Upper peninsula eyed for new apartment complex

The former Charleston Steel & Metal Co. property on Brigade Street in Charleston could become the site of a new apartment complex.

A Charlotte firm wants to develop an idle industrial site on Charleston’s upper peninsula into a high-density apartment complex.

White Point Partners recently purchased 10 acres for $3.4 million on Brigade Street where the former Charleston Steel & Metal business operated before it moved to North Charleston in 2008.

The site is about a block or so away from Edmund’s Oast restaurant and bar and Blue Acorn tech firm.

Ryan Hanks, a partner with White Point, said his company is looking to develop 400 to 550 units on the property with a small amount of office or other commercial uses.

“We want to do something substantial and will bring a lot of people to the area,” Hanks said. “We like what we see up there.”

The area is in the middle of the Upper Peninsula Initiative, a move to develop the area through environmentally friendly methods with a focus on live-work-play neighborhoods and housing prices that don’t spiral out of control.

The developer is taking the first steps to bring the project to fruition. It is requesting that the property be rezoned from heavy industrial to mixed use/workforce housing.

“We have had a dialogue with the city for the potential overlay,” Hanks said. “We are supportive of that.”

He would like construction to start this year, but knows the city approval process could take time.

The owner of an adjacent 6-acre parcel on Huguenin Avenue is also seeking a similar land-use change.

A rundown apartment complex in West Ashley is getting a face-lift. San Diego-based developer Hampstead Group, through a nearly $6 million loan from TD Bank, will renovate 100 units at Palmilla Parkside apartments, previously known as St. Andrews Gardens off Ashley River Road.

The rehabilitated units will provide housing to moderate-income tenants.

Built in the 1970s next to St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground, the complex was designed for low-income housing. They are now in “extreme disrepair,” according to TD Bank.

Hampstead, the developer, will install energy-efficient windows, plank flooring, stainless steel appliances and other upgrades as part of the renovation effort over the next 15 months.

“We are very excited about what we’re seeing in Charleston and the activity in the market,” said Chris Foster, Hampstead president. “This partnership with TD Bank will undoubtedly help change the character of the neighborhood for the better, and we look forward to the completion of this project.”

Palmilla Parkside is one component of a multi-use development, which includes another 228 apartment units in an adjacent complex.