Why Is Upper King Street Thriving?

King Street Charleston, SC

Commercial and Tourism Growth on Upper King Street

You know you’re somewhere special when you set foot in downtown Charleston. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you can sense the history on every street corner and a feel a buzz in the air. It’s a place where you’re intrigued to explore more, but the more you see and do the more you wonder what else you’re missing out on. 4.8 million people visit the Holy City every year and the majority start off in historic downtown where they are welcomed with the South’s finest cuisine, upscale fashion and designer shops, and renowned nightlife.

Of course, Charlestonians know that our city is much more than a historical tourist destination but also an emerging entrepreneurial hotspot, aeronautics manufacturing hub, and the 8th most valuable port in the United States. It’s no wonder why people are moving here at a record pace. With more people come more changes and for downtown, the change is happening now. With accelerated growth in real estate development in the Upper King Street district, business owners and investors are clamoring to take advantage of the prime openings in the newly revitalized area.

Commercial growth on King Street has been relatively steady over the last decade with over 30 businesses opening, many just in the last 3 to 4 years. These new establishments have found unique ways to renovate and revitalize buildings using original materials and recreating the architectural style from the 18th and 19th centuries.  The majority of businesses are comprised of upscale food and beverage restaurants, home design emporiums, and art galleries. Some of our favorite restaurants on Upper King include Closed for Business which has some of the best Lowcountry and seasonal beers on tap. Just down the street is  Rarebit which features a unique, upscale dining experience and must-try signature cocktails like their Moscow Muel. Another local favorite is O-Ku who pride themselves on their mouthwatering specialty sushi and vibrant atmosphere. These newer upscale establishments have drawn attention away from Market Street and East Bay Street, which were traditionally the epicenter of Charleston cuisine and nightlife.

Historic Downtown Charleston,SC

The shift in attention and popularity to the new hotspot on King has lead to increased demand for commercial space with retail space bringing $40 to $45 per square foot in 2014. In addition, Upper King now sports the new Elan Midtown Boutique Apartment Homes complex, which is historic Charleston’s only new construction luxury apartments.  As a result of this expansion and the 2-cent Food and Beverage Accommodation Tax, the city of Charleston saw a 17 percent increase in revenue as of 2013. Heavy expansion is expected to continue for the next 1 to 2 years as 5 new hotels are being planned for the area around Upper King Street and Meeting Street. Meanwhile, Evening Post Industries has proposed a 10 year construction project on 12 acres of land in between King, Meeting and St. Phillip streets which will be named Courier Square and will feature mixed use spaces for retail, housing and office space.

It’s no wonder that King Street was recently named one of the 10 Greatest Streets in America by the American Planning Association. Dramatic improvements in restoration techniques, smart city planning and a demand for new commercial and residential space represents a bright future for the once overshadowed district.

Neighborhoods Around Upper King



Radcliffeborough neighborhood is one of the peninsula’s most conveniently positioned residential areas to everything that downtown Charleston has to offer. Bordered by Morris Street to the north, King Street to the east, Rutledge Avenue to the west and Calhoun Street to the south, Radcliffeborough residents are only steps away from shopping and dining on King Street, cultural events at the College of Charleston, and the Charleston Farmers Market at Marion Square. Read more about Radcliffeborough.[idx-listings tract=”Radcliffeborough” statuses=”1″ propertytypes=”293″ orderby=”DateAdded” orderdir=”DESC” count=”5″ showlargerphotos=”true”]

 Cannonborough Elliotborough
Cannonborough Elliotborough Neighborhood Map Charleston South Carolina

Cannonborough Elliotborough Neighborhood Charleston South Carolina

Cannonborough is most known for the Medical University of South Carolina campus, which resides almost wholly within the Cannonborough borders. Directly next door to the MUSC campus is Roper Hospital, one of the Charleston area’s best hospitals. Residents of Cannonborough are only minutes away from the best healthcare in the state, and it is no surprise that many of the homes in this area house medical students, residents, and physicians, and their families. Read more about Cannonborough Elliotborough neighborhoods.

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If you’re interested in being a part of these exciting opportunities, contact Matt Anderson Properties.