Evening Post Publishing Co. Inc. has picked two real estate companies to develop the first phase of its Courier Square project in downtown Charleston.

Greystar Real Estate Partners and Lincoln Harris will build out a vacant, 2.8-acre site at Meeting and Columbus streets that would include a mix of apartments, offices and other commercial space, and a parking deck.

“After an extensive evaluation process, we are thrilled to be going into this project with experienced and well-respected partners like Greystar and Lincoln Harris,” said Ron Owens, vice president of finance for Evening Post, which owns The Post and Courier.

The two firms are in “the early stages of a lengthy development planning and approval process that will confirm the feasibility of the project,” the media company said Wednesday.

“We chose them because, like us, they are committed to ensuring that the redevelopment of this high-profile parcel is done in a manner that will prove to be beneficial to the community as well as in keeping with the finest architectural traditions of Charleston,” said Pierre Manigault, chairman of Evening Post.

The city permitting process, which will spell out exactly what will be built on the site, begins in June. Construction should start a year to 18 months after the approvals are in hand.

Charleston-based Greystar is a national apartment investor and developer that manages 200,000 rental units in about 100 markets around the country. Locally, the Broad Street firm is nearing the completion of the luxury Elan Midtown apartment complex two blocks south of the Courier Square site.

“We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with the city and the surrounding neighborhoods to develop this transformational project on upper Meeting Street,” said Todd Wigfield, Greystar’s managing director of development.

Lincoln Harris is a Charlotte-based full-service commercial real estate company and an affiliate of Lincoln Property Co.

“We are confident in the Charleston real estate market,” said Chip Mark, senior vice president of Lincoln Harris’ Charleston office. “There is strong demand for our proposed product mix, and Courier Square will be ideally located to meet that demand.”

Mayor Joe Riley described the 12 acres that make up the entire Courier Square project as “pivotal.” The expectations of the property owner and first-phase developers “are very high for the quality of design and construction, and they are committed to community involvement every step of the way,” Riley said.

The Post and Courier’s parent unveiled plans in 2012 to redevelop the real estate it owns under and around its main newspaper building in phases over 10 to 15 years. Nearly three city blocks are in play.

The project is expected to extend the rapid rebuilding of Upper King and Meeting streets, where development activity just to the south has surged in recent years.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.