With an average of 230 days of sunshine each year, a low cost of living, and endless recreational activities, Charleston is a joy to call home. As the second most popular place to live in the U.S., metro Charleston is booming, not only with new residents but with new construction and property investment opportunities too. But with the Tri-County's rapid rate of growth comes increased real estate demand and complexity. That's especially true for commercial real estate transactions. According to CoStar, near-zero vacancy rates and short supply have forced rents and sales to reach record highs. At the same time, online medical and grocery purchases, along with last-mile delivery needs, have driven a new desire for industrial space.
It's safe to say that there is a lot of opportunity on the table for commercial real estate sellers and investors in South Carolina. But capitalizing on that opportunity without the proper market knowledge, relationships, or risk analysis can actually be counterproductive to your goals. That's where Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic's commercial real estate brokers in Charleston, SC, come into play.
As experts in the commercial real estate industry for more than 37 years, our brokerage provides the highest level of service to clients in today's rapid, constantly-changing business climate.
At Coldwell Banker Commercial, we pride ourselves on having local power and a global presence. Our clients entrust their complex and lucrative commercial real estate deals to us because they understand the value of working with brokers who are familiar faces within the community. On any given day, you could be standing next to one of our brokers at a grocery store or local restaurant. As your friends and neighbors, we're proud to call the Lowcountry home. Though we have local roots, our resources and expertise are backed by a global network. That power gives our commercial real estate clients peace of mind, knowing they have access to a dynamic and diversified brokerage of highly-trained and educated agents.
From general commercial leasing services and property management to investment guidance and new property site selection, our team works tirelessly to exceed your expectations and meet your goals. Whether you're looking to buy, sell, lease, or develop, our commercial real estate brokerage in Summerville, SC provides the up-to-date advice and time-tested market knowledge needed to facilitate any commercial real estate transaction, large or small.
Some of the commercial real estate specialties we focus on in South Carolina include:
At the end of the day, our commercial brokers and agents aren't satisfied until you're a happy customer. That's why every service and decision we recommend is made with your best interests in mind.
Perhaps you're in a situation where you need more space for a growing business. Maybe, instead, you want to capitalize on low-interest rates and buy a commercial real estate investment property to bolster your portfolio. Whatever your needs may be, whether as an investor or a small business owner, your goals are probably the same: lock in the best value and negotiate optimal terms for leasing, buying, or selling. When it's all said and done, you want to minimize expenses and maximize your ROI.
Unfortunately, commercial real estate is complex by nature. Given today's ever-changing real estate landscape and the challenges of our economy, working with a commercial real estate agent is the savviest way to save money and lessen the likelihood of making a poor investment.
That's because the very best commercial real estate brokers, like those at Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic, do more than putting "for sale" signs in yards and in newspapers. They have the tools and training to source and present research apropos to your commercial real estate purchase or sale. They also have the ability to provide transaction and advisory services to ensure every aspect of your CRE process goes smoothly and efficiently. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Here are a few of the biggest reasons to work with a commercial real estate broker in South Carolina.
Unsurprisingly, money is one of the biggest reasons why people steer clear of CRE brokers - for the cost savings. Yet, just about every commercial real estate transaction is managed by a commercial real estate brokerage. Why might that be? The answer is that smart business owners, executives, and investors know that the most lucrative cost savings stem from good planning, time management, and successful negotiations. Only an experienced commercial real estate broker can provide you with those features while also properly structuring your commercial real estate deal.
Commercial real estate investors and business owners often have jam-packed schedules with little time to spare for anything other than day-to-day operations. If that sounds familiar, you know how crucial time management is for commercial real estate. By working with a seasoned broker, you can uphold your daily responsibilities while they provide guidance and manage the minutia of your CRE dealings.
Reputable commercial real estate brokerages provide access to a bevy of information that is pertinent to your commercial real estate goals. We're talking vacancy and absorption rates, the latest sales price data, comparative labor and tax costs, and more. Your broker will help break down this information so that you can make the most informed decisions possible. Brokerages like Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic also have systems and software to facilitate complex real estate processes while eliminating unneeded costs. The combination of accumulated data and exclusive systems results in a more cost-effective, efficient way to meet your real estate requirements on terms that are beneficial to you.
As is the case with most things in life, practice and repetition are essential in honing skills and achieving business success. The truth is that no amount of money or "how to" articles can suffice for decades of real-world, hands-on experience. Sure, you can find a litany of commercial real estate info online. But those articles won't teach you about navigating the nuances of structuring advantageous purchase terms or completing complicated due diligence tasks. A successful commercial real estate broker in Summerville, SC, will have no problem executing these often-confusing processes because they've done it dozens and dozens of times before. This priceless experience is your best resource for successful commercial real estate initiatives.
One of the biggest advantages of working with a commercial real estate brokerage is their ability to provide necessary services that are relevant to your real estate needs. As a Coldwell Banker Commercial affiliate, we are part of a network that allows us access to accounting, legal, and other services needed on your real estate journey. Finding and vetting these services can be very costly and time-consuming, which is unneeded stress that we're happy to remove from your plate.
For any project to be successful, a strategic marketing plan must be implemented to achieve the desired results for our clients. The methods of exposing and promoting a property must be creative, innovative, and unique to your property. At Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic, we utilize the most effective methods that make sense for your property in South Carolina, including:
If you're reading this page, chances are you're successful to some degree and have entered negotiations a time or two in your professional life. While that's nothing to sneeze at, the art of negotiating in the commercial real estate industry is a skill that must be honed over years of transactions. In the world of CRE, transaction negotiations are often time-consuming and stressful - two things you don't need in your life. Your commercial real estate broker will use their experience to relieve you of that stress so that you can focus on growing your business or serving tenants.
One of the most valuable reasons for working with a commercial real estate brokerage is that staff have a deep understanding of South Carolina's real estate market. In the Lowcountry, trends and market conditions are constantly changing. Opportunities are lost and found daily.
With this market knowledge, your commercial real estate broker in Summerville, SC, can provide an easy-to-understand analysis of various commercial properties within your budget. They'll know what relevant properties are leased or sold for and how much. Savvy commercial real estate brokers are also always informed on local demographics and market indicators that impact your commercial real estate goals. For instance, with COVID becoming a more accepted part of our lives, leasing, and sales in retail have taken off, especially for Class A and Class B centers.
At Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic, we specialize in several commercial real estate services. Though each service is comprehensive and will differ for each client, here is a brief overview to help you understand the scope of our abilities.
We're proud to say that our commercial real estate brokers in Summerville, SC, are equipped with all the necessary skills and traits to make your life easier. From transactional needs to marketing strategies, our experience and market knowledge is second to none, allowing us to ensure your success in today's market.
In an ever-changing commercial real estate industry, our approach to property management is constantly evolving. Our team has extensive experience in commercial real estate management and recognizes its importance as a foundation for long-term value and wealth. As such, Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic provides tailor-made property management packages that meet your specific assets needs and objectives.
Whether you're entering a build-to-suite or remodeling a commercial property, our associates are ready to represent you with facility planning, design, construction, zoning restrictions, and so much more. If you're looking for a brokerage that can guide you through every step of the construction process with your goals and budget at heart, look no further than Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic.
Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic provides comprehensive investment analytics to better evaluate potential investments and increase return on those investments. Additionally, our team can facilitate single or multiple-location transactions and also find alternative financing recommendations if needed.
From selecting the perfect building site for your property to overseeing its initial construction, our associates provide experience and expertise when you need it most, covering every step and service of property development. If needed, our team can assemble the right professionals to ensure your property is developed to your unique specifications and applicable regulatory standards.
Our commercial real estate brokerage represents clients in both the disposition and acquisition of property and works directly with you to determine your needs. We then strive to improve efficiency and reduce costs. We also assist financial institutions and government agencies in the management and disposition of âtroubled properties.' Our firm incorporates its spectrum of services to efficiently turn these properties around and improve their value for ultimate disposition.
If you're just getting started in commercial real estate investing, you're probably searching for reliable advice and best practices to follow. While hands-on experience and guidance from a commercial real estate broker are always best, a little advice never hurts. After all, there's a wide world of opportunity out there. As you begin to build a more robust portfolio, keep these tips and tricks in mind.
Commercial real estate deals can take a lot longer than traditional single-family transactions. That's true throughout the entire process, from purchase, to renovation, to selling. That's not a bad thing - after all, having impatience is a good way to rush into a poor decision. Instead of a means to quick cash, think of commercial real estate deals as a large bonus or as a vehicle for retirement.
Many commercial real estate investors jump right into the multi-family property space. However, it's essential to keep other types of properties in mind, such as mobile homes, office buildings, land, and even mobile home parks. Forget about your comfort zone. Instead, weigh your options and choose a niche that helps you meet your goals.
Commercial loans are quite different than their residential counterparts. In some ways, they're better. Though down payments are typically higher, meaning you'll put more down, there's often no personal liability involved. Plus, commercial loans can be more forgiving when borrowing money for down payments. The bottom line is to search for the best lenders before making an offer. If you're having trouble, ask your commercial real estate broker for assistance, as they often have connections and partnerships with relevant entities.
If you're used to buying residential homes, you're probably familiar with some formulas, such as buying 75% of after-repaired value minus the estimated cost of repairs. Depending on the type of commercial property you're buying or selling, you'll have different formulas to learn. Two examples are Cap Rates and Net Operating Income. Learning these formulas can be very beneficial when making an offer.
If you find yourself discouraged with the commercial real estate game, remember that the team at your commercial real estate brokerage is there to make your life easier. At Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic, we have a powerful brokerage with a team of over 20 highly skilled and educated agents. Our job is to serve you, whether you're a new investor looking for your first deal or an experienced property owner looking for 1031 tax investment advice.
SUMMERVILLE — There will soon be a new sculpture right outside of Saul Alexander Playground, and it’s going to be absolutely bananas.Town Council accepted the Sculpture in the South’s donation of a 350-pound, 7-foot half-peeled banana with feet reclined on a 6-foot-long bronze bench.Sculpture in the South is an organization formed in 1999 to add art to public spaces throughout Summerville.The group is in the process of fundraising to purchase the sculpture, which costs $50,000.Otis Engelman, chai...
SUMMERVILLE — There will soon be a new sculpture right outside of Saul Alexander Playground, and it’s going to be absolutely bananas.
Town Council accepted the Sculpture in the South’s donation of a 350-pound, 7-foot half-peeled banana with feet reclined on a 6-foot-long bronze bench.
Sculpture in the South is an organization formed in 1999 to add art to public spaces throughout Summerville.
The group is in the process of fundraising to purchase the sculpture, which costs $50,000.
Otis Engelman, chairman of Sculpture in the South, said every sculpture the organization has purchased to place in Summerville has been paid for by donations from Summerville residents and no town funds.
The banana sculpture will be placed between the Miracle League field and the playground, near the horseshoe. Town Council accepted the sculpture during its Jan. 12 meeting.
The banana is a work of Jack Hill, who is based out of DeLand, Fla. Dora Ann Reaves, a member of Sculpture in the South, said the banana is one of Hill’s favorite forms, adding that he has other sculptures of bananas on roller skates.
“He’s got a real interesting sense of humor,” Reaves said. “The idea that a banana could sit on a bench or roller skate is of interest to him.”
Sculpture in the South has already placed a variety of sculptures around the town, many of which are in Summerville parks. The organization helped facilitate the sculpture of the late John McKissick and his wife, Joan.
Sculpture in the South was looking to add a more whimsical piece to its collection, Amy Evans, parks and recreation director, said.
