Where the next big area to boom in Charleston?

Some experts believe this is where Charleston Development will take place for the next 50 years! 

By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com 
Published Oct. 7, 2015

Charleston-based BoomTown plans to relocate its headquarters from Rutledge Avenue to a new project under development by Raven Cliff Co. on Upper King Street.

The tech firm, which creates software for real estate professionals, announced in a news release it has reached capacity at its 24,000-square-foot space at 635 Rutledge Ave. The company moved to its current office in 2011 and has since expanded from occupying one suite to all six suites in the first floor of the building.

Boomtown is planning to move into Pacific Box & Crate at 1505 King St. (Rendering/LS3P)

This will be the company’s fourth move since it was founded in 2006. BoomTown now employs about 200 people.

The Raven Cliff Co. plans to renovate an 80,000-square-foot warehouse at 1505 King St. into a new office development known as the Pacific Box & Crate project.

“Charleston’s upper peninsula has been our home since the beginning, and we’re pleased to use our own growth to resurrect a structure that has been out of use for so long. ... We are thrilled to finally find a space that will not only allow us to grow our own way and continue to foster our unique culture, but most importantly to find it in our own ‘backyard,’” BoomTown President and CEO Grier Allen said.

The project is named for the first known user of the property, Pacific Guano Co. in 1869, and the most recent owner of the property, Dixie Box & Crating Co.

Raven Cliff Co. plans to construct several other buildings to accommodate other users. A yoga and wellness studio by Ashley Bell and other tenants will join a 10,000-square-foot food hall, which will be spearheaded by Michael Shemtov of Butcher & Bee and managed by Jonathan Ory, who is also relocating his Bad Wolf Coffee from Chicago to the new building.

The entire project will be 130,000 square feet on about 10 acres. It is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Raven Cliff Co.’s plans

A few years ago, Raven Cliff Co. began buying up land along Morrison Drive and upper Meeting Street — sometimes referred to as the upper peninsula, the Tech District or NoMo.

The real estate firm assembled about 25 parcels spanning about 7 acres. Stephen Zoukis of the Raven Cliff Co. said the area was bustling with warehouses and car dealerships a few decades ago. Those dealerships have since relocated to West Ashley, and much of the city’s growth has occurred through suburban sprawl.

Zoukis wanted to create mixed-use commercial spaces in the area, which mostly comprises warehouses, residential streets, empty lots and sporadic restaurants.

“This is the next up-and-coming area of Charleston for the next 50 years,” Zoukis said.

The firm created the office and restaurant development Half Mile North between Morrison Drive and Meeting Street. Half Mile North is now fully leased to tech companies such as Blue Acorn and SIB Consulting, and to hospitality tenants including Edmund’s Oast and The Workshop, a cafe and bakery coming from Butcher & Bee.

The development is still growing. Adjacent to its headquarters at 145 Williman St., Blue Acorn is expanding into an 8,000-square-foot warehouse.  Raven Cliff Co. is also rehabilitating several neighboring homes for additional office space.

DwellSmart vacated its space at 804 Meeting St. and downsized into one of the duplex units on Williman Street, Zoukis said. The Charleston Parks Conservancy also vacated space in the DwellSmart building and relocated to 146 Williman St.

The former DwellSmart building will be become an extension of Half Mile North, Zoukis said. About 40% of the building has been leased. Goat-Sheep-Cow, a gourmet specialty cheese shop, opened a second location there andSGA Architecture also moved in. The remaining space could be used by two tenants or as one large space, Zoukis said.

“We expect great things of this part of the upper peninsula,” Zoukis said in a statement. “Over time as other properties in the Magnolia neighborhood are developed or redeveloped, we think this will become a significant employment center due to the advantages of proximity to downtown as well as other emerging upper peninsula neighborhoods.”

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter