'Sky' is the limit for forward-looking upstairs condo on King Street downtown

Renew Urban serves as developer at the "Sky residence," located above the Apple Store on King Street downtown (Provided).

Even with centuries of history under its belt, Charleston may be witnessing its first project in the downtown business district dubbed "uber" modern.

Backers of the so-called Sky Residence atop the Apple retail outlet trace the development's conceptual plan to the mid-2000s while touting its ecologically friendly top floor; metal walls, windows and door frames; and a sliding, fiberglass shutter system.

Construction started last November, and the condo should be completed by fall.

The city of Charleston, Historic Charleston Foundation and The Preservation Society of Charleston were all in favor, according to advocates.

"Have you looked up recently? If so, you may have noticed the uber modern structure that is being erected above historic King Street," says Harriett Lee, a local "entrepreneur" with experience at YEScarolina, DigSouth, Lowcountry Local First and Charleston Digital Corridor.

Rich Yessian, she says, came up with the idea for the residential project. Yessian, one of three partners at the digital marketing agency Blue Ion, "obtained the air rights when purchasing the second floor of 301 King Street, the level above the Apple Store," she says.

Crafting the condo are local developer-builder Renew Urban and Charleston-based Kevan Hoertdoefer Architects.

The local collaboration between Yessian, Renew Urban and the architectural group "has been eight years in the making," Lee says.

She notes the condo's "split in two volumes and features a green roof, a structural fiberglass exterior louvre system and a window and door wall system from locally fabricated steel."

According to the Sky Residence blog on the Hoertdoefer Architects website, setting the steel was an early step in the process. "It is a culmination of months and months of planning and coordination with the contractor, fabricator, erector, engineer and architect among others to make it go as smoothly as it has been," the blog notes in mid-November 2013.

Framing began in early March, with the "platforms of the bedrooms starting to take shape."

By April, the look of the volumes emerged on the lower section of the house. "This will be where the bedrooms and bathrooms are, along with a few balconies overlooking the alley." The 301 King St property fits between Liberty and Society streets.

In the latest post on June 24, the architects point out that "the corrugated metal siding is in place and steel window frames are being built on site."

The various players bring diverse traits to the project's design and construction.

Founded in 1998, Kevan Hoertdoefer Architects dedicates itself "to the craft and art of making places and their relationship to the individual," Lee says.

The firm claims experience in all building types and blends a background of architecture, ecology, construction, education and craftsmanship, she says.

Meanwhile, Renew Urban Charleston "provides an enthusiastic and trustworthy staff with experience in both residential and commercial building, historic preservation and restoration as well as luxury new construction," Lee says.

The company works as a licensed and insured general contractor in Charleston.

For more information, visit www.hoertdoeferarchitects.com or www.renewurban.net or contact Lee at 843-697-5170.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.