The Charleston metropolitan area is made up of three counties: Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester. This three-county region is home, workplace and inspiration to nearly 728,000, projected to be one million by 2025, voices, talents, passions and ideas. More than half a million people are globally connected through trade, technology and travel – and locally engaged to craft a legacy for the future. The Charleston region is growing and flourishing, yet maintains its rich, historic charm. The region stretches from central to southern South Carolina, some 50 miles (80 km) inland, with 90 miles (145 km) of oceanfront. The area’s economic mix is diverse, combining one of the busiest container ports along the Southeast and Gulf coasts, a $3-billion visitor industry, one of the Southeast’s most impressive medical hubs, a well-established base of national and international manufacturers, as well as a large military presence. As one of only three places in the world manufacturing wide-body aircraft, the Charleston business community is poised for continued, and more, energetic growth in the years ahead. Consistently recognized as a top place to do business, companies continue to locate here to capitalize on the high-quality workforce, low taxes, and quality of life. Arts, recreational and cultural opportunities are abundant, including museums, music, dance and theater, as well as water sports, golf, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and other activities. Abundant restaurant offerings have made Charleston one of the culinary capitals of the world. The city is consistently recognized internationally as one of the top travel and tourist destinations on the globe. Home to four universities, the Charleston region boasts excellent educational opportunities for its residents. The Medical University of South Carolina is one of the top research universities in the country, and the biotechnology inventions coming from this research create an opportunity for growth in this sector. The digital revolution is also alive and well with multiple public and private companies operating in the space sector. This vibrant and energetic dimension of the community attracts young and exciting talent to the region. The Charleston region is positioned to grow very well in the 21st Century.
Charleston, SC is a thriving and vibrant coastal city with a diversified employment base that has fostered steady growth in the Charleston office sector. Its varied submarkets cater to a variety of office users. From larger employers, such as Boeing, in the central North Charleston area, to the high-end service industries seeking the Historic Central Business District, to the sole proprietors desiring the small bedroom community of Mount Pleasant, the Charleston commercial real estate market meets the needs of an expansive and diverse base of office users. Advanced security and IT have become the largest user of Charleston flex space in the area, particularly as defense contractors and related firms have ranked among the region’s largest employers.
Charleston is a city known for its art and entertainment. Over the past decade Charleston has received more accolades as a travel, culinary, and shopping destination than its peers and more than practically any other U.S. destination. From the historic, 18th-Century downtown shops along brick-lined streets to the burgeoning suburban Charleston retail centers to the north and east, Charleston’s three-county metropolitan region blends together the creative, entrepreneurial mindset with the large, national chains eager to be a part of the area’s population growth. As demand for quality Charleston retail space has rebounded in late 2011, new product is beginning to go vertical, most particularly in the areas the Historic Downtown’s Upper King Street, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville.
Charleston industrial real estate sector continues to grow with almost 55 million square feet of space. That includes a strong warehouse/distribution hub anchored by one of the deepest and busiest ports on the southeast coast and two Class I Railroads, NSF & CSX. In addition, a growing manufacturing footprint continues to expand with an aerospace and auto-related sector that leverages relatively inexpensive utilities and a productive, non-unionized labor force. A pro-growth business environment, the most efficient port in the U.S., and highway and rail access to other key markets on the East Coast make Charleston an ideal destination for each of these sectors. Large manufacturers, such as Boeing, Daimler and Volvo now make their homes here, as will their suppliers and vendors over the foreseeing future.