It was started in North Carolina, but homebuilder Lael Building Group has uprooted its Winston-Salem headquarters and moved it to the Lowcountry to tap into the region's crop of up-and-coming buyers, officials said.

The company, founded by owners Andrew and Kelly Lael 11 years ago, opened its headquarters in Mount Pleasant to take advantage of the “tremendous growth in the young professional demographic in Charleston,” Andrew Lael said in a written statement.

“They're buying their first homes and starting families,” he added. “It's our vision that we can create long-term relationships with these clients.”

Lael offers custom homes, remodeling and interior design, according to its website.

News of Lael's arrival comes just months after Atlanta-based developer Ashton Woods Homes opened an office in Charleston, its first location in South Carolina.

New rentals

Merrimack Heights, an affordable housing apartment community, officially debuted late last week on Merrimack Boulevard in Moncks Corner.

Atlanta-based developer Prestwick Development tapped the S.C. State Housing Finance and Development Authority to finance the project using more than $7 million in low-income housing tax credits, officials said.

The 48-unit unit community has one- to three-bedroom units with details such as sunrooms and energy-efficent appliances.

It also features a computer lab, fitness center and playground.

Monthly rents range from $375 to $500, officials said. By comparison, market-rate apartments in the broader Charleston region averaged $842, according to a March report by Real Data.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.