UC Funds Backs N. Charleston Makeover

An historic naval hospital will get new life as office space for community service providers.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

UC Funds is giving a helping hand in the transformation of an historic former naval hospital into Chicora Life Center, a Class A office building in North Charleston, S.C. The national balance-sheet lender has come through for Chicora Gardens Holdings L.L.C., owner of the 398,647-square-foot building, funding a $13.9 million loan for the long-abandoned property’s renovation.

Chicora Life Center, North Charleston, S.C.
Chicora Life Center, North Charleston, S.C.

A 10-story tower located at 3600 Rivers Ave., Chicora Life Center will unite a host of community services providers–from government social services agencies to private healthcare organization–at one address. “The project brought a development team with vision together with a lending institution that could recognize the asset value upon completion,” UC Funds’ Joel K. Pecoy, vice president, asset management, told CPE.

A portion of the financing will be utilized for tenant build-out for the county of Charleston which, having signed a 25-year lease in 2014, will consolidate various social services and medical divisions at the facility. Loan proceeds will also be applied to upgrades, including that of the HVAC system, as well as the renovation of common spaces. Ultimately, Chicora Life Center will also feature meeting space, retail tenants and public space.

“Local government support of the project will result in a rebirth for this area,” Pecoy said. “Once completed, others will look at this development as a landmark example of a successful public-private partnership that will provide a model for community revitalization across America.”

UC Funds has been involved with the Chicora adaptive reuse project for more than a year. In September 2014, the firm closed a $10.9 million lease-up bridge loan for the property owner.