Charleston’s Opportunity Center nonprofit hub breaks ground

Charleston's Opportunity Center | Rendering provided by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

This week, Greenville-based nonprofit Homes of Hope broke ground on the future Opportunity Center in North Charleston. 

The former warehouse, located at 8570 Rivers Ave., was acquired by Homes of Hope in 2017 to become the headquarters for local nonprofits, a business incubator + a career training facility

Charleston’s Opportunity Center | Rendering provided by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

Local organizations Increasing H.O.P.E., the Center for Heirs Property Preservation + the S.C. Association for Community Economic Development have partnered with Homes of Hope to set up the facility that will become all three organizations’ headquarters

Additionally, the renovated building – designed by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture – will include business incubators for up to three startups, a community training room, additional office spaces for local businesses to rent + various shared amenities. It will also be home to the Business Success Center + Women’s Business Center, which will provide resources for female entrepreneurs + entrepreneurs of color

The goal of this shared space is to provide an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” for nonprofits as a way to cut costs + generate revenue. By sharing space, expenses such as utilities are significantly reduced, relieving some of the financial burden these organizations face. 

The project is funded by a $2.7 million grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) given to Homes of Hope in 2019, which was designated to help areas negatively impacted by economic changes.

The Opportunity Center is slated to be complete in Augustwith services beginning in September – and will help create an estimated 45 jobs + $4 million in private investment.