While Construction Slows Nationwide, Charleston's Cigar Factory Rebirth Underway

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Construction has begun on The Cigar Factory in Charleston, South Carolina. This mixed use project will feature lofts, retail and office space. Construction will take place over the next 16 to 18 months.

Construction on the Cigar Factory - a historically significant building considered to be among this city's largest built structures - has begun. The 127-year-old building at 701 East Bay Street is being renovated to replicate its original design and beauty, and to pay homage to its history and location.

The Cigar Factory is beginning construction at a time when new housing starts, building permits and homes completed are at a 17-year low nationwide.

Construction will take place over the next 16 to 18 months and developers are aiming for a Fall 2009 opening. Senior Development Project Manager Scott McKenna explains: "The Cigar Factory is significant for its physical presence on the Charleston peninsula, and for its history. We're excited to preserve its best features and bring modern new materials and techniques to bear in its reinvention."

The Simpson Organization has partnered with The Sustainable Warehouse to recycle the majority of exterior and interior materials. To date, 18 tons of material have already been recycled and donated to various local non-profit organizations. Additionally, exterior landscaping will be donated to neighborhood parks and public spaces.

When complete, the Cigar Factory will feature 66 loft condominiums and 40,000 square feet of retail and 25,000 square feet of office space. Lofts range in size from 800 to 2,800 square feet and boast 15-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, open floor plans and kitchens and much more.

Private amenities include: pool, screening room, formal Charleston garden, garages, private wine cellar, fitness center, rooftop observation deck and concierge and shuttle services. Retail spaces will be configured for restaurants, upscale shops and galleries.

The Cigar Factory was constructed in 1881 as a cotton manufacturing facility and closed after the 1886 earthquake. The building reopened in 1903 when it was leased to the American Cigar Company. The American Cigar Company ceased operation in 1973 and the building was used for office and warehouse space over the next decade. From 1982 until 2006, it housed Johnson and Wales and various offices. In 2007, The Simpson Organization purchased the building.

To learn more about the Cigar Factory, visit the sales center at 701 East Bay Street, call 843.577.3600 or visit The Cigar Factory website.

About the Simpson Organization:
For over two decades, the Simpson Organization has acted as an investor, developer and advisor for over $2 billion of real estate projects. With a focus on urban properties of historic significance, The Simpson Organization has deep experience with adaptive reuse and with residential, retail, office, industrial and mixed use properties.

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Grace LeSueur
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