Reaves spoke for the banana at the standing committees meeting on Jan. 9, where the Parks and Recreation Committee voted unanimously to accept the donation.
Reaves said she likes the banana sculpture because it’s a more fun piece, and has a unique look.
Town Councilman Aaron Brown spoke in favor of the sculpture after Reaves gave her endorsement.
“I think it would be a good idea if we try to be more broad-based with the sculptures that we approve,” Brown said at the meeting. He then suggested getting a sculpture at Wassamassaw Community Park to represent Native Americans’ heritage.
Town Councilwoman Kima Garten-Schmidt said she believes the banana is the perfect sculpture for the park.
“It’s not supposed to be anything serious,” Garten-Schmidt said. “The kids are going to absolutely love it. They’re going to love climbing on it, getting their picture taken with it — even adults are going to love getting a selfie taken with it.”
While it was board of the Sculpture in the South’s decision to choose the banana to place in Saul Alexander Playground, Reaves said she was pleased with the choice.
“Most of our other pieces are memorials or animals,” Reaves said. “We don’t have any other bananas.”
If anyone is interested in donating or contributing to the fundraiser for the banana sculpture, email email@example.com.
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Summerville announced the approval of the Maple Street Extension project on Monday.Years after the project was introduced in 2014, Blythe Development Company was awarded the bid to begin construction on the project, which will improve in total a mile and a half of roads throughout Summerville.The town acquired 90 pieces of property in order to make the project possible with the first of four major projects of the extension being Maple Street, which will be widened from two lanes to four to...
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Summerville announced the approval of the Maple Street Extension project on Monday.
Years after the project was introduced in 2014, Blythe Development Company was awarded the bid to begin construction on the project, which will improve in total a mile and a half of roads throughout Summerville.
The town acquired 90 pieces of property in order to make the project possible with the first of four major projects of the extension being Maple Street, which will be widened from two lanes to four to reduce traffic and improve safety in the area.
The project does not just include Maple Street, but intersection improvements at US-78 adding turn lanes on all approaches, installation of a traffic signal at West Richardson Avenue and new alignment from West Richardson to Parsons Road where it will transition from three lanes to two lanes at the Parsons Road connection.
Summerville Director of Public Works and Town Engineer Russ Cornette has been with the project since the beginning. He says he’s really happy to see the project get approved for construction.
“I think this is the largest purchase order the town of Summerville has ever approved,” Cornette says. “The towns and cities the size of Summerville don’t take on large projects like this; this is kind of a unique situation.”
The cost of the project, including construction engineering and inspection services, will be funded by the Town of Summerville’s Mid-Town Tax Increment Finance District funds up to $11 million Dorchester County Sales Tax Referendum Funds will fund the remaining cost.
“The project purpose is to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety and that whole corridor anytime you have that many cars, taking up that little space that’s there, you’re going to have accidents and we’ve seen that the past four years,” Cornette says. “That extra lanes extra capacity will help congestion and get people moving a little more freely than they are now.”
Construction on the Maple Street Extension project starts in April or May of 2023 with the goal of completion being in the spring of 2025.
“The Maple Street extension project will help alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety,” says Summerville Mayor Ricky Waring. “I am grateful for the support from our agency partners and the Dorchester County voters who supported the transportation sales tax referendum that helped fund this project.”
For further details on the Maple Street Extension project, visit project page on the Town of Summerville’s website.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
A sizable parcel near Mount Pleasant Regional Airport where a large warehouse and office development is being proposed has been sold for $10.5 million.Charlotte-based Cameron Property Co., an affiliate of Madison Capital Group, bought the 60-acre tract on Faison Road on March 8 from Lerato LLC, according to Charleston County land records. Lerato had owned the site since 2011.The new owner wants to build three buildings totaling nearly 500,000 square feet northw...
A sizable parcel near Mount Pleasant Regional Airport where a large warehouse and office development is being proposed has been sold for $10.5 million.
