The Evolution of Charleston

Lee and Associates - Charleston, SC | The Evolution of Charleston

Growth is exciting. But sometimes it takes a while. Over the past decade, the Charleston metro has been one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. Commercial and residential real estate development has skyrocketed, and the landscape has been transformed. Aerial imagery can be one of the most compelling ways to visualize what this change looks like.

Use the sliders below to compare what Charleston looked like in 2005 vs. 2021.

Palmetto Commerce Park

Over the past 14 years, the footprint of the Charleston-area industrial market has increased 40%, with new buildings and submarkets blossoming into sought-after industrial staples. Perhaps no park has become more coveted than Palmetto Commerce Park.

The area has proven to be a key location for automotive, aerospace, logistics and advanced manufacturing industries, including global heavyweights such as Boeing, Mercedes, FedEx and Cummins. And now, a growing number of speculative industrial developments are proposed/underway/or recently delivered. 

I-26 Industrial Corridor

This is another key industrial area in the Charleston metro. Developers have recently poured into this location due to its access to a booming labor pool and easy access to Interstate 26. Charleston Trade Center is a shining example: near the end of 2021, 1+ million square feet of spec industrial became pre-leased to e-commerce companies. A far cry from 2005.

Airport, Boeing, Tanger

One of the lynchpins of commerce in the region. In the late 2000s, Boeing made a bet on Charleston and broke ground on a massive 1.2M SF jet assembly facility near the Charleston International Airport, setting off a domino-effect of aviation impact throughout the Lowcountry. Around the same time, Tanger Outlets popped onto the scene a mile down the road. This transformational hub still looms large today.

Residential Growth | Cane Bay, Nexton, John's Island

As Charleston’s population has continued to grow, areas on the region’s periphery have seen rapid (too rapid?) development. The accolades that Charleston receives are wonderful, and they have enticed thousands to relocate to this coastal haven. But where do these newcomers live and work? John’s Island and Summerville have been a few of the fastest growing communities in the region. This stark contrast seen in these historical snapshots is on full display here.

Cane Bay
John's Island