Avison Young in Charleston

For more than 20 years, the principals and associates of the Charleston, South Carolina office of Avison Young have been providing a full range of commercial real estate services to clients throughout the Tri-County region.  The Charleston office offers a full suite of services including brokerage, property management, project management, capital markets and development services for business, industrial and investment organizations of all kinds. Each Charleston real estate agent specializes in specific sectors, including healthcare, industrial, multifamily, office and retail while working in teams to create the highest degree of value-added service for our clients.

Guiding everything we do is an unwavering commitment to excellence in client service.  Through a dedicated, principal-led business resources team, we provide tools, technology and expertise to support our clients, however complex their challenges. Our approach is holistic and consistent. It starts with an understanding of your business priorities, not with real estate transactions. For our clients, this means we produce customized, cost-effective solutions with speed, creativity and confidence.

With over 75 years of combined experience, the Charleston property management team gives owners the confidence their investment will be properly managed. In addition to maintaining positive tenant relationships, our team delivers innovative real estate management solutions, finds reputable and responsive vendors at competitive prices, and provides the resources to keep track of clients’ financial information. Our experience and expertise span commercial, retail and industrial property types, and include all of the resources and expertise of Avison Young’s global organization.


User/Occupier Owner/Investor Development
Transaction Management Landlord Representation Real Estate Development
Tenant Representation Capital Markets Management and Advisory
Consulting and Advisory Investment Sales Design Management
Project Management Property Management Construction Management
Enterprise Solutions Investment and Asset Management  
  Project Management - Investor  

Area Overview

Charleston is known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants and mannerly people. The Tri-County Charleston metropolitan area includes Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.  The Tri-County area has a strong broad-based economy with market drivers including education, entertainment, healthcare, manufacturing, military defense, port-related trade, technology and tourism. Orangeburg County has become an extension of the Tri-County region and is home to aerospace and auto manufacturing. The region has experienced unprecedented growth and economic diversification, with both multinational corporations and fast-growing startups taking advantage of our globally competitive business environment and rapidly expanding, diverse population.

The area’s diverse economic mix is a combination of one of the busiest container ports along the Southeast and Gulf coast, known as South Carolina Ports;  a $3+ billion tourism industry; one of the Southeast’s most impressive medical hubs; a well-established base of national and international manufacturers, and  a large military presence.

Companies continue to locate here to capitalize on the high-quality workforce, low taxes and quality of life. Arts, recreational and cultural opportunities are abundant, including museums, music, dance and theater, as well as water sports, golf, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and other activities. Abundant restaurant offerings have made Charleston one of the culinary capitals of the world. The area is consistently recognized  as one of the top travel and tourist destinations on the globe.

Biotechnology inventions from four universities and the Medical University of South Carolina create an opportunity for growth in this sector. The digital revolution is also alive and well with multiple public and private companies operating in the space sector. This vibrant and energetic dimension of the community attracts young and exciting talent to the region. The Charleston region is positioned to continue its growth throughout the 21st Century.


Although Charleston has long attracted tourists, it has increasingly become a business destination. The airport expansion and increased number of direct destinations, which now include London, U.K., position Charleston to benefit further from domestic and foreign direct investment.

The Charleston Peninsula continues to flourish, adding taller office, residential and mixed-use developments. Expanding centers of employment and living are resulting in a burgeoning restaurant and night-life sector in new areas.

Meanwhile, the suburban markets have matured to become selfsustaining communities with housing, jobs, schools, retail and health care facilities. Like other markets registering rapid growth, the region struggles with infrastructure, talent and housing-affordability shortages. Initiatives are underway to address these issues so that the region remains a desirable place to live, work and play.


Low vacancy and rising lease rates on the Charleston peninsula have led to new office development north of the Historic district, further shifting the CBD. While the west side attracts health sciences and related users, tech companies are dropping anchor on the east side. These employers seek locations to take advantage of the lifestyle their employees enjoy. Given the region’s low unemployment rate and competition for top talent, this trend is expected to continue. Zoning in both areas allows for increased building height, density, adequate parking and amenities necessary to attract and retain talent. With these dynamics in the CBD, a shift of priceconscious office users to the suburbs is expected. Owners of existing buildings will need to reinvest and renovate to remain competitive.


The industrial market remained strong in 2018 as major manufacturing facilities expanded and continued to hire. The completion of Volvo’s plant and Mercedes-Benz Vans’ expansion put pressure on the workforce while fueling interest from auto suppliers around the world.

Vacancy pushed downward slightly while new speculative inventory persists. The market is expanding geographically to combat workforce, congestion, land and construction costs. Going forward in 2019, more foreign direct investment is anticipated along with the emergence of new enterprises, such as e-commerce. The SC Port Authority’s sixth terminal under construction and second inland port, now fully operational, are positioned to help with increased import/export and container traffic.


Charleston remains a growth area for regional and national retailers. Retail grew throughout the region in 2018 following single- and multi-family developments. As new product came online, older centers were revitalized, while vacant stores were demised to accommodate smaller footprints and non-retail occupiers. Vacancy rates remained low while base rents stayed level. Many developments under construction will open their doors fully leased in 2019. Although the nature of retail has shifted, the demand for brick-and-mortar locations will persist, as tenants are prepared to pay to occupy these locations.


Charleston, sometimes referred to as Silicon Harbor, is performing well and will continue to be one of the top inbound investment markets in the southeastern U.S. in 2019. Institutional investors have flocked to the region, constructing thousands of multifamily units, millions of square feet of industrial space and significant amounts of higher-quality office buildings. With a rising interest-rate environment and an inevitable shift in cap rates, declining transaction volume is expected in the latter half of 2019. Increased construction costs will hinder the development of new speculative product in 2019 until adequate absorption takes place.