Palmetto Brewery site bought for apartments

The buildings on Huger Street that house Brooks Signs, Palmetto Brewery and Charleston Coffee Roasters recently sold to a Charlotte developer, who plans to build apartments on the site while keeping some of the buildings intact.

A Charlotte development firm aiming to add hundreds of new apartments in the NoMo area on Charleston’s upper peninsula recently acquired three acres on Huger Street for more multi-family housing in the area.

White Point Partners bought the buildings that house Charleston Coffee Roasters, Palmetto Brewery and Brooks Signs earlier this month for $7.8 million through an arm called Huger Street Holdings LLC. The company plans to build at least 200 apartments on the site, while keeping the main buildings for retail or restaurant use, according to Ryan Hanks, a partner in the firm.

“We like the Palmetto Brewery building. It has a cool look,” Hanks said. “We want to keep something that draws people to that area.”

Developers don’t yet have a name for the project, and Hanks doesn’t expect construction to start until at least next summer on the site across the street from East Central Lofts apartments, where more units also are in the works beside it.

The site is not the first acquisition in the area for White Point Partners.

During the summer, the firm bought a one-acre parcel at 655 East Bay St. for $2.8 million to build a 72-unit, four-story apartment structure on a vacant lot just south of the refurbished Cigar Factory.

Earlier this year Hanks’ firm paid about $7.7 million in two separate deals to assemble about 15 former industrial acres on Brigade Street off Morrison Drive, about a mile north of the East Bay tract. The developer recently submitted plans to the city of Charleston to build 275 apartments at Brigade and Romney streets in its first phase. A second phase of an equal number of units could follow on the tract, he said. Construction could begin in the second quarter of 2016.

Hanks said the recent property acquisitions in close proximity to one another on the upper peninsula will serve the company well.

“We think there is a benefit to that operationally,” he said. “We obviously like the area. No. 1, we have support from the city, and No. 2, we have available land. We think that’s where you will continue to see Charleston grow. It’s currently a low-density, more industrial area. I think you will see a lot of different uses coming to that area.”

Hanks plans to meet with the tenants next week to learn more about their plans.

“We are going to get a sense of what everyone wants to do,” he said.

Palmetto Brewery announced late last year it plans to move into a new facility on Azalea Drive in North Charleston.

Those plans are still in the works for a move in mid- to late 2017, said Barb Falkenstein, a founder and part owner of the brewery.

Lowell Grosse, owner of Charleston Coffee Roasters, said he is in the process of buying a site on Clements Ferry Road in Berkeley County for a new 10,000-square-foot roasting operation.

“We still have a year left on our lease here,” he said.

Wally Brooks with Brooks Signs, which has been at the site for 25 years and previously owned the property, said the company will have to move at some point, but “we are going to stay right here for a while.”

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524.