Opportunity Center coming to North Charleston

Opportunity Center coming to North Charleston
A former warehouse on Rivers Avenue, down the road from the Northwoods Mall, will soon be transformed into a headquarters for local nonprofits. (Source: Architect McMillan-Pazdan-Smith)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A former warehouse on Rivers Avenue, down the road from the Northwoods Mall, will soon be transformed into a headquarters for local nonprofits.

Those working on the project say the facility, which will be called the Opportunity Center, could help as many as 800 people every year.

The Opportunity Center will not only provide a permanent space for the organizations working in the community, but it will also provide space for job training, services for startup companies like management training, office space or help building financial credibility.

The four non-profits behind this Opportunity Center are: Increasing HOPE, the Center for Heirs Property Preservation, Homes of Hope, and the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development.

Dorothea Bernique, the Executive Director for Increasing HOPE Financial Training Center, says the facility will essentially providing what they call an entrepreneurial eco system for the low-income community. And she says it will bring stability to all these non-profