The East Cooper side of Charleston Harbor will soon see the development of an 18-acre parcel that will furnish 1 million square feet of office space, retail, hospitality, and residential space. The Ferry Wharf development, with views across the harbor of downtown Charleston, is being developed by Bennet Hospitality of Charleston and Atlanta-based Holder Properties. The development is already under construction with a five-story 120,000 square foot office building called Portside. The office building is already 45 percent preleased to Serendipity Labs of New York (30,000 square feet) and financial firm Merrill Lynch (25,000 square feet). The mixed-use site is expected to be open this spring.
“I think this surely is going to be the most money spent in one area in our greater Charleston community,” said developer Michael Bennett of Bennett Hospitality during an unveiling ceremony at the site. “Charleston harbor is one of the great harbors of the world…to be able to develop this land on this harbor I take it very serious. It’s a great opportunity for me but it’s a great responsibility for me to do it the right way.”
Plans to develop a $53 million 175-room Embassy Suites at Ferry Wharf Hotel, is included in the next phase of construction and expected to be completed by early 2020. Over the next few years, Ferry Wharf development will build 450 hotel rooms and three hotels, 330,000 square feet of office space, 75,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants, and 73 harbor front residential units, with 48 being built as condominiums.
Citing a Charleston metro Chamber of Commerce report, Bennett said the economic impact of the project, which is projected to be completed in five years, will generate about $391 million annually to the region. Mr. Bennett said the investment will generate tax revenue equivalent to those of 1,200 residential homes.
“This is probably the most expensive real estate in Mount Pleasant right now,” said Mayor Will Haynie. “This is what economic development is for. You bring capital into the town that was not here before that you do not have to turn around and tax the rooftops of your citizens,” the Mount Pleasant mayor added. Mr. Haynie said the town’s vision for this “gateway district” dates back to the 1990s. “This is what you see when you plan and when you stick to that plan and when you have the right people come along to help bring that to fruition. So it’s a great day in Mount Pleasant.”
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