Timing ‘excellent’ for speculative industrial building near Summerville

An architect’s rendering of the $19 million shell building planned for the Charleston Trade Center near Summerville.

More speculative industrial space is coming to Summerville, with groundbreaking scheduled Tuesday for a 307,000-square-foot shell building at the Charleston Trade Center.

Charlotte-based The Keith Corp. and Chicago-based investor Singerman Real Estate are building the $19 million project, which will be part of the 750-acre trade center located along Interstate 26 in Berkeley County.

Alan Lewis, industrial development partner for The Keith Corp., said progress on a pair of infrastructure projects — one local, one global — led the company to invest in the trade center, which has access to the Port of Charleston.

“With the new Sheep Island Interchange under construction and the imminent completion of the Panama Canal expansion project, we feel the timing for the development of Charleston Trade Center is excellent,” Lewis said in a statement.

Groundbreaking was held last month for the Sheep Island project, which will connect Interstate 26 with Nexton Boulevard by the summer of 2018. The Panama Canal expansion is scheduled for completion in June, allowing larger containerships to visit East Coast ports like the one in Charleston.

About 1.7 million square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space came online in Charleston region during the fourth quarter of 2015, the most recent statistics available, according to a new report by the commercial real estate firm CBRE. Most of that space has been speculative, meaning it was built before businesses committed to leasing it.

The report shows there are two major drivers in the Charleston area’s industrial market — international trade and advanced manufacturing.

The new shell building at 200 Trade Center Parkway will include a graded pad to allow expansion to nearly 923,000 square feet. It also features cross-dock design, ESFR fire protection, 36-foot minimum clear height, and 50-foot by 54-foot bay spacing with two 60-foot deep speed bays along the dock walls.

“The investment ... is further proof that Berkeley County is open for business and Berkeley County means business,” Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler said in a statement. Peagler said the county welcomes “the new additional investment and jobs it will bring in the very near future.”

The shell building is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_