Charlotte-based Cameron Property Co., an affiliate of Madison Capital Group, bought the 60-acre tract on Faison Road on March 8 from Lerato LLC, according to Charleston County land records. Lerato had owned the site since 2011.
The new owner wants to build three buildings totaling nearly 500,000 square feet northwest of the Faison Road and Park Avenue Boulevard intersection.
The proposed structures, in the master-planned Carolina Park development, will serve as flexible space with offices in the front and storage or showrooms in the rear, according to Lance Ravenscraft with Madison Capital.
Plans presented to state environmental regulators show the largest building will be 187,100 square feet. A second structure will be 181,790 square feet while a third would be 113,400 square feet. More than 400 parking spaces also are planned.
Ravenscraft foresees the business park as having tenants that need office and storage space such as biomedical companies or those that make items such as home building products.
The 1,700-acre Carolina Park development is mostly a residential neighborhood that also includes a hospital, other health care services, schools, fire station, library, churches, senior care facilities, apartments and commercial enterprises.
The tract slated for development sits between Charleston Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy and Gerber Collision & Glass on Faison Road. A storage facility is planned just north of the Gerber site.
Ravenscraft said development of the site is not imminent, citing tight credit markets and high construction costs.
A North Carolina firm now owns a former Summerville restaurant on a high-traffic corridor.
An affiliate of the commercial real estate development firm Woodhaven Development Group of Raleigh paid $4 million March 6 for the shuttered Mellow Mushroom pizzeria at 1306 N. Main St. The previous owner was Flour-Town Holdings LLC, which bought the site in 2013 for $1.905 million, according to Berkeley County land records.
Mellow Mushroom, which was at the entrance to Azalea Square Shopping Center, closed in 2021 after seven years in Flowertown. A Woodhaven representative did not immediately respond for comment on plans for the building.
The president of a Mount Pleasant-based furniture firm plans to build a new office building on the former Navy base in North Charleston.
Stephen Jensen, the head of Maxwood Furniture, wants to acquire a 2-acre site at 2335 Noisette Blvd. where a fire station once operated. The S.C. Commerce Department’s Division of Public Railways owns the parcel.
The past use of the property may have caused environmental pollution, and a voluntary cleanup notice has been filed with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control through SAVJ Navy Yard Property LLC.
If a voluntary cleanup contract is approved, DHEC will allow the firm to acquire the property as a “brownfields site,” with cleanup and development subject to state regulations.
Jensen did not immediately respond for comment for further details of the proposed building.
Breeze Airways recently leased 240 square feet of office space at 3300 W. Montague Ave. in North Charleston, according to Steve Hund and Trey Davis of the real estate firm Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic, which represented the landlord and tenant in the transaction. The Utah-based carrier flies nonstop to more than 20 cities from Charleston International Airport.
The Historic Charleston Foundation will present the 76th annual Festival of Houses and Gardens with several new events March 15-April 16.
The five-week event, the foundation’s largest fundraiser and educational tool, provides a glimpse into some of the historic homes and gardens in the 353-year-old city through guided walking tours, workshops, lectures and concerts.
New this year will be a music series featuring jazz, bluegrass and Gullah spirituals as well as a return of history boat cruises and a sunset harbor tour. Also, a finale brunch will be held.
For tickets and more information, go to HistoricCharleston.org/festival
A new townhome community with units starting in the upper $300,000s soon will open in Summerville.
The Townhomes at Daniel’s Orchard at 600 N. Laurel St. will offer 14 residences in two floor plans ranging from 1,852 to 2,182 square feet with two- to four-bedroom options and up to 3½ baths.
Constructed by New Leaf Builders of Johns Island, the development off U.S. Highway 78 offers prospective buyers an optional finished ground floor area that extends the flexible layout by 170 square feet. They can also add an elevator or select their own styles of cabinets, countertops, flooring, trim, plumbing and lighting.
Construction is expected to be completed in the spring. Carolina One New Homes is marketing the property.
