22 WestEdge rendering (copy)

Officials will break ground today on an eight-story office and laboratory building called 22 WestEdge, the next building slated to rise in the WestEdge development on the Charleston peninsula. Rendering/Perkins+Will

The third multistory building set to rise in the developing WestEdge community on the Charleston peninsula broke ground Thursday — under a tent because of all the recent rain.

The eight-story office and laboratory structure called 22 WestEdge will sit next to the under-construction, nine-story 10 WestEdge building at Spring Street and Lockwood Drive. That's where Publix supermarket is set to open on the ground floor in October.

The first floor of the all-glass exterior structure will house 15,750 square feet of retail space while the upper floors will provide 138,500 square feet of office space-targeted firms in the so-called knowledge economy, such as the life sciences industry. About half of the site has already been leased.

The new building, at 125 feet, will be the tallest, multi-tenant office structure on the peninsula and in the Charleston region when it opens in November 2019, according to WestEdge officials.

The South Carolina Research Authority will lease the entire top floor — about 16,000 square feet — of the new building.

Other announced tenants include the Medical University of South Carolina, the City of Charleston, the WestEdge Foundation and Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg called the new building "a welcome and important addition to our city's medical district."

"It’s no secret that biomedical advances will be a key driver of our economy and society in the years ahead," the mayor said.

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In January, the first building in the development, the 237-unit apartment and retail site Caroline, opened at Fishburne and WestEdge streets across from Joe Riley Stadium.

About 400 spaces have been set aside in the 10 WestEdge building for workers in the new 22 WestEdge project. Those slots will be shared with apartment residents during business hours. Nearby surface parking also be available.

The 60-acre, multi-year WestEdge development encompasses several parcels bounded by Spring Street, Lockwood Drive, Fishburne Street and Hagood Avenue. When completed, the master-planned, mixed-use community will include 3 million square feet close to the Ashley River.

Gateway Development will manage the 22 WestEdge structure when completed while South City Partners and Gateway Development will oversee Caroline and 10 WestEdge, Maher said.

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