It has taken five years of discussions and planning, but the Charleston Tech Center (CTC) is about to become a reality with construction underway and completion slated for late 2020.
The CTC is the third flagship space to help support the creation, importation and growth of the tech sector in the city. The effort is part of Charleston’s 2000 economic plan to diversify the economy, provide attractive jobs to keep local college graduates in the area and to raise the overall wage standard.
The Charleston Digital Corridor (CDC) was created in 2001 to be a liaison with tech companies at all levels — start up, mid-range and mega — and the city, ensuring that company needs are met. By interacting with tech companies in the region, the CDC has been able to understand and address their unique business needs.
"It is the high focus on execution, developing key business resources, relevant community events and leadership that is responsible for the growth of Charleston’s tech economy,” CDC Director Ernest Andrade told the Palmetto Business Daily in an email interview.
Much like the previous buildings, Flagship 1 and Flagship 2, the six-story, 92,000-square foot CTC will be a tech-focused business incubator, Andrade said.
“It will also include office space for other growing tech companies seeking to be in a business or work environment, built with an exclusive focus on the tech industry as well as tech companies looking to relocate or expand business operation to Charleston," Andrade said. "Unlike traditional building owners, who look at business credit as the first item before they sign a lease, the CTC would look at an alignment between the company and the buildings.”
The building will have retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, and a parking garage administered by the city. It has space for 12 offices and two conference rooms, and can be leased by the month for up to a year. Tenants will have access to facilities at the other flagship buildings, such as showers, bike storage and extra conference rooms.
The CTC is being located in a Federal Opportunity Zone using a combination of public and private-sector funding.