An Atlanta company got the nod Wednesday to oversee a proposed $1 billion redevelopment on the Charleston peninsula’s west side.
The board of the Horizon Project Foundation, made up of city and Medical University of South Carolina officials, chose Gateway Development Services Inc. for the job over Greenville’s Hughes Development Corp., said Michael Maher, chairman of the selection committee.
The next step is now for Horizon officials to hammer out a memorandum of understanding with Gateway on how to proceed with the landmark project near MUSC.
The vision is to transform the largely empty area at Lockwood Drive, Hagood Avenue and Fishburne and Spring streets, into 2 million square feet of apartments, offices and research space over the next couple of decades.
“We are very excited about being ranked number one and having the opportunity to work with Horizon,” Gateway co-founder Mack Reese said Wednesday. “And we’re anxious to get started.”
Reese noted there’s more negotiating to be done. But Maher said “we are all certainly very optimistic” about working with Gateway.
“Given that we’ve already developed what we think is a mutually beneficial term sheet template, negotiations should go positively,” he said. Those talks should begin next week.
Maher praised Hughes’ record and capabilities, but said “I think there was a sense that Gateway’s proposed term sheet was more in alignment with the goals and objectives of the Horizon Project Foundation.”
Gateway’s team includes Mount Pleasant-based retail developer WRS Inc. and its affiliated Avison Young commercial real estate firm. Also on board is multifamily-housing developer South City Partners of Atlanta.
A Horizon delegation visited projects completed by both primary developers in March. Maher said Gateway’s Centergy mixed-use research-centered cluster near Georgia Tech in Atlanta “certainly was a strong exemplary project for them to put before us” and inspired confidence.
Delayed for years by the recession and other hurdles, the Horizon project was revived last July. The city created a special tax district for the project in 2008 with the intention of raising money to pay for public roads, sidewalks and other utilities within the area.
Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him on Twitter at @kearney_brendan.