After more than a decade, shovels are finally set to dig in at the 9-acre field designated as Concord Park.

Atlanta-based Holder Properties will begin building a four-story, 62,000-square-foot office complex at the corner of Calhoun and Washington streets on the peninsula, where an entire city block has been earmarked for a mix of homes, businesses and park space.

The anchor tenant of the $18 million 25 Calhoun project is the Charleston-based law firm of Young Clement Rivers LLP, which plans to move out of its longtime home at 26-28 Broad St. by late 2011, according to a marketing brochure for that 17,000-square-foot space from Carolina Commercial LLC.

Construction starts on Concord Park with a groundbreaking ceremony set for Oct. 20.

The complex could open as early as summer 2011 after a long delay. City officials originally picked East West Cumberland Park Associates as the buyer and developer of the property, but that group has struggled to get a $16 million loan to purchase the property.

The group's plan called for a hotel, 233 apartments and condos, 25,000 square feet of office space and about 20,000 square feet of retail space.

Over-excited

It's no secret that multifamily construction in Charleston area has slowed to a trickle. But let's try to put that into perspective.

Charlotte-based Real Data research firm, which released their latest apartment survey information last week, stated that only 32 new apartments opened during the six-month research period ending in August.

During the previous six months -- August 2009 to February 2010 -- a total of 561 new units opened to tenants.

Compared to the boom years, those figures are astonishingly small.

The largest, one-year period of new apartment openings occurred between August 2008-09. That's when multifamily developers added 2,008 new apartments to the Charleston area's market of roughly 25,000 units.

Real Data analyst Charles Dalton said the proliferation of apartments came not in response to a rental-unit shortage but because energy from the broader real estate market boom started to spill over into the multifamily realm.

"I think everybody got excited," he said last week. "It was that crazy real estate market that we're all paying for."

Reach Katy Stech at 937-5549 or kstech@postandcourier.com.