1074 Morrison Drive

A new office building with a retail component and five-story parking deck behind it is proposed for 1074 Morrison Drive where Charleston Truck Service was once located near Brigade Street. Rendering/The Middleton Group Architecture Studio/Cowan Nakios Group

A large office building with a retail component and a five-story parking deck is in the works for Charleston's upper peninsula.

Developers Ross Cowan and Thomas Nakios plan to build a three-story office building in front of a 350-space parking garage at 1074 Morrison Drive.

The site was previously home to Charleston Truck Service. Some soil remediation is required because of former hydraulic functions on the 2.1-acre parcel.

In May, the developers, affiliates of Cowan Nakios Group LLC, paid $6 million for the tract across from Butcher & Bee and Edmund's Oast and also bought a small corner parcel at Morrison Drive and Brigade Street at the same time for $1.275 million.

The corner site houses two small businesses in separate structures that are slated to be demolished. They include housewares and gift shop Indigo Market and disaster clean-up business ServPro.

ServPro is expected to be out by the end of September while Indigo Market can stay through the end of the year, Nakios said. Indigo Market, which opened in 2015, did not immediately respond for comment about relocating while ServPro has other locations throughout the Charleston region.

The lot at 89 Brigade St. housing Ahern's Anvil business was not sold and is not included in the development plans.

On the former truck service site, ceramicist business Cone 10 Studios is leaving by June 30.

For the office structure, developers plan to build two stories along Morrison Drive with a third floor set back. All floors will have 16-foot ceilings. Nakios said the office structure's height is meant to mask the garage planned behind the two buildings. Parking will be accessible from both Morrison Drive and Brigade Street.

The office structures, divided by a central core, will include about 100,000 square feet of leasable space. Private rooftop decks will be available for office tenants, and a terrace overlooking an outdoor patio area may also be offered.

The outdoor patio will sit between the main office structures and another 8,000-square-foot, two-story building planned at Brigade and Morrison streets. The first floor will be set aside for retail while the second level can be used for retail or office space, Nakios said.

In the main office structures, other ground-floor space will be set aside for retail as well. Customer parking will be provided in the parking deck, he said.

Nakios hopes demolition on the current structures can begin by late summer with construction starting by late fall.

"We want to have shovels in the ground by the end of the year," he said.

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He said it was too early to provide a figure on the cost of the project since it must now go through the design process. An opening by spring of 2021 is targeted. 

Nakios said he and his business partner chose the location because of its proximity to the Ravenel Bridge and its accessibility.

"The Morrison Drive corridor is in the path of growth," Nakios said. "As the lower peninsula gets more and more congested, it's a pretty central location with easy access."

Near the proposed development and farther north, several apartment and office buildings are rising or are planned in the evolving upper peninsula. 

Cowan and Nakios also purchased a warehouse at 551 Meeting St. and an adjoining parcel at 555 Meeting for $2.95 million in July 2018. The building was used by the former Morris Sokol Furniture business on King Street as storage.

Nakios is married to Pauline Sokol, daughter of the late Joe Sokol of Morris Sokol Furniture. They live in New York City and Sullivan's Island while Cowan, formerly of New York, lives on Sullivan's Island.

New apartment buildings are rising all around the Meeting Street site, but Nakios said they aren't ready to announce any plans for the property yet.

"We are still working through conceptual options on it," he said.

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