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10-story, 380-unit apartment building coming to Morrison Drive in Charleston for $150M

Morrison Yard rendering

The 380-unit Morrison Yard apartment development will include 10-story and six-story buildings on Morrison Drive just south of the Ravenel Bridge. Provided/The Housing Studio

Another huge apartment development is about to take shape as the wave of mid-rise multifamily projects continues to envelop Charleston's upper peninsula.

The 380-unit Morrison Yard project will be built on the former site of the State Ports Authority's Columbus Street Terminal office building at 838 Morrison Drive, near the Ravenel Bridge and south of Johnson Street in the so-called NoMo District.

The $150 million project is a joint venture of Woodfield Investments of the Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island and Pennsylvania-based Argosy Real Estate Partners.

An affiliate of Woodfield bought the nearly 6-acre parcel in early January for $15.25 million from an arm of Origin Development Partners of Mount Pleasant, according to Charleston County land records.

Origin paid the State Ports Authority $9.1 million for that parcel and a 3-acre site on the northern side of Johnson Street in 2018.

Origin is planning an office building on the smaller parcel.

The new apartment development will include a 10-story concrete building and a six-story, wood-frame structure, according to Mike Schwarz with Woodfield. 

"We think this will be transformative for this area of the city," he said.

The nearly 5-acre site will include 25,960 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a shared two-level parking garage for the two buildings. 

The first residences are expected to be available by early 2022. When construction is completed later that year, the site will include 72 studio apartments, 164 one-bedroom units, 132 two-bedroom offerings and 12 three-bedroom suites. Rental rates have not been disclosed.

Amenities will include green space across eight courtyards, a two-level lobby and leasing center, luxury clubhouse, 3,300-square-foot fitness center, business center, media room, lounge and event space, rooftop pool and pool deck, outdoor kitchen and multiple grilling areas.

Developers did not opt out of the workforce housing component and will provide either 20 or 40 units, depending on how they are structured, Schwarz said.

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Rental prices have not been set but will be at the market rate when the apartments open in about two years.

"We have a unique product because the size of the site is bigger," Schwarz said. "We have nearly 70,000 square feet of courtyard space and nearly half it is public courtyard space. That and the nearness to the Ravenel Bridge distinguishes the product."

Los Angeles-based PCCP, or Pacific Coast Capital Partners, provided a $100.6 million loan for the joint venture while Phillips Realty Capital of Bethesda, Md., handled $27.8 million in equity financing for the project. The development includes other funds as well.

Demolition of the former port building has begun, and pile driving is expected to get underway in February.

“Since the moment we sourced Morrison Yard, we have been excited about the opportunity," Schwarz said. “The entire Woodfield team is elated about our first joint venture with Argosy Real Estate Partners, which we hope will be the first of many.”

Argosy also owns the 252-unit Palmetto Exchange Apartments off U.S. Highway 78 in North Charleston.

Morrison Yard will be Woodfield's 12th project in the Charleston area. Its other deals include The Standard on Maybank Highway on James Island, Wharf 7 on Daniel Island, The Heyward in West Ashley and Cooper River Farms on Clements Ferry Road.

Two others under construction include Bellary Flats in Carnes Crossroads in Goose Creek and Newbrook in the Point Hope area of Cainhoy Plantation off Clements Ferry Road.

The announcement of construction beginning on the new apartment development comes as two other large multifamily projects are about to be built on the peninsula.

Ohio-based Lifestyle Communities will soon start work on the 293-unit LC Line Street, nine-story apartments where Interstate 26 terminates at Meeting Street. That project will cost $120 million.

Meanwhile, Nashville-based Southern Land Co. is set to begin work in about a month on the 148-unit Society at Laurens luxury apartment project off East Bay Street where the Vegetable Bin was once located next to Harris Teeter supermarket.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.

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