The Charleston-area industrial real estate market proved resilient in the first quarter despite rising interest rates and a cooling economy, with tenants absorbing 2.2 million square feet, according to a new report.
All told, according to Colliers, 3.7 million square feet of new space came online in the first three months of the year. Vacancy rates ticked up as well, but they remained near historic lows at 3.74 percent despite all the new construction.
“Since the beginning of 2021, the market has absorbed an average of 1.6 million square feet per quarter,” the commercial real estate firm said in its analysis. “This was largely driven by warehousing to support the advanced manufacturing sector, particularly internal combustion and electric vehicle manufacturing, and expansion of third-party logistics activity.”
Over the coming months, those business sectors will continue to drive demand for additional real estate, according to the report. About 11.8 million square feet of industrial space is under construction in the three-county region.
The Port of Charleston is still the main driver, even though cargo levels have fallen in recent months as post-pandemic consumers spend more money on services and experiences than on imported goods. Inflation has also tamed what had been a frenetic spending spree last year on items like furniture and electronics.
A plan by ZEB Metals to build an aluminum recycling plant on 32 acres along U.S. Highway 52 in the Goose Creek area was the largest industrial announcement dollar-wise during the quarter, Colliers said. The $80 million project is expected to create 28 jobs.
Second to that project was a $49.9 million cold-storage warehouse that Charleston-based FlexCold plans to build along Patriot Boulevard in Dorchester County. The 151,600-square-foot building on roughly 51 acres is expected to create 59 jobs.
A separate report by Avison Young shows average annual base rents for Charleston-area industrial properties hit $8.89 per square foot in the first quarter and are expected to continue rising on the back of strong demand.
“As larger tenants relocate to the Charleston market, demand has increased for industrial space,” the firm’s local office said. “The projected average building size for deliveries in 2023 is 346,000 square feet. Based on construction activity, this number is expected to rise to 540,000 square feet in 2024.”
The Palmetto Commerce Park area in North Charleston and the Summerville region along Interstate 26 continue to be the hottest spots for industrial construction, with a combined 42.7 million square feet of space — nearly two-thirds of the market’s total.
An economic development trade publication reports South Carolina is the nation’s seventh-best state for attracting industrial investment.
The ranking is included in Site Selection’s annual Prosperity Cup list, which measures the effectiveness of each state’s economic development efforts.
The Palmetto State moved up one spot in the magazine’s 2023 rankings. Neighboring states Georgia and North Carolina placed first and second, respectively.
A focus on electric vehicles and the batteries that power them helped the S.C. Department of Commerce recruit 120 businesses and expansions representing investments topping $10.27 billion in 2022 — a record year for economic development in South Carolina and an 80 percent increase over the previous mark set in 2021.
The new deals promise to create 14,083 jobs over time, with most of the activity centered around plants in the Charleston region and the Upstate.
South Atlantic Canners is spending $28.7 million on a multiyear expansion at its Lee County site that will create 15 jobs over the next five years.
The company is managed by Coca-Cola Consolidated Inc., the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States with production of more than 300 beverage brands and distribution to 14 states and Washington, D.C.
South Atlantic Canners plans to renovate its existing Bishopville facility and add new, state-of-the-art equipment. The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2027.
SUMMERVILLE — It’s almost 1:30 p.m., and to the white-handed gibbons, that means lunch time is nearing.In excitement, a pair of mated gibbons start making noise. The female gibbon produces a series of loud notes, starting in a low tone and gradually going higher. The male then chimes in with a higher pitch, as if he were chirping.They’re singing. The creatures sing in a duet, and the only place in the Lowcountry you would be able to hear this is at the International Primate Protection League’s gibbon san...
SUMMERVILLE — It’s almost 1:30 p.m., and to the white-handed gibbons, that means lunch time is nearing.
In excitement, a pair of mated gibbons start making noise. The female gibbon produces a series of loud notes, starting in a low tone and gradually going higher. The male then chimes in with a higher pitch, as if he were chirping.
