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Automotive Manufacturing Cluster Grows in the Lowcountry - Caldwell Commercial Real Estate

Major investments from manufacturers Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have turned the Charleston region into a growing automotive manufacturing cluster, which will result in a $1 billion investment in the local market. Together, the two automotive manufacturing businesses will create 5,300 jobs in the region over the next decade.

Automotive Manufacturing Companies Bring Thousands of Jobs to Lowcountry

Just two months after Mercedes-Benz announced plans to build its $500 million facility in Charleston, Volvo selected South Carolina as its first American plant in Berkeley County. The $500 million facility in Berkeley County will bring 2,000 jobs during the next decade, and up to 4,000 by 2030. Volvo will manufacture the latest generation of Volvo models at the new facility, and expects to complete its first vehicle by 2018.

Charleston Port Attracts Automotive Manufacturing Cluster

The Charleston area was selected over 60 other US locations. The Port of Charleston was a major attraction for the company, based on its strength and experience with automotive exports. The region was also chosen because of the presence of other major automotive manufacturers, a skilled labor force, and pro-business environment.

The Volvo facility will be located on 2,880 acres at the Camp Hall Track along I-26. The remaining 4,000 acres of land surrounding the site is expected to be used for other industrial projects related to the automotive industry.

Charleston Market Conditions Continue to Excel

Market conditions overall for the Charleston industrial market continues to excel. Activity in the market remains strong with over 366,000 square feet of industrial space absorbed during 2015. The vacancy rate is at 6.8 percent, down from 9.8 percent a year ago. The demand for Class A move-in ready industrial space is high, with approximately 825,000 square feet of space absorbed by the local market in 2014. Leasing is expected to be strong and as high as 2 million square feet this year. The demand by automotive related companies is expected to grow with the recent announcement of Mercedes-Benz and Volvo committing to operations in the area. Other users continue to show interest in entering the Charleston market, including light assembly operations, and Boeing-related suppliers and logistic providers.

The higher demand is tightening the market, and pushing rental rates upwards in favor of landlords. Rental rates are expected to grow as vacancy rates continue to tighten and new construction delivers.

If you are interested in commercial real estate in the Charleston region, let us at Caldwell Commercial provide you with our expert guidance in the local market. Email us today at info@caldwellcommercial.com to help you find the perfect location for your business.