s biggest and most energy-efficent office buildings.

The packaging giant’s Community Development and Land Management unit and The Rockefeller Group plan to mark the start of work today on the 100,000-square-foot structure near U.S. Highway 17A and U.S. Interstate 26 in Summerville.

The four-story project is the first major commercial component of Nexton, a 4,500-acre master-planned community that formerly was called The Parks of Berkeley.

The building will be at the “entry point” for a future mixed-use campus that will include offices, hotels, apartments, open space, restaurants, entertainment and shopping, MeadWestvaco said in statement.

About a third of the space will house the headquarters for Summerville-based MWV Community Development and Land Management, which plans to have the office building certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The company is seeking tenants for the rest of the space.

Nexton runs westbound along I-26 from Highway 17A to about the Jedburg exit. It’s in a part of lower Berkeley County that is expected to be transformed over the next few decades, as growth pressures fuel demand for more housing and commercial space in the area.

While the Nexton name is fairly new, the project has been in the works since late 2008, when MeadWestvaco paid $40 million to buy back the Parks of Berkeley site. Financially ailing Crescent Resources had owned it for about three years.

The property has been approved for more than 13,000 homes.

MeadWestvaco has said it envisions Nexton as a self-contained planned community that will blend residences, businesses, recreational uses and an interconnected road system. It could take two decades or more to complete.

The portion of the property near Jedburg is being marketed for light-industrial employers and already houses a huge warehouse for tire importer TBC Corp.

Nexton is ramping up just as another big delayed mixed-use development — the Daniel Island Co.’s nearby Carnes Crosssroads project — is awakening from the post-recession slumber.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.