The Charleston Digital Corridor is moving its offices to a new location downtown as it waits for a brand new headquarters to be built on the fast-growing upper peninsula.
The tech-focused economic development group has to move out of the spaces that it leases mostly to startups at Calhoun and East Bay streets because that site is about to be redeveloped.
Charleston's Board of Zoning Appeals voted unanimously in February to allow a 100-room Hilton timeshare on the property, giving the Digital Corridor a deadline to move out.
And its 84,000-square-foot building planned for Morrison Drive won't open until 2020. The city of Charleston owns the land there, and plans first talked about in 2013 are finally in motion, The Post and Courier reported in March.
So, in the meantime, the Digital Corridor will move its operations to the former AT&T building at 385 Meeting St. It will include 21 offices and two conference rooms for the tenants. Renovation work will begin this month and will be ready by December.
When that move happens, the corridor will consolidate its Flagship 1 and Flagship 2 incubators at Meeting and Mary streets, director Ernest Andrade said.
The move will put the corridor offices under one roof. While the interim space is slightly smaller, Andrade said, it is better laid out. It will be called "Flagship — Bridge."
The Digital Corridor is geared toward mid-stage startup companies in the technology sector. Its current and former tenants have raised about $256 million in public and private funding since 2009, leading to 1,500 newly created jobs, according to figures the program provided.
Andrade said the companies that will relocate this year have grown "well above 200 percent since they commenced operations in our incubator."
In the planned Morrison Drive facility, Andrade said the Digital Corridor will occupy at least one of the six floors. He said he will lease the rest of the space, hopefully to national tenants. He also said he's aiming for a culture of collaboration in the new spot, envisioning it as a technology park.