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Former West Ashley School Renovated into Office Space

School sign on brick wall

The former Albemarle School in West Ashley has been converted to 20 office spaces and is already fully leased.  Charleston attorney John Hagerty bought the 25,000 square foot property in 2015 for $1.4 million. He immediately started a renovation for an additional $1.6 million.  Developers named the newly refurbished office space The Schoolhouse.

The Parks Conservancy has leased 4,000 square feet of office space, on the backside of the building, which is adjacent to the Parks Conservancy’s 3 1/2acre Magnolia Park and Community Garden.  The owners of the site envision being able to lease part of the office space for events and use the adjacent park for outdoor functions.

Businesses Attracted to Renovated Office Space

The new office space has restored hardwood floors throughout the building. A variety of businesses leased the former classrooms. Other tenants include a construction contractor, marketing firm, video software company, medical data agency, and tech startup.  A massage therapist, acupuncturist, and other health-related businesses make up a wellness center, too.

The West Ashley Revitalization Commission chairman Peter Shahid is excited about the new office building conversion of the former school from an eyesore on a prominent street corner to a vital and useful space.  “Maybe this is the genesis for something else,” Shahid said in a recent Post & Courier report. “I don’t know but this is great”. The revitalization commission is promoting the development of different venues across West Ashley, encouraging entrepreneurs to consider West Ashley.

The new office space includes high ceilings with refurbished exposed beams.  There is a glassed-in conference room, newly renovated bathrooms with a shower, a small event room, a fully equipped kitchen, and a 250 seat auditorium.

The former school opened in 1944 and remained a school until 1977, serving as a health care facility after that. The building was vacant for about five years before this project began.

Source: Post & Courier, “School-turned office to open fully leased,” by Warren Wise, April 12, 2017.

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