A software company is relocating its headquarters to 466 King St., bringing with it an estimated 265 jobs and $18.8 million in capital investment. City and county officials, as well as developers and a spokesperson from the company itself, have been keeping the name of the company under wraps and announced it at 5 p.m. today.
The company only employs 60 people right now, but the spokesperson says it plans to expand to 265 employees in the next five years. Commercial developer PrimeSouth Group, who apparently have some stake in the announcement, started spreading vague messages about a company code-named "Project Bahamas" as early as August. Back then, Susan Lucas of the King Street Marketing Group sent an e-mail to members of the press that said of the company's relocation, "It's been in rumor status for months, and apparently most of the financing and other details are in place now. It's a great thing for Upper King's balance, traffic, and cachet."
County records show that the property at 466 King, which is the building just north of Chai's Lounge & Tapas, was bought by King Street Ventures LLC in October 2002.
Update: 5:12 p.m.
Update: 6:20 p.m.
Turns out the company will be creating more jobs than was previously announced — and sooner. PeopleMatter will hire 265 additional employees by 2014, adding to its current total of about 70. Renovations will begin on the property at 466 King St. in fall of 2012, and the company expects to move in by December 2013. In late 2013, it plans to also take over the building next door at 468 King St., which is currently occupied by Charleston Beer Works.
Tim Maahs, owner of Charleston Beer Works, says he will be glad to leave the property where his bar has been since 2003. He says that the rent and property taxes are too high, and that the facilities leave something to be desired. "Electrical, plumbing, A to Z, I want to get out of here," he says. He is looking to find a new location elsewhere on King Street.
PeopleMatter, which writes hiring and scheduling software for employers, started about two years ago with a whiteboard and a pair of desks in a room at the Flagship business incubator on East Bay Street. From there, it moved to 1360 Truxtun Ave. on the Navy Yard in North Charleston. President and CEO Nate DaPore says he began looking for a larger office space early this year.
During his speech, DaPore coined a hopeful phrase to describe Charleston as a growing hub for software development companies: Silicon Harbor.