SCRA moving operations to Summerville area

SCRA plans to move its center of operations to the Nexton development, a 4,500-acre mixed-use community in the Summerville area. (Image/Provided)
SCRA plans to move its center of operations to the Nexton development, a 4,500-acre mixed-use community in the Summerville area. (Image/Provided)

By Andy Owens
Published April 9, 2013

SCRA plans to move the company’s center of operations in the Lowcountry from North Charleston to Summerville in late 2014.

The applied research company signed a contract on 10 acres of land in the Nexton development, including an option to buy seven additional acres in the 4,500-acre mixed-use community, which is owned and developed by MWV.

Other tenants of SCRA’s Applied Research Center also must move after the Boeing Co., which builds and integrates 787 Dreamliners within walking distance of the property, purchased the building in 2012.

SCRA plans to bring most of the company’s 185 employees to the Nexton location, the company said. The deal should close between 90 and 150 days with construction starting in six to eight months, said SCRA spokesperson Micki MacNaughton. She said SCRA looked at three to five properties before deciding on the Nexton property, and available nearby acreage for future growth was a big factor in deciding on the location.

“While we carefully evaluated several properties throughout the region, Nexton was best-suited for our needs, location and space requirements,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney in a statement. “We look forward to being a part of a community where technology and sustainability are embraced in a walkable, urban environment.”

Jim Hill, vice president of commercial and industrial development for MWV, said SCRA’s choice of Nexton reflects a focus on technology and infrastructure for the master planned community.

“Certainly, technology is one of our cornerstones,” Hill said. “SCRA is certainly a well-known technology company. It has many of the same needs that we’re trying to provide within Nexton.”

The announcement is the first tenant for the Nexton development, which broke ground in February and began construction on a 100,000-square-foot office building. MWV plans to occupy one-third of that building and the remaining space is being leased through Colliers International.

“SCRA and Nexton are a perfect fit. We are both committed to ‘what’s next,’” said Kenneth T. Seeger, president of MWV Community Development and Land Management. “SCRA’s mission is to help develop technology-based companies, and Nexton seeks to become the region’s most technologically advanced community.”

The development plans show a mixed-use community that includes retail shops, residential units, along with office and other commercial space. Hill said the development of the property at the corner of U.S. Highway 17A and Interstate 26 has generated a lot of interest, and the company expects to be able to announce more Nexton tenants in the coming months.

Hill said Nexton always planned to provide infrastructure that would be attractive to research, development and high-tech companies, and SCRA lends credibility to that and will likely help the development gain the attention of other companies looking for that kind of commercial space.

“Having SCRA validate what we do here is certainly going to allow other people to look at it,” Hill said.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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