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Palmetto Brewery buys downtown site, nixing North Charleston move

Hospitality and Tourism
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Palmetto Brewing Co. has purchased its site at 289 Huger St. in downtown Charleston. The brewery's owners plan to expand into the Coastal Coffee Roasters site and tear down the Brooks Signs building. (Image/Google Street View)

Palmetto Brewing Co. has nixed its relocation to North Charleston, opting instead to stay at its longtime brewing site at 289 Huger St. in downtown Charleston.

The brewery would have been part of The Beach Co.’s redevelopment of the Garco site into a mixed-use project with residences and commercial space, but the owners decided to buy the property they have leased for 23 years for $2.9 million, when that became an option.

“This is our original location. We have been brewing here since 1993. ... It was an opportunity we didn’t want to pass up,” said Kate Fischer, Palmetto Brewery’s casing room manager.

Palmetto announced its plans to move into the Garco site in Park Circle last fall. White Point Partners, a Charlotte development firm listed as Huger Street Holdings LLC on the land records, bought Palmetto’s space and its adjacent neighbors, Charleston Coffee Roasters and Brooks Signs, for $7.8 million in 2015, Charleston County records show.

The firm planned to demolish the buildings and build 200 apartments there, prompting the businesses to look elsewhere for space. The brewery also needed room to expand.

Palmetto Brewing Co. bought a 5.83-acre site on the former Garco factory site between Chateau and Virginia avenues.

White Point Partners then notified the brewery in February of its plans to sell the downtown site, forgoing the apartments. Palmetto Brewery decided to buy the property; county records do not yet show the sale or the purchase price.

The owners of Palmetto still own the land at the Garco site; they have not yet made plans for it, according to a news release.

“When it came down to it, all signs pointed to staking our claim in the place Palmetto has called home since 1993,” Palmetto Brewery owner Larry Lipov said in the release. “There’s a lot of history and great memories for us in this space, so we took the leap. We still own the space in North Charleston, but for now it’s all about making our Huger Street home the best it can be, so we can keep making great beer that people enjoy. It feels great to own where you came from.”

The brewery’s owners plan to expand into Charleston Coffee Roasters’ space, and the coffee company plans to relocate to North Charleston in June. Brooks Signs has also relocated — to Warren Street — and its building will be torn down.

Palmetto plans to work with Charleston architect Luke Jarrett to design an expanded space with more storage and production areas, as well as to create a “living wall” of plants outside.

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

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