A joint venture of Federal Capital Partners® (FCP) and Roi-Tan Investments, LLC (Roi-Tan) announced today the acquisition of the historic Cigar Factory building on Charleston’s Cooper River waterfront. FCP, a Chevy Chase, MD based private equity firm and Roi-Tan Investments, LLC, comprised of a group of prominent local investors led by William Cogswell of WECCO Development, LLC and Jay Weaver of Weaver Capital Partners, LLC, plan to start the redevelopment immediately with base building completion planned for first quarter 2015.
Plans call for a complete transformation of the five story, 244,000 square foot Cigar Factory building into a first class, mixed use property that will include unmatched creative work/office space, signature restaurants and event space, high end retail and abundant parking. Tenants and visitors to the building will enjoy a meticulous restoration of this excellent example of Victorian era commercial architecture, with unique, high, exposed ceilings and sweeping views of the river, Ravenel Bridge and the city skyline. Located just a short walk from Upper King and its array of retail and restaurants, the Cigar Factory is well positioned to attract local and national tenants. The immediate proximity to the Ravenel Bridge and I-26 as well as ample on-site parking have already generated strong interest from tenants who place great value on their ability to avoid the congestion of the downtown historic district.
FCP Vice President, Bryan Kane, spoke to the firm’s enthusiasm for the Charleston market, saying, “The Cigar Factory is a unique opportunity to invest in the history and future of Charleston. The building’s redeveloped commercial and retail components fulfill the strong and growing demand for high quality lifestyle spaces on the Upper Peninsula. We are thrilled to be partnering with William Cogswell and Jay Weaver to redevelop the Cigar Factory. Their knowledge of the market and vision for the property gives us great confidence to invest alongside them.”
WECCO Principal, William Cogswell, stated, “We are excited to create a unique environment to address the growing demand of office and retail users that want to be downtown. We are pleased to welcome FCP as our partner and look forward to working together on the Cigar Factory.” Mr. Cogswell continued, “The venture is actively working with numerous tenants for the building. We anticipate office and retail announcements in the coming months.”
The total project costs for the redevelopment of the building, including historic restoration of the facade and windows, and build out of the tenant spaces will exceed $55 million. Both FCP and Roi-Tan will contribute equity capital to the transaction. In addition, FCP will provide mezzanine debt financing.
Located at 701 East Bay Street in Charleston’s Peninsula, the Cigar Factory is the one of the City’s largest privately owned properties within the Historic District, sited on 4.5 acres at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge. Built in 1882 as a cotton mill, the Cigar Factory building was sold in the early 1900s to American Tobacco Company, which manufactured the popular cigar brand, Roi-Tan, until the 1970’s. The property was later redeveloped into office space and used commercially under various owners. Plans for the redevelopment include utilizing much of the substantial work that has been done in recent years and taking advantage of the property’s unique ability to qualify for Federal Historic, State Historic and Textile Mill Tax Credits.
Roadstead Real Estate Advisors, LLC and Palmetto Commercial Properties, Inc. have been retained for the office and retail leasing. For additional leasing information, contact either Geoff Groat of Roadstead at (843) 577-7732 ext. 222 or Richard Morse of Palmetto at (843) 577-2550.
FCP extends its appreciation to Ken Grimes at Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group for his representation in the transaction.
Roi-Tan Investments, LLC
Roi-Tan Investments, LLC consists of local investors Walker Brock, William Cogswell, Mark Cumins, Todd Eischeid, John and Darrell Ferguson, John Tuck Morse, Richard Morse, Jerry Scheer, Chad Walldorf and Jay Weaver.
About Federal Capital Partners
Federal Capital Partners (FCP) is a privately held real estate investment company that has invested in or financed more than $3.5 billion in assets since its founding in 1999. FCP is seeking equity, preferred equity and mezzanine debt investments in commercial and residential real estate throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Washington DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, New Jersey and the Carolinas. FCP buys assets directly as well as through joint ventures with local operating partners. The firm, based in Chevy Chase, MD, owns and manages in excess of $2.3 billion in assets. FCP is currently investing its second investment fund, a $529 million commingled, discretionary fund closed in 2012. For further information on FCP, please visit www.fcpdc.com