South Carolina Research Authority buys Nexton site for new Charleston-area HQ

The South Carolina Research Authority announced today it has bought about 9 acres in Summerville for its new Lowcountry headquarters.

The $2.27 million land deal closed a few weeks ago, Berkeley County property records show.

The site is within MeadWestvaco Corp.’s emerging Nexton mixed-use development near U.S. Interstate 26 and Highway 17A.

The state-charteded Research Authority helps commercialize technology. It also operates business incubators around the state and oversees a investment fund that targets promising young companies.

The agency sold its existing North Charleston office campus on International Boulevard for $23.35 million to neighboring Boeing Co. in December.

It picked Nexton as the new home for its “Applied Research Center” after a property search that wrapped up earlier this year. It signed a deal to buy the land in April, saying today that the Summerville site was “by far” the best alternative.

The new office building will house the agency’s local operations, including its research and development units, and the majority of its 185 employees.

Completion is scheduled for October 2014.

“As we complete our 30th year of operations, SCRA continues to grind through new milestones of growth and change by opportunistically capitalizing on an expanded future,” said CEO Bill Mahoney. “Our new Nexton location and facility ... will advance our capabilities, both in growing our core R&D business, and expanding the knowledge economy in South Carolina.”

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.

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