Historic Charleston Cigar Factory Lands $50M Refi

Constructed in 1881, the building now offers creative office space, a signature restaurant, high-end retail and grade-level parking. Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group secured the fixed-rate, 20-year loan.

The Cigar Factory, a mixed-use redeveloped building located in downtown Charleston, S.C., landed $50 million in refinancing through MetLife Real Estate. Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group secured the fixed-rate, 20-year loan.

Borrower FCP, alongside local joint venture partner WECCO Development and Weaver Capital Partners, acquired the property in April 2014 for roughly $24.2 million. According to Yardi Matrix data, FCP provided both mezzanine debt financing in the amount of $29 million and equity to facilitate WECCO & Weaver’s vision, the financing being arranged by Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group through PNC Bank.

An award-winning local historic icon

Located at 701 E. Bay St. along Cooper River, the asset was constructed in 1881 as a cotton manufacturing facility. After surviving the 1886 earthquake, The Cigar Factory changed hands and was leased in 1903 to the American Cigar Company, the building being used as office and warehouse space after cigar manufacturing ended.

After changing hands in 2014, the property was transformed into a mixed-use building that includes creative office space, a signature restaurant and events space, high-end retail and grade-level parking. The property features high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, flexible floor plans, service elevators, high-speed internet, redundant power and a rooftop patio. The Cigar Factory offers easy access to Interstate 26 and US Route 17 and is situated within walking distance of the Upper King Commercial District.

The Cigar Factory has been recognized as one of “Preservation’s Best of 2015” by Preservation Action, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Trust Community Investment Corp. In January 2016, the asset received the Carolopolis Award from the Preservation Society of Charleston, an award which is presented to individuals, businesses or organizations that have achieved distinction in restoring or rehabilitating historic, architecturally significant properties in Charleston.

We were fortunate to formulate a capital structure that helped the local partners in the venture achieve their goal of long term ownership and we now wish them continued success as they take the next step in that plan,” said Bryan Kane, senior vice president of FCP, in a prepared statement.

Our vision to create a unique environment to address the growing demands of office and retail users that want to be conveniently located downtown has exceeded our expectations,” added William Cogswell, president of WECCO Development.

Images courtesy of The Cigar Factory