1304 Meeting St. apartments

Lennar Homes' apartment division, LMC, plans to build a 303-unit, eight-story development at 1304 Meeting St., just north of Santi's Restaurante Mexicano. Rendering/LS3P Associates/project partner with Axiom Architecture

One of the nation's largest home builders is planning a huge new apartment development on Charleston's upper peninsula, its first in South Carolina.

Miami-based Lennar's LMC apartment division recently bought 2.82 acres at 1304, 1312 and 1330 Meeting St. from the owners of Charleston's Marine and Rigging for nearly $10.5 million, according to Charleston County land records.

The developer plans to build 303 units in an eight-story structure, said Jeff Harris, division president of Charlotte-based LMC.

The building will include two ground floors of retail and commercial space with public courtyards. Higher tiers of the structure will offer private courtyards for residents, Harris said. The parking deck is three levels. The building's design provides some apartment units from the ground up while others are above parking and commercial space.

The project does not have a name yet.

"We still have some branding exercises to do," Harris said.

The tract, just north of Santi's Restaurante Mexicano, sits where Morrison Drive meets Meeting Street Road. The hardware business, owned by brother and sister Skip Sawin and Jessica Sage, moved to Truxtun Avenue on the former Charleston naval base in North Charleston earlier this year.

Sawin sold a 1.64-acre tract for $6.1 million while his sister sold two smaller adjoining parcels totalling 1.18 acres for $4.394 million. Combined, that comes out to about $3.7 million an acre.

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Construction could begin as early as next summer, Harris said.

LMC operates in 51 communities in 17 states, according to its website.

The proposed development is one of many others marching up the peninsula, along King, Meeting, Huger and Brigade streets and other areas north and south of the Ravenel Bridge ramps.

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