CHARLESTON, S.C. — On Sunday mornings about a decade ago, shortly after he moved here, Stephen J. Zoukis used to ride his bike around a ramshackle neighborhood a couple of miles north of the city’s celebrated historic district and wonder why no one had built anything of note there.
The neighborhood, known in the 1850s as Cool Blow Village and now as the Upper Peninsula, was dotted with small houses, warehouses and metal sheds; had only a few sidewalks; and was infused with an air of neglect. Even with easy access from an interstate ramp, the neighborhood “lacked an economic pulse,” he said.
“I thought, why is there nothing here?” recalled Mr. Zoukis, a 62-year-old developer who, as a partner in Jamestown Properties beginning in 1993, made a large imprint on high-end New York real estate. His purchases included the General Motors Building, One Times Square, the Eighth Avenue building that houses Google’s New York operations, the headquarters of News Corporation and the Chelsea Market.