News Article | 11/12/2007


BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. – In large part due to the importance of global trade through the Port of Charleston, Hillwood is developing Charleston Trade Center, a 750-acre industrial project that includes up to 9 million square feet of primarily logistics and light manufacturing space in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Charleston Trade Center is strategically located between the Port of Charleston and Interstate 95, along the south side of Interstate 26 just east of the Jedburg Rd. exit.

Construction on the first of approximately 13 buildings planned for the development is slated to begin in the first half of 2008. A 400,000 square-foot speculative building should be completed by the end of next year. This building can be expanded to 652,340 square feet. Approximately 8 million square feet of industrial space and 1 million square feet of office/retail space are planned for Charleston Trade Center.

“Hillwood is making a significant investment in the Berkeley County/Jedburg area,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis. “With this world class development project, Hillwood will bring significant job opportunities not only to Berkeley County but to an area that will benefit greatly from the increase in economic activity. We welcome and support their efforts and look forward to their support for our community.”

The project will create approximately 3,000 new jobs and provide significant tax base growth for Berkeley County. Charleston Trade Center will be accessed by I-26 at exit 194 – Jedburg Road. Pursuant to a development agreement with Berkeley County, Hillwood will spend approximately $9 million on traffic improvements in and around the Jedburg Interchange. Combined with the large-scale residential growth in the immediate vicinity, the I-26 corridor through Berkeley County is slated to become a true live, work and shop community.

“Charleston Trade Center is a prime logistics location because of its proximity to I-95, the major north-south connector along the East Coast, and to the Port of Charleston, which has become a key East Coast entry point for goods imported from Asia and should continue to handle more containers due to increased use of the Suez Canal and the expansion of the Panama Canal,” said Gary Frederick, senior vice president of Hillwood Investment Properties.

With close to 2 million TEUs (20 foot equivalent containers) handled per year, the Port of Charleston is among the busiest ports on the East Coast and is well positioned for continued growth. Super-post-panamax ships can be accommodated at the Port of Charleston due to channel depth/width and air draft of the new Ravenel Bridge. In addition the South Carolina State Ports Authority is building a new container terminal that will increase capacity by almost 50%.

“The rapidly growing consumer population and changing demographics of our region will continue to create new international trading opportunities for us,” said Bernard S. Groseclose, president and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority. “We are especially excited about this significant private investment by Hillwood and believe it is very timely given our own $128 million capital plan to prepare for growth in the coming year.”

In addition to its transportation advantages, Charleston Trade Center also features no inventory tax, the lowest corporate income tax rate in the Southeastern U.S. with corporate income tax credits available for jobs and headquarters facilities, fee in lieu of tax incentives to allow for fixed real and personal property tax rates for 20 years, a special source revenue credit that provides 25% property tax abatement, and dual electricity providers for heavy users.

Thomas G. Buist Jr. and Michael J. Ferrer of Grubb & Ellis|Barkley Fraser, a local affiliate of the national commercial real estate firm, Grubb & Ellis, will market the property for Hillwood.

“Mike and I are extremely pleased to be a part of such a dynamic project” said Buist, senior vice president of industrial services and a principal in the firm. “This is exactly what the region needs to remain competitive in the ever changing global marketplace.”

Hillwood has developed several major distribution hubs across the country. These include AllianceTexas in Dallas-Fort Worth, DeSoto Trade Center in the Memphis market, AllianceCalifornia near Los Angeles, and Lakeside Trade Center in North Texas.

Hillwood, ( a Perot company, is ranked as one of the top commercial real estate developers in the country and the top residential developer in Dallas-Fort Worth. The company’s developments currently house facilities for 85 companies listed on either the Fortune 500, Global 500 or Forbes List of Top Private firms. In addition to its major distribution hubs, Hillwood is best known for its development of the $420-million American Airlines Center and Victory district near downtown Dallas.

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