Market Overview

The Charleston MSA continues to enjoy healthy, robust growth in the retail sector. Our survey indicates that the retail market in Charleston, SC MSA has exceeded 14.5 million square feet including enclosed malls. In keeping with this trend of expansion, occupancy rates for the MSA, including enclosed malls, hovers at 90.5%. As in other markets in the southeast, newly constructed space is being leased at “top of the market” rents due to demand as well as rising construction prices and impact fees levied by municipalities and being absorbed by developers. Lured by consistent growth in population and employment, retailers, existing and those new to the market, continue to seek additional sites.

Peninsula Charleston

The Peninsula Charleston submarket continues to be the heartbeat of Charleston’s “Soho of the South” reputation. Upper King Street, recently a blighted area not on the radar screen of credit retailers, has experienced a renaissance based on growth in the hospitality and design categories. The opening of a new freestanding Piggly Wiggly starts the redevelopment of upper Meeting Street that will also include the "Midtown" project which calls for hospitality, office, and retail components as well as a parking garage. The grand opening of Urban Outfitters in the Garden Theater, south of Calhoun Street, scheduled just before Christmas 2005, has created a buzz. More redevelopment will take place with the $12 million acquisition early this year of Millennium Center at the corner of King and Calhoun Streets. This project will replace the current improvements with a new structure comprised of retail, office, and residential condos with onsite parking further enhancing this intersection as a major destination.

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