They’re singing. The creatures sing in a duet, and the only place in the Lowcountry you would be able to hear this is at the International Primate Protection League’s gibbon sanctuary, established in 1977 by the late Shirley McGreal — just four years after she founded the IPPL.
When Pam Mendosa, chairwoman and acting CEO of the IPPL, is in Summerville, she stays in a house on IPPL property. She lives in Virginia but visits every other month, if not every month, for at least 10 days at a time. She relishes the times she is able to hear the gibbons sing.
“When I have people give me estimates or anything, I say, ‘You want to come out and meet me, and not do this over the phone?’ I really urge people to come out,” Mendosa said. “Sure enough, whether we go with the company or not, they’re so enthralled with hearing (the gibbons) singing.”
The sanctuary is a private preserve that houses 29 gibbons, as well as five short-clawed Asian otters. In the past, the sanctuary has also taken in rescue dogs.
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The IPPL and gibbon sanctuary are working to continue honoring McGreal’s legacy after her passing in November 2021, just as the IPPL reaches its 50th anniversary.
McGreal was living in Thailand when she established the league in 1973.
She was concerned about how primates were being captured from the wild, transported and exploited in captivity. She founded the IPPL in order to try and protect primates around the world.
Since its founding, the IPPL has kept busy, from exposing animal smuggling rings to organizing worldwide protests to raise awareness of the mistreatment of primates in labs.
The group’s work over the years has influenced countries such as Belgium and Malaysia to establish laws banning wildlife trafficking and monkey exports. The league has been recognized by public figures like Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, and McGreal herself earned awards and achievements from the United Nations and Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her work.
Now, the IPPL has partnerships with 26 animal welfare groups and sanctuaries around the world. A wildlife sanctuary in Nepal opened in 2016 and was named in honor of McGreal.
The sanctuary she established in Summerville has taken in gibbons from labs, captivity, zoos and households — as some people have had gibbons as pets.
The sanctuary is not open to visitors. It comprises several enclosures, all connected via a tube system. Each enclosure includes a ropes course and some monkey bars for the gibbons to swing around, and they all connect to their respective gibbon house — where they sleep. Mated gibbons are in the same enclosure.
After her death, McGreal left behind a tremendous legacy that the IPPL and employees at the gibbon sanctuary are working to uphold.
Employees say in terms of the sanctuary itself, not a lot has changed since McGreal’s passing. They’re working on upgrading the gibbons’ houses and the animal care kitchen to maintain the gibbons’ healthy lifestyle and ensure their safety.
“The buildings are almost 50 years old,” said Meg McCue-Jones, safety and compliance manager.
She added that the sanctuary mainly relies on donations to keep running. They apply for grants, but don’t consistently receive grant money.
McCue-Jones said the sanctuary used to receive calls from donors specifically so they could talk to McGreal. Since her passing, the donors still call, but will talk to office staff and board members.
Trish McCoy, animal care manager, started working at the sanctuary in April 2020. She said McGreal was always a good resource whenever she had any questions and wished she knew McGreal longer.
“As I’ve worked here longer, I get more and more questions. ... I miss having her around to answer some of the questions, and talking to her about some of the people that helped her get started and how she ended up doing this,” McCoy said. “I miss being able to go in and ask her for advice.”
Mendosa said she hopes for the IPPL’s spring appeal and newsletter to focus on gibbons and the sanctuary.
“Sometimes we focus on the chimps that are in Africa through two or three of our sanctuaries, because international is what really put us on the map,” Mendosa said. “But the sanctuary was so dear to Shirley’s heart.”
Mendosa said the league is still working to protect primates and honor McGreal’s legacy.
“I think it’s important that people know that while Shirley was such an integral part in so many ways — some people think IPPL is Shirley McGreal — we’re continuing, and we’re still strong,” Mendosa said. “We’re still doing good work.”
