February 28, 2014

Former grocery warehouse could see new life in Columbia

The former Colonial Warehouse on Shop Road is poised for new life.

The former Colonial Warehouse on Shop Road is poised for new life.

A Charleston family bought the warehouse last month at a foreclosure auction for $2.7 million plus costs, said Dail Longaker Jr., a senior investment broker with NAI Avant, who helped broker the deal.

“We feel like we got a very good buy,” Longaker said.

The warehouse – at 1115 Shop Road – now is on the market again, Longaker said. Its new owners potentially could sell the 265,000-square-foot building to a new owner who could tear it down to build another project, he added.

A small portion of the original site was sold to the Gates at Williams-Brice, a condominium project that opened seven years ago in the shadow of the University of South Carolina’s football stadium.

The majority of the remaining 10.25 acres, largely vacant for several years, has been proposed over the years for more student housing and even as a one-stop center for providing services to the Midlands’ homeless population.

While several student-housing projects are springing up closer to USC’s downtown campus, the Shop Road site still could be viable for more student housing. The Shop Road site could cost significantly less than the property for the Vista-area projects, resulting in lower rental or purchase prices, Longaker said.

“It’s in a location that has seen a pretty significant transition over the past number of years,” he said. “Whether it’s this year, next year or five years from now, there’s going to be a higher and better use for that property.”

Longaker said his clients, the Truluck family of Charleston, will entertain offers for the property for the next couple of months. If they don’t get an offer they like, the family likely will make some improvements to the warehouse and market it for lease for a commercial use.

The building, originally a grocery store warehouse, has been home to several uses over the years, most recently a T-shirt manufacturer.

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