East Central Lofts (copy)

Some residents of East Central Lofts on Charleston’s upper peninsula must move to make way for repairs to alleged construction defects. File/Staff

More than a dozen residents in a high-profile peninsular Charleston apartment building must move to make way for repairs related to alleged water intrusion and construction defects from years ago.

Thirteen residents will have to relocate for at least nine months in the 72-unit East Central Lofts at the base of the Ravenel Bridge and next to Interstate 26.

Displaced tenants are being offered units in the recently completed Meeting Street Lofts adjacent to their building, according to Karen Widmayer, a spokeswoman for Washington, D.C., real estate investment firm FCP, the lead investor in the property. It was formerly called Federal Capital Partners.

"FCP is continuing to make repairs related to construction issues from prior to our acquisition of the property," Widmayer said. "In evaluating the issues, it was decided that the only way to thoroughly resolve the issues necessitated the units be empty."

She could not immediately say if all of the affected units are in one location or scattered throughout the four-story building.

FCP and three partners bought the apartment building in 2015 for $12.4 million, two years after the 43,000-square-foot multifamily operation opened on Huger Street. They also own the 276-unit Meeting Street Lofts next door, which opened last year and were built using different contractors than those at East Central Lofts. 

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The owners began making repairs on East Central Lofts in 2017 to correct water intrusion on exterior walls near some windows. Repair work continues on the south side of the apartments.

In early 2018, EC Lofts LLC, the registered owner of the building, sued several businesses involved in the apartment structure's construction. The case was first filed in federal court, but has since been remanded to state court, where a mediation deadline of Oct. 31 has been set.

If the different parties can't work out a resolution before then, the case will go to trial, according to Charleston County court documents.

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