McCoy has been working with animals for most of her life, but these past two years working at the sanctuary marked the first time for her working with gibbons. She describes working with them as “obviously awesome,” and said she enjoys how each gibbon has a different personality.
“Between the 29 gibbons, no two are the same,” McCoy said.
Some like to hang out on the floor of the enclosures, while others love to swing around on the ropes and bars — never touching the ground. Some gibbons like to play catch with the caretakers and their food. Others don’t.
“Michael is very gentle, very easygoing. Maui ... you put a toy in there, you better make sure that toy cannot be pulled apart, because he will figure out a way to do it,” McCoy said. “Paen loves having stuffed animals — she’s always dragging one around. Thai could care less. He wants to know what’s in his food bucket.”
She added that some gibbons get along with each other, while others don’t; while all the enclosures are connected via a tube system, there are gates that prevent gibbons from encroaching on each other’s territory.
She gave an example: Nick and Elsa, two mated gibbons, are right next to Ziggy and Erin, another pair of mated gibbons. Nick and Ziggy get along, and they each get along with Elsa and Erin, but Elsa and Erin don’t.
“The girls throw food at each other; they like to actually take the food all the way from their enclosure to inside (their gibbon house) so they can get a closer range when they throw food,” McCoy said. “They’re not hurting anybody; they’re not hurting each other there. To a certain point, that’s a little bit of what would happen in the wild.”
McCoy said the most rewarding part for her working in animal care is when the gibbons started recognizing her as one of their caregivers.
“As an animal keeper, you’re here to take care of them. You want their lives to be better. When they start recognizing you and stop trying to scratch you, you know that you’re finally accepted,” McCoy said.
For more information or to donate to the gibbon sanctuary, go to the International Primate Protection League’s website at ippl.org.
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Located at the corner of Berlin Myers Parkway and Highway 78, a 57-acre multi-use property will bring new development to the Summerville area by early 2025.The property, named Sawmill, will include 474 multi-family apartment units, offices, restaurants, hotels, stores, banks, outdoor spaces and a 40,000-square-foot Roper St. Francis facility....
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Located at the corner of Berlin Myers Parkway and Highway 78, a 57-acre multi-use property will bring new development to the Summerville area by early 2025.
The property, named Sawmill, will include 474 multi-family apartment units, offices, restaurants, hotels, stores, banks, outdoor spaces and a 40,000-square-foot Roper St. Francis facility.
Summerville spokesperson Mary Edwards said the task to get the development started was a long process.
“It’s something that people have been wanting for a long time, and council has really supported the developers, too. It’s a big deal for us; I mean, it’s a new big development that’s coming to our area,” Edwards said. “It’s something that’s needed. It’s something that the public has really wanted.”
The developers, Lee & Associates, said in a news release that “a new walkable community designed to better connect residents with the fun they want and services they need will be anchored by a major healthcare system.”
Although not everyone in the area is excited about the new development. Some members of the Summerville community shared their concerns on a Facebook post with over 400 comments mentioning traffic problems, school enrollment and housing availability.
Located near the development, the Spinx gas station may see increased traffic with the upcoming construction. Employee Rona Emons, shared her concerns.
“I don’t think we can really handle it because this road is already always backed up; it’s already hard to get in and out of the store,” she said. “I think that’s going to make it a lot worse unless they try to widen the road somehow, which I don’t know how they can do that. But yeah, it’s going to cause a lot of congestion in this area.”
In response to the concerns, Edwards said the city and developers studied research before deciding if the project was appropriate for the area.
“The town is growing really fast,” Edwards said. “So, we know that people want to come here, and they want to experience the area. We want to be able to provide these types of options for people when they come.”
Construction on the health care facility and multi-family apartment units will begin in early 2023.
“I’m kind of excited,” Emons said. “I’d like to get out. You know, it’d be nice to see something new in this area. So yeah, I’m looking forward to it in some ways, and otherwise, I’m kind of a little leery of it.”
Overall, the project is expected to cost $200 million.
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