Mix of uses hinted for Morris Sokol site

The new owners of the former Morris Sokol Furniture building in Charleston are studying alternative uses for the site.

The new owners of the former Morris Sokol Furniture store don’t seem to be ruling out any options for the big commercial building.

“City officials and residents alike have been eagerly anticipating a new retail-anchored presence on this stretch of Upper King Street,” according to a statement last week from Vanderking 510 LLC, the purchaser. “This property could very well have a mix of uses that will encourage more daytime foot traffic.”

The owners added: “Planning for the master develop-ment of the site is under eval-uation.”

Vanderking 510 paid $22.55 million this month to acquire the 50,000-square-foot corner property at 510 King St. from longtime owner Joe Sokol.

The buyer group is made up of Vanderking LLC, managed by Frederick Simon and Michael Shuler, in partnership with Greenwich, Conn.-based Wexford Capital. Simon, of Connecticut, owns other properties in Charleston. Shuler is with real estate firm King Street Commercial.

Morris Sokol closed last fall after 94 years in business after Sokol, 83, decided to retire and no family members wanted to take over the business.

“The decision to sell was a private family matter,” Sokol said in a statement. “However, it was ultimately predicated upon the confidence that the buyers were not only capable but honorable, and we look forward to seeing our family legacy carried forward as part of the next generation of King Street.”

A Georgia company wants to build a $22.6 million senior-care center in Mount Pleasant. Formation Development Group of Alpharetta, Ga., has submitted plans to the town to construct a 168-unit, three-story building called The Solana at 570 Long Point Road. Roper St. Francis owns the 12-acre site, according to Charleston County property records. A Roper spokesman said a sale of the property is pending.

The undeveloped site is near Long Point and Interstate 526 behind a medical office building near Lone Tree Drive. Hobcaw Creek Plantation subdivision abuts the 12-acre site. The 207,200-square-foot facility would house 80 independent-living units, 54 assisted-living units, 26 memory care rooms and eight duplex-style cottages. Prices would range from $3,000 to $4,500 a month.

Construction could start in the fall with completion in the spring of 2018.

The Mount Pleasant Planning Commission is expected to consider the request Wed-nesday.

The proposed facility is on the opposite side of I-526 from another planned senior-care center.

Last fall, MemCare of Virginia Beach, Va., submitted plans for a 48-room Memory Care Center at 585 Seacoast Parkway. The 4-acre site backs up to Long Point Road.

The planned facility brings to at least 11 the number of senior-care centers planned or under construction in the Charleston area to meet the growing demand of area retirees and aging baby boomers.

Others coming to the area include three in West Ashley, two in Mount Pleasant and one each for Daniel Island, James Island, North Charleston and Summerville. All of the centers, when completed, will bring nearly 1,600 new units to the region.

Two out-of-state companies have extended their reach into the Charleston area apartment market.

Kettler of Virginia and The Stillman Group of New York now own the 216-unit Jamison Park apartments at 2245 Greenridge Road in North Charleston, their third acquisition locally in recent months. They bought the complex from real estate developers Middle Street Partners of Sullivan’s Island for $22.5 million.

Last fall, Kettler and Stillman shelled out $58 million for two Charleston area apartment complexes. They include the 232-unit Paces Watch apartments at 997 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. in Mount Pleasant, which sold for $36.73 million, and the 244-unit Waverly Place Apartments off Dorchester Road in North Charleston. The complex near the Robert Bosch plant sold for $21.83 million.

“This transaction increases our presence in the Carolinas and continues to drive our expansion along the Eastern Seaboard,” said Robert C. Kettler, chairman and CEO.

“This demonstrates the continuing trend of institutional capital identifying Charleston as a stable, rapidly growing market with favorable economic trends and recognized employer expansion into the area,” said Kevin Kempf of commercial real estate firm CBRE Carolinas.

A Charleston-based real estate investment firm recently acquired two commercial properties in the Charleston area. RCB Development now owns a 70,000-square-foot office building at 7410 Northside Drive in North Charleston and an industrial park off Highway 78 in Summerville.

The company is renovating the office building, which it bought for $3.8 million, according to county property records. Also, it will have spaces of 4,000-9,000 square feet available for rent in the industrial park in March at 210, 216 and 217 Cember Way.