Just a handful of condominium projects have been completed in the Charleston region since the housing meltdown a decade ago.
The latest of this rare residential species can be spotted on the peninsula, not far from the South Carolina Aquarium.
With the frame of the $60 million Gadsden development nearly completed, the project a block off the waterfront at Gadsdenboro Park has already sold almost half its 76 units, according to the developer. A late fall opening is projected for the four-story structure at Concord and Laurens streets.
The Gadsden features one-, two- and three-bedroom units priced from the low $400,000s to $1.3 million. Thirty-three of the residences have been snapped up, according to Mac Triplett, sales manager for developer East West Partners.
"We are seeing strong demand among empty-nesters and people who seek a second home in this urban setting," said Miller Harper of East West.
The Colorado-based company is no stranger to the high-end condo market in the Charleston region. Its most recent deal was the completion of the 54-unit Tides IV at the base of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant. It was also behind the 49-unit One Vendue Range and the nearby City Gallery at Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston.
Harper said the brisk demand for units at Tides IV "proved to us there is an unserved condominium market in the Charleston area."
East West's Gadsden development is part of 10-acre tract that includes Gadsdenboro Park and Williams Terrace senior housing. The Aquarium, the Maritime Center, Ansonborough Square and the site of the proposed International African American Museum are nearby.
The condo project is coming together about a block away from where Nashville-based Southern Land Co. has plans for a four- and five-story, 148-unit apartment building down the street near the Harris Teeter supermarket. Construction at that site could begin just as East West welcomes its first residents during the fourth quarter.
"We have seen, with the resurgence of residential, which has been phenomenal the past five years, that people want a place to live on the peninsula," Harper said. "And not everybody wants to live in a home where you have to worry about the roof leaking."
The Gadsden development is part of a property roughly the size of Marion Square that had been the site of a low-income housing project damaged by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The city demolished the homes in 1992 because of pollution discovered in the soil from a former coal tar gasification plant nearby. Environmental cleanup work followed and continues a couple of blocks north. New buildings around Gadsdenboro Park must be elevated because the area is classified as a flood zone.
One of the next undertakings at the property is a five-story hotel that's slated to go up at Calhoun and Concord streets. Rockbridge LLC, the land owner and developer, recently filed a rezoning request to allow it to nearly double the number of guest rooms to 180 from 100. The hotel expansion would involve the acquisition of a neighboring parcel that East West Partners owns. Harper said East West is amenable to a sale.