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Retail, multifamily development opens at Morrison Yard in Charleston

Ross Norton //July 27, 2023//

Retail, multifamily development opens at Morrison Yard in Charleston

Ross Norton //July 27, 2023//

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The opportunity zone is part of the larger Morrison Yard development. (Photo/Provided)Revitate recently celebrated the opening of the Morrison Yard opportunity zone development.

Located at 838 Morrison Drive in a federally designated Qualified Opportunity Zone, the property features 380 upgraded multifamily rental units and approximately 27,250 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Revitate Executive Chairman Alex Bhathal said in a news release that the development also brings economic stimulation and social revitalization to an emerging neighborhood known as North Morrison that was formerly dedicated to industrial businesses serving the nearby port.

“Morrison Yard is a terrific example of how we seek to generate both positive impacts for communities and compelling risk-adjusted returns to our investors,” Bhathal said in the news release. “Through a business lens, the project reflects our strategy of partnering with top-tier sponsors to build new multifamily housing in high-growth communities nationwide. And through a community lens, we are compelled by potential to catalyze new job creation, housing, economic development and community benefits in an historically overlooked and underestimated neighborhood.”

The property is part of the larger master-planned mixed-use development of the same name. At completion of the of the master plan, Morrison Yard will offer more than 138,000 square feet of Class A office space in a 10-story building, 380 apartment homes, more than 40,000 square feet of street-level retail, a Kimpton Hotel, and luxury residences, the release stated. The newly completed phase I apartments, Morrison Yard Residences, were delivered by Woodfield Development.

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Bhathal and his fellow Revitate cofounder Lisa Merage invested in Morrison Yard via RevOZ Capital, an opportunity zone investment platform they co-founded in 2019 with Cress Capital that completed its investments in 2022, the release said. Bhathal and Merage continue their opportunity zone investing through the Revitate Impact strategy.  Through both RevOZ Capital and Revitate, they have led or co-led four Opportunity Zone funds with investment into 15 projects with an estimated total project value of $1.5 billion, they said in the release.

The apartments at Morrison Yard include 380 units. (Photo/Provided)Joining Bhathal was U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a Charleston native and co-author of the 2017 federal legislation that established the Opportunity Zone program.

“This Morrison Yard project is a fantastic example of the power of Opportunity Zones,” Scott said in the release. “It’s wonderful to see targeted investments and community collaboration result in economic transformation. This project is poised to create a safer and more prosperous community for generations to come.”

The project’s developer Woodfield Development was also on hand to mark the completion of construction and celebrate the opening of the community. 

“We are proud to be a part of this transformative project, which will stimulate the local economy for generations of Charleston residents,” Mike Schwarz, partner at Woodfield Development, said in the release. “The amenities and recreational opportunities are world-class. But just as importantly, we are committed to serving as a positive force for the Eastside community and greater Charleston.”

Morrison Yard includes studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom floorplans with elevated finishes and hardware including designer light fixtures, built-in cabinetry, and stainless-steel appliances. Set on over five acres, the community offers an open-air saltwater pool with sundecks, cabanas, grilling stations, and TVs; 1.5 acres of outdoor courtyards; a dog park; a state-of-the-art gym with fitness classes; and group gatherings such as wine tastings and cookouts.

According to an economic impact study prepared by the University of South Carolina, the Morrison Yard project is expected to generate a cumulative economic impact in excess of $1.4 billion by 2030 via development of new housing, office space and retail programming, the release said. An estimated 84% of this impact is expected to be captured within the city of Charleston.

Morrison Yard is located within a Qualified Opportunity Zone, one of more than 8,700 census tracts identified by state and federal leaders as high priority areas to attract new long-term private investment to stimulate economic and community development. The Opportunity Zone program is a result of bipartisan legislation enacted in 2017 under the guidance of Sen. Scott and his co-sponsor Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). The program provides tax benefits for individuals who make long-term investments into QOZ communities.

Revitate Impact facilitates investment into commercial real estate developments located in Qualified Opportunity Zones in emerging secondary markets across the country.