A changing landscape with an eye on the future
World-renown downtown Charleston is five square miles and the peninsula sits between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.
Like most urban areas, Charleston underwent changes during 2020, but the demand to live here rose exponentially, especially in the luxury market. Though some of its shops and restaurants were shuttered during the pandemic, it remains one of the nation’s top vacation destinations and it has added new businesses despite the recent economic upheaval. It is a mix of world-class cuisine, hotels, hotspots, shopping and luxury accommodations. Developers have added modernity to its landscape to include luxury hotels and high-end apartments.
Antebellum homes line cobblestoned and tree-lined streets and distinct neighborhoods make up the downtown area. Downtown residents range from full-time homeowners, celebrities, international clients, second homeowners and everything in between. As of December 2020, the average sales price for a single-family home in downtown Charleston was $1,090,545.
Renovated, turnkey properties are in high demand, as are luxury rentals that can command as much as $12,000 a month. Walkable, picturesque neighborhoods such as Radcliffeborough, Elliotborough, Ansonborough and Harleston Village are a big draw for families. The South of Broad and French Quarter areas have some of Charleston most expensive homes. Upper peninsula and Crosstown property prices risen as well, commanding an average price of $549,000 for a single-family home.
Charleston has made some changes, as many urban areas have, during the past year. It retains its undeniable charm. Centuries old cultural and heritage homages, art walks on King Street, the annual regional and international festivals of Spoleto and the start of the Southeastern Wildlife Exhibition are just a few of the reasons why downtown continues to make its mark on the world map.
Median home prices: $520,000 (Upper Charleston Peninsula) to $677,000. (Downtown Charleston).
Home sales: 667 – Community high – Downtown Charleston, 422.
Grocery stores: 8 (including major and mom and pop) The Farmers’ Market on Marion Square is an outdoor seasonal grocery and vendor spot.
Schools: Charleston County, College of Charleston, The Citadel.
Entertainment: Fine dining and casual cafes and eateries; Waterfront Park; hotels with panoramic views of the city; Charleston Museum, Gibbes Art Gallery, art walks on King, small venue concerts, Spoleto, Piccolo Spoleto, theater, plays and comedy clubs.TThe Riverdogs baseball stadium.
Retail: King Street central business district, City Market.
Major employers: MUSC and hospital district; lodging establishments; government, tourism/visitor related.
Directions: Enter city from Interstate 26, Savannah Highway, Ravenel Bridge. Main roads include East Bay, King, Meeting, Calhoun and Broad streets.
Residents: Wealthy, college students, working class, diverse, educated, starting families, snow birds, retirees, singles, store owners and public servants.
Market: Plush 18th-19th century mansions, refurbished single homes, high-end luxury rentals, new modern condos and apartments, carriage home rentals, newer reproductions, restored freedman houses, water views, pricey with hefty tax and insurance bills.
Lifestyle: Cycling, jogging, walking and skateboarding, periodically flooded and traffic-choked, beautiful parks with large oak trees, storied historic spots, urbanesque.
Conveniences: Dining out, walking around town, tours, restoring unique propertie, baseball at the the Charleston Riverdogs stadium.
Perfect for: History buffs, active adults, upscale professionals, preservationists, students and pet lovers.