WestEdge -- Charleston, South Carolina's "Discovery District" -- was launched last week, and city officials hope the area will quickly become a global hub for research, as well as a means of driving the city's economic development.
WestEdge, located along the Ashley River, features wide, urban avenues of homes, office spaces, research and lab spaces, storefronts, restaurants and sidewalk cafes, while at the same time boasting some of the most spectacular waterfront views in Charleston. Developers have dubbed WestEdge a "live/learn/earn" environment.
Efforts to make WestEdge a reality were backed by City of Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley Jr. The project also received support from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), the MUSC Foundation and HPF Inc.
"I strongly believe that communities need to pivot if they want to progress," Riley said. "That's what WestEdge represents -- a shift that positions Charleston as a leader in the bio-technology research industry."
MUSC President Dr. David Cole said WestEdge will play a major role in the expansion of the college's research programs, while at the same time furthering cooperation between the business community and the school.
Michael Maher, HPF's CEO, said WestEdge will boost Charleston's overall environment, community, economy and health.
"Local neighbors and the economy will benefit from convenience, infrastructure improvements, high-wage jobs and new investment," Maher said. "The design of walkable, bike-able, vibrant spaces supports the research that will lead to life-changing discoveries."
So far, architectural plans have been submitted for the first two anchor buildings in WestEdge.