The First Step At Avian Commons

"Lee & Associates was pivotal in kicking off the Avian Commons development. Not only did they envision and create an exceptional marketing plan, they ran an RFP process that allowed us to vet prospects and eventually choose the highest quality operator. We're excited for Refuel to join our community." - Dan Camp, Director of Real Estate, Santee Cooper

Lee and Associates - Charleston, SC | Avian Commons - Off to a Flying Start

Off To A Flying Start

The story of Camp Hall Commerce Park is well known in the industrial real estate community. Accolades, media attention, new construction, new deliveries, Volvo, Redwood. Everyone knows about Camp Hall.

The challenge was and is making sure everyone knows Avian Commons is going to command similar attention. Introducing a retail village component to the middle of an industrial commerce park has been no easy task. Retailers focus heavily on demographic data when analyzing a potential sites, and the pure demographics for the Camp Hall area are not ideal at this moment in time. But it won’t be like that forever. There will eventually be 15,000 daily employees traversing the grounds at Camp Hall, hungry and thirsty and on the hunt for modern conveniences. That’s where Avian Commons comes in.

And in marketing and securing the very first parcel within this visionary retail development, it was imperative that we helped explain the ENTIRE story and positive implications for any retailer bold enough to take that leap.

Lee and Associates - Charleston, SC | Avian Commons - Off to a Flying Start
Avian Commons overall site plan, courtesy Santee Cooper

Making It Happen

Throughout the process we leaned heavily on experience, particularly in owning and operating restaurants in landmark mixed-use developments. We know how important it is what retailer goes in first. We ran a detailed RFP process targeted at local, regional, and national operators. For operators not yet in our state, we made sure to drive home the importance of Camp Hall and the potential to make waves by laying down roots in Avian Commons.

But we always had a special eye on locally operated Refuel.

They understood the long-term vision and benefits of Avian Commons/Camp Hall from the start, so we were delighted when they submitted the strongest proposal.

Rising Above The Challenges

It was vital to hit a home run on this first parcel. We wanted it to set the tone for retailers looking follow suit, and be the launching board for the entire Avian Commons development.

We were confident that Refuel was the perfect target to achieve this goal, but first we had to overcome a few obstacles. First, there was the issue of timing. There are multiple industrial developments underway at Camp Hall, each with different employee counts and delivery dates. Retailers wanted to understand critical mass at Camp Hall, and what the daytime population will eventually look like. We provided current data and projections , while continuously reminding them of the massive upside once Camp Hall is at full buildout.

Another hiccup we mitigated dealt with design. Refuel has a preferred look and feel for their stores, and a specific patent for their gas pump canopy cover. Camp Hall has a design review board that initially rejected the first set of plans for the store. But everyone took it in stride and collaborated together in coming to an agreement on all aspects of the design.

And now, we’ve closed on the land and are moving forward with the top convenience store operator in the state. We’re confident this stellar outcome will the first of many dominos to fall at Avian Commons.

Lee and Associates - Charleston, SC | Avian Commons - Off to a Flying Start
An example of a Refuel Convenience Store