New Roads Bring New Speculative Office Development

The area surrounding Charleston International Airport and Boeing is seeing a boom in new office development and construction. This area between the Ashley and Cooper rivers, and major roads Ashley Phosphate and I-526 represents the majority of major employers, several cultural venues and the Charleston International Airport.  Nearly 40 percent of the tri-county area office market is located here.

The new Airport Connector Road Project at Montague Avenue, a new interchange and the repurposing of International Boulevard are creating new opportunities for growth in the suburban office market, by improving access and visibility for those sites still available for office development.

Traffic is on the rise with the continued investment in office space and a strong economic outlook in this submarket. Airport traffic has grown significantly in the last ten years, with 1.9 million people traveling through the airport in the last year.  This represents twice the number of travelers coming through the Charleston Airport during the last 10 years. Major employers also reside in this submarket, including the Joint Base Charleston (22,000 employees), Boeing (8,000 employees), Charleston County Government and South Carolina Ports Authority. Boeing has increased the number of workers at its facilities by 21.2 percent in the last few years. The Boeing campus has several hundred acres of land still available for development and future growth.

Other major employers in the surrounding area include Bosch (1,800 employees) and Verizon Wireless (1,200 employees). The I-526 corridor contains the 358,000 square foot Tanger Outlets, the Charleston Convention Center, the Charleston Performing Arts Center, the Coliseum, and over 3,000 hotel rooms.

Asking rental rates in this part of town are between $25 to $30 per square foot.  This is well above the average suburban market rate of $23.15 per square foot. To take advantage of the demand and opportunities available in this growing office corridor, Holder Properties is building a 106,000 square foot building in the Faber Executive Park.

The new Airport Connector Road will be completed in time for the dedication of International Boulevard as the exclusive road access for Boeing. Charleston Airport traffic will be separated from the flow of traffic generated by Boeing employees, which should alleviate traffic jams.  The new connector road and a new interchange planned for I-526 at Montague Avenue should improve traffic conditions and allow greater access to this booming area.

Source: “New Roads Spur New Office Development,” Q1 2017 Colliers International Research & Forecast Report

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