Commercial Space Services

We offer our Business Members a variety of resources and opportunities to address challenges that may arise when it comes to a physical location for your business:

1) Commercial Space Advising

Understanding the ins and outs of lease negotiation, a commercial build-out process, and navigating the complex regulatory process are daunting tasks for a local business. Unlike national chain stores or large corporations who have a team of consultants to handle this aspect of their business, local businesses often have to learn or guess what to do on the fly, while trying to accomplish other critical tasks necessary to start—or continue—operating a business.

Trying to calculate monthly rent on a potential commercial space? Use the space need estimator and cost calculator that Austin Tenant Advisors created to help you estimate.

Lowcountry Local First’s Commercial Space Advisory Team to assist local businesses with the task of answering these questions in a professional and confidential setting. Locals experts helping local businesses.

The Advisory Team is not intended to replace the services of professionals in the real estate industry. Rather, it’s meant to offer advice and guidance in an unbiased, objective and limited format. It’s a starting place, really. Example advising may include:

– Pointing local businesses in the right direction. (Do you need an architect? How much space do you need? Etc.)
– Offering ideas or different solutions to consider. (What if you lease a bigger space than you need and sub-lease to a friend and share a conference room?)
– Confirm marketplace assumptions. (What can I expect expense pass-throughs to be? How can I compare a full service lease with a net lease?)
– Explaining common lease terms. (What needs to be considered given my business plan? Should I engage an attorney?)
– Permitting and zoning. (I have a great opportunity to lease a property, but the zoning doesn’t fit my business. What next?)


Real Estate (Broker, Developer, Finance)
– Jeff Baxter, Cityvolve
– Jim Haley, Cityvolve
– Steve Varn, Varn Real Estate
– Luiz Yamashita, Dunes Commercial Properties
– Tricia Haggerty, Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union
Design (Architect, Landscape Architect, Urban Design)
– Gary Collins, SeamonWhiteside
– Judy Dixon, Rush Dixon Architects
– Erin Stevens, Surculus Design
– David Thompson, David Thompson Architect
Regulatory (Zoning, Permitting)
– Jordan Lanier, City of Charleston, Dept of Business & Neighborhood Services
– Ryan Johnson, City of North Charleston, Office of the Mayor

This service is available to LLF members at no cost. All industries and business types are invited to participate. LLF staff will respond to all inquiries and determine if a consultation is appropriate.

To learn more please contact Lauren Gellatly at, phone (843)801-3390, or please complete this short questionnaire, and we will contact you:

2) Community Storefront Project

The Community Storefront Project is based on Reynolds Avenue, located in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood in North Charleston. The goal of this project is to build on the existing assets of the community and the foundation built by Metanoia’s work over the past 15 years. The objective is to add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood and expand the economic opportunities that support families and a thriving community.

LLF will provide 700 sq. ft. of space, including private bathroom, at a subsidized monthly rent, along with access to participate in Good Enterprises‘ Community Business Academy to the committed tenant(s).

*Businesses that are not eligible are nonprofits, restaurants, bars, convenience stores that sell alcohol or cigarettes.

Pop-up opportunities are also available via short-term lease agreement.

Businesses can submit business plans and inquiries to Raquel Padgett, at