July 16, 2014

Charleston City Council Passes Building Height Limit Change

William Joy  /  WCSC TV - Channel 5 Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC - A new tech major hub in Charleston is a little closer to becoming a reality.Tuesday night, Charleston's city council unanimously passed a proposal increasing a city zoning height limit from 55 feet to 85 feet. The increase allows the Charleston Digital Corridor to move forward with a new building to house tech startups.

The Charleston Digital Corridor is a part of the city's government and helps tech startups grow.

"The Charleston Digital Corridor was designed to grow tech businesses and the knowledge economy in Charleston," Ernest Andrade, the program's director said.

Right now, the program has two buildings on the corner of East Bay and Calhoun Street. They're known as Flagship 1 & 2. The two buildings house 22 tech companies.

"What we've learned is by creating an environment where you put like-minded people, good things can happen," Andrade said.

The program is now ready to expand again.

"We have no available space at the flagship facilities right now and we constantly have demand," Andrade said.

With the new building at 999 Morrison Drive, the Charleston Digital Corridor could house 50 companies, more than doubling its size. The new flagship would be approximately 48,000 feet square feet. The overall campus would be able to accommodate approximately 350,000 square feet of office space for growing tech companies.

"We think it's very appropriate to build a landmark building that will become essentially the ground zero for the tech economy," Andrade said. "The building will definitely be something that is a little bit more modern and a little more unique than what this town has previously seen."

The next step is for the plans to be approved by the Board of Architectural Board. If everything passes, Andrade expects the building to open in 2016.