Hunt Real Estate Capital, Iron Bridge Capital, LLC, and the Charleston Digital Corridor announced in July the commencement of construction of the Charleston Tech Center (CTC), an architecturally modern, six-story office building located in Downtown Charleston, SC. The CTC is targeted to start-up, early-stage, and mature tech companies. The development of the CTC, a 92,000-square-foot building scheduled for completion in late 2020, includes an adjacent 816-space parking garage that will be owned and operated by the City of Charleston.
The development team has partnered with Hunt Real Estate Capital, a division of Hunt Capital Holdings and leader in investing, financing, and managing commercial real estate throughout the United States, for equity financing; Synovus was selected for debt financing.
The CTC will offer companies a unique combination of high-quality space, large floor plates, attractive amenities, and an accessible downtown location. The Charleston Digital Corridor, whose diverse offerings will allow tech-focused companies to grow through this landmark building, will be the anchor. The CTC development will include a mix of lifestyle retail and restaurant uses on the ground floor, conference facilities, and a rooftop terrace.
“The CTC represents a significant milestone for Charleston’s tech economy, one that has grown from 17 companies in 2001 to over 450 today. With this building, we are well-positioned to serve an expanded base of tech companies through a broader offering of business, professional, and education services,” said Kirk King, Charleston Digital Corridor Chairman.
Bobby Hitt, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce, added, “South Carolina’s technology sector is booming, with more than 7,400 tech-based businesses pumping $12.6 billion into the state’s economy. The Charleston Tech Center will be a creative hub that fosters ingenuity and gives innovative companies a place to plant their roots. Partnerships like this will further support, attract, and advance South Carolina’s technology-focused and entrepreneurial business environment.”
The project is located in the evolving Upper Peninsula of Charleston in a federally designated Opportunity Zone. The development comprises a collaboration between the City of Charleston, the State of South Carolina, the federal Opportunity Zone incentive, the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation, and the private sector that has been five years in the making.
Commenting on the project, Tim Scott, United States Senator for South Carolina, noted, “The Charleston Tech Center is a prime example of my Opportunity Zone initiative coming to life. When the private and public sector come together to invest in some of the most overlooked parts of our nation, big things can happen. I’m looking forward to the new jobs, small businesses, and potential that this partnership will bring to the Holy City.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenberg added, “Building on the proven model of the Flagship business incubators, the Charleston Tech Center will provide much-needed space to help support and grow our entrepreneurial technology sector, while enhancing the vitality of the Upper Peninsula.”
“The Tech Center project is a great fit for Iron Bridge Capital and our focus to work with states and municipalities to develop projects that have a positive community impact while also being economically viable. We are excited to be a part of the CTC project that will help promote the technology industry and create higher paying jobs in Charleston for many years to come,” said John Hand, Iron Bridge Founder & Managing Partner. “We are excited about the early interest in the project, including 4-5 space commitments in progress and a full floor committed to the CDC for its Flagship 3.”
The project is one of the first developments in Charleston, SC to commence construction under an Opportunity Zone structure.
“We are thrilled to provide Opportunity Zone equity financing for this unique project,” noted Rachel Diller, Senior Managing Director at Hunt Real Estate Capital. “This project meets our thesis of backing inclusive economic growth, and we are excited to be a part of a collaboration between the Charleston Digital Corridor, the City, the State, and the federal Opportunity Zone program.”