The Rise of Flex in Charleston

Lee and Associates - Charleston, SC | The Rise of Flex in Charleston

As the commercial real estate market in Charleston, SC continues to evolve, industrial flex space has emerged as a popular and versatile solution for businesses looking to consolidate warehouse and office or retail/showroom functions under one roof. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key features of flex space, its growing appeal among investors and tenants, and the diverse range of businesses that are taking advantage of this uniquely functional product.

What is Industrial Flex Space?

Businesses can utilize Flex Space for both inventory storage and office space. Because of the small but functional design of most modern flex facilities, users can remove/add features to customize the space for their specific purposes. For example, they can artfully decorate the interior and turn the space into a retail showroom to display products to their customers. Other popular uses of flex buildings include laboratory space, retail stores, and assembly areas.

  • Flex facilities typically range from 10,000 to 50,000 square feet
  • Have a combination of warehouse and office or retail/showroom spaces
  • Feature multi-tenant facilities with 75-80% warehouse space
  • Traditionally, offer 12-24′ clear ceiling heights
  • Include grade-level roll-up doors and dock access, sometimes through community docks in park-like settings
  • Older facilities with smaller footprints
  • Newer facilities with heights close to Class-A products and bay depths of 50-100 feet

Why Investors Love Flex Product

Industrial flex space has become increasingly popular among investors for several reasons:

  • These facilities will thrive and survive throughout every phase of the real estate cycle due to affordability and adaptability
  • Less expensive to build than traditional office spaces
  • Increasing rental rates in Charleston, reaching mid to high teens
  • Less tenant turnover due to high demand and typically cheaper renovation costs (e.g., carpet and paint)

Flex Space Tenant Appeal

While flex space has been popular among builders, contractors, and other service-oriented businesses, its appeal is expanding to non-traditional industrial users including athletic clubs seeking taller clear heights, retailers looking for a showroom atmosphere with warehouse space, and medical and R&D users.

For tenants, flex space offers various advantages:

  • The ability to grow their business or reduce their footprint during a downturn within a building or flex park
  • Provides the needs of small bay industrial space requirements
  • The convenience of housing all operations under one roof

L&A Completed Flex Deals - 2022


As the Charleston, SC commercial real estate market continues to evolve, industrial flex space has emerged as a versatile and sought-after product. With its adaptability, affordability, and growing appeal among a diverse range of businesses, flex space is set to play an increasingly important role in the region’s commercial real estate landscape.