Another wave of residences planned for Tides condo community

View from the condo buildings at The Tides in Mount Pleasant.

More residences are planned for The Tides, a high-profile, upscale waterfront condominium community at the base of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.

East West Partners has submitted plans to construct a fourth condo building, adding 55 more residences to the Mount Pleasant community, said project manager Miller Harper.

Harper said the expansion would include a building on 1.8 acres of property adjacent to three existing six-story buildings that face Charleston Harbor.

Plans are now before Mount Pleasant planning officials.

"We intend to build a similar building that is identical to what is already at The Tides," Harper said. "Views will be comparable to the existing buildings."

Harper added that the new construction will also include its own set of amenities. A completion date hasn't been determined.

An extension to the existing 16-acre Tides development always has been part of the long-term plan for the Wingo Way property, which is next to the town's Memorial Waterfront Park. The developer's options could have included either a hotel, offices or more residences, Harper said.

The Tides cost more than $103 million to build and opened in 2008, right in the midst of the housing meltdown. Sales suffered and the original developer faced foreclosure.

A group called Charleston Harbor Holdings LLC in 2012 bought the original loan, which had a $43 million balance at the time. Terms of the note sale were not disclosed.

Charleston Harbor Holdings then took ownership of the 50 unsold condos at a foreclosure sale. The group has since made enhancements like a redesigned entrance, water fountain, landscaping and upgrades to the amenity center.

The firm then brought in East West Partners to gradually place the unsold units on the market. The asking prices were cut an average 35 percent from the previous list prices, which ranged from $600,000 to $3.9 million in 2009, officials have said.

The new units are being proposed as the local condo market bounces back, fueled by first-time buyers and empty-nesters, industry experts have said. There's also been some easing on lending qualifications.

In Charleston County, a total of 347 units sold at a median price of $180,865 in the first quarter of this year. That's up nearly 10 percent in both volume and price from the same period in 2013, according to Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

At The Tides, prices have been rising. Last year, 40 units sold for an average of $771,950. Through the first four months of this year, nine units have changed hands at an average of nearly $1 million, officials said.

And 49 of the 50 residences that Charleston Harbor Holdings purchased reportedly have sold at an average price of $814,000. Sales prices ranged from $363,000 for the smaller residences to $1.8 million for a penthouse, officials said.

Mayor Linda Page said the proposed addition builds on the improving economy that's encouraging construction activity in the area, which includes new hotels and offices.

"It's great to see them invest in our community," she said.

The Tides' future plans come as there's potential for more growth on Wingo Way. An adjoining vacant tract of 1 acre of high land and 9 acres of marshland is on the market for $2.65 million.

Bill Pearson, the Century 21 Realtor who is listing the property, said the commercially zoned space could complement the sea of hotels and office spaces nearby. He added that the property is not connected with The Tides.

"The owner wanted to sell it and they didn't know anything about Tides' plans," Pearson said.

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