Bigger Ports. Bigger Ships. Bigger Buildings.

Key Takeaways

  • Bigger logistics is leading to larger buildings.
  • Sheep Island Interchange will unlock industrial land.
  • The first post-Panamax ship traveled through the Panama Canal Expansion.

Larger Speculative Buildings to Come

Increased activity in the Charleston market from larger tenants, the construction of a larger port, the expansion of the Panama Canal and the introduction of post-Panamax ships to the Port of Charleston have led to larger buildings. Over the last five years, 16 buildings over 100,000 square feet have delivered in the Charleston market, 10 of those have delivered since 2015. In 2007, most speculative construction was between 100,000 and 350,000 square feet. Today, developers are constructing buildings between 150,000 and 350,000 square feet but with the opportunity to expand the building to two or three times its size. An example is the  Keith Corporation’s building at Charleston Trade Center, a speculative building currently under construction that will be 307,350 square feet expandable to 923,000 square feet. Additionally, construction will begin soon on a new speculative building at OMNI Industrial Campus. The building will be 587,720 square feet, much larger than the standard speculative building in the Charleston market.

Fifteen industrial buildings between 169,000 and 1.3 million square feet are planned at three industrial parks located along a two-mile stretch on Interstate 26 between US Highway 17 and Jedburg Road. At the Rockefeller Group-MeadWestvaco Foreign Trade Zone industrial park, a 520,000- and a 561,600-square-foot building are planned to begin construction in 2017. Charleston Trade Center has seven buildings planned ranging from 200,000 and 1.3 million square feet, and OMNI Industrial Campus has five buildings planned totaling 2.6 million square feet. The planned construction will add an additional 7.3 million square feet to the market along this two-mile stretch.

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