Daniel Island's professional business community is expected to grow in 2019
Everywhere folks turn, it seems that “development” is the buzzword around Daniel Island. Buildings are going up and leases are getting signed, bringing business upon business to the island’s downtown area. And with the Small Business Optimism Index reaching highs in 2018 and Daniel Island economist Steve Slifer predicting further economic increases in the next year, things could get busier for the area throughout 2019.
“The trend is bigger and better, as we’ve been moving over the past couple of years,” commented Lee & Associates Principal Pete Harper. “We’re moving from a small little office market to one of the largest—we have the two largest tech companies in all of Charleston on Daniel Island bringing 3,500 employees a day here. I think that’s huge and that’s the impetus for a whole bunch more demand from office tenants.”
“We’re going to see more architects, more engineers, more attorneys, the higher end professional categories, financial services,” Harper added. “We’re starting to see some other interesting types of uses that either feed off the port or feed off some of our other larger manufacturers.”
When talking about the mixed-use Central Island Square in the heart of Daniel Island proper, Harper listed off several businesses that will take up the building’s space. “MUSC is still doing their primary care, Beech is still doing their poke place, New York Butcher is working to get open, Tacos and Tequila is coming, the chiropractor is already open, and O2 is building out their full service work-out facility,” he said. “All those tenants are still coming.”
Harper stated that Daniel Island is drawing so many office tenants because of the large amount of amenities offered by the area.
Vice President of Thalhimer Mark Erickson agreed with Harper on most fronts, but included tech companies to the growing list of Daniel Island businesses. “I think the island’s starting to mature, it’s starting to hit its stride,” said Erickson.
“It just seems like now is a better time for companies to open here,” he added. “It just seems like there’s a lot more traffic, there’s a lot more people coming from Mount Pleasant, a lot of folks that are from out of town visiting, it seems. I think once we get the waterfront development done, you’re going to see another uptick in activity.”
“Everybody thought it was just a residential market where there’s a lot of high priced homes, but it really is one of the best submarkets in Charleston for offices because of the availabilities and the amenities that are serving those office employees,” Harper described. “Two or three years ago, a lot of brokers or a lot of office tenants didn’t consider Daniel Island. It didn’t even make it in their search criteria. Now it’s usually at the top.”
Really, it’s no secret that the island is a growing hotspot for activity, but what are the larger implications of more professional businesses moving here? Erickson was excited by the prospect, claiming that “it’s like the island is starting to stabilize.”
“I think in the past, we had a lot of companies that would come and go: TD Bank, Helms Law Firm, Sienna,” he commented. “There was just so many come and go type businesses. I think we’re going to see businesses stick around for a while, now. There’s enough people, enough density to support the businesses that are here.”
Harper believes that Daniel Island’s transformation into a business domain has a much larger importance to the locals than they may know. He stated that what can be expected is “better value, not only for the office tenants, but for the residents, also.”
“That’s what a true mixed use, new urban community is all about: mixing the uses,” Harper explained. “And Daniel Island is one of the few places in the country that truly does it right and I think that’s the value. Residentially, people are going to see increases in value. Commercially, owners are going to see increases in value, and tenants are going to see an increase in value just because of their location near amenities.”
While only time can tell what will happen over the next year, Harper seemed optimistic about the business patterns for the area. “Daniel Island really has come into its own,” he said.