Palmetto to Develop 4,500-Acre Medical Campus in SC; Phase One to Cost $135M

Palmetto Primary Care Physicians and Equity Inc. are developing a $135 million health and wellness campus in Summerville, S.C., featuring two 150,000-square-foot medical buildings.


Palmetto Primary Care Physicians and Equity Inc., a Columbus, Ohio-based commercial real estate firm, are developing a $135 million health and wellness campus in Summerville, S.C., featuring two 150,000-square-foot medical buildings.

Phase One will break ground in July and will also include an ambulatory surgery center, a 24-hour urgent care unit and rehabilitation services. The project will be located in the Nexton development, a 4,500-acre master-planned community at I-26 and Highway 17A near Charleston. The state-of-the-art medical campus is expected to create 1,500 jobs.

“This project will set a new national standard for the delivery of affordable healthcare,” Equity CEO Steve Wathen said in a news release.

Construction on the second phase of The Nexton Health & Wellness Campus is expected to begin at the end of the year and will include a seniors housing community with at least 170 residences and a hotel for patients and their families. Palmetto, a North Charleston health care practice, has options to expand to as many as 35 acres over the next several years, according to Palmetto CEO Jeff Lehrich.

Lehrich told the Charleston Regional Business Journal that more than 200 independent physicians have agreed to move to the campus. He said the first tower was already leased and the second tower is more than 76 percent leased, according to the newspaper.

Equity and Palmetto chose Nexton because of its convenient location and commitment to innovation and technology. Nexton, being developed by MeadWestvaco Corp.’s Community Development and Land Management Group, will be the first in South Carolina to meet a federal challenge to provide GigaFi, the fastest, high-speed broadband connections available.

“We think of Palmetto as a leading-edge company,” Lehrich said in the news release. “With its recent announcement of providing a one gigabit Internet capacity, Nexton is slated to be the most technologically advanced community in the state.”

Palmetto isn’t the only employer planning to move to Nexton. SCRA, an applied research corporation based in Columbia, S.C., said last April it was buying 10 acres at the community and possibly more to build a new facility. It plans to move most of its 185 employees into the new site by October.

Nexton, which began construction early last year, will contain several residential neighborhoods, including multi-family developments, as well as office buildings, hotels, retail properties, entertainment and dining venues.

Equity, which was founded by Wathen in 1989, is a full-service CRE firm offering development, brokerage, construction and management services. The firm focuses on health care, retail, office, mixed-use and seniors housing projects.