Outside the Pacific Box

Pacific Box and Crate

Upper Peninsula Rising

Charleston’s refined historic district, well known for its upscale shops and carriage rides and beautiful neighborhoods, is justifiably world-famous for its many charms. If you stray a bit north of this bustling tourist center, however, you’ll find a different landscape altogether. Just a mile up King Street, the area known as the Upper Peninsula is less dense, more industrial, and a little edgy. A map of the district shows a tangle of rail spurs leading to acres of industrial facilities, with more than a few vacant lots. It’s where you’d go to find the city’s factories, warehouses, or maybe even a tattoo parlor.

The Upper Peninsula used to be a place folks would drive through on the way back to the mainland, with little to entice them to pull over and explore. Today, though, the Upper Peninsula’s dynamic has visibly shifted towards “destination.” The up-and-coming neighborhood offers vacant lots with plenty of development potential and an entrepreneurial energy with easy access to downtown. These formerly industrial sites provide a bit more breathing room for a corporate campus or mixed-use development than the dense fabric of the historic district, and investors are taking note. The neighborhood’s fortunes are on the rise. 

A Storied Site

Pacific Box and Crate, one of the newest examples of the Upper Peninsula’s turnaround, illustrates this exciting growth potential. A multi-used development led by Raven Cliff LLC, Pacific Box and Crate occupies a nearly 10-acre footprint along King Street.

The site originally housed an outpost of Pacific Guano, a fertilizer company which processed phosphate on the site starting in 1869. The work was dirty and dangerous, but it afforded jobs to Freedmen after the Civil War and supported many working-class families. The site later became a box and crate warehouse; the name “Pacific Box and Crate” embraces the industrial heritage and celebrates the legacy of the hardworking people who spent time there. 

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