South Carolina has seen impressive growth in its industrial sector for the last few decades. Charleston is no exception. Boeing, Volvo, and Daimler have opened OEM facilities here over the past ten years. Supply chains are growing. Our region supports heavy industry in certain areas. Life science facilities are common now and many more are looking at our market. Distribution and logistics are driving demand for industrial space based on the growth and capital investment by our Port.
While there has been a strong and continuing demand for industrial space in our market, the office market is more erratic since COVID-19 struck. More of us are working from home than we ever thought possible. Now corporate America must figure out what the post-COVID office will look like. Some companies will feature remote work, but many, if not most, appreciate the advantages of proximity in enhancing creativity, teamwork, and culture.
Major city office markets have taken a hit. When employers decide the time is right to return to “the office,” where will that office be? We believe some will opt for a more decentralized approach and look at secondary markets. Due to Charleston’s historic zoning and height restrictions, we have low- and mid-rise office submarkets, including urban and suburban neighborhoods. COVID-19 brought increased vacancy in our office market, while developers will deliver over 600,000 square feet of new space in the next 15 months. We have mixed-use developments that can accommodate office campuses of several hundred thousand square feet. Charleston has swung from a landlords’ market to a tenants’ market.
Charleston continues to be a “talent magnet.” Our steady influx of people continued through 2019. Our incoming population skews young (over 60% between 18 and 44) and well educated (over 40% with a bachelor’s degree and 15% with post-graduate degrees). We do not have official statistics for 2020 yet, but the preliminary and anecdotal evidence suggests these trends continued. This talent influx enhances the labor pool that was already here for financial service, life science, IT, R&D, and professional service jobs. Please add Charleston to your list of cities for your clients to consider as they diversify their office portfolios.
Charleston | SC offers diverse real estate and talent for business success. Please reach out to us to talk about your office projects and any other site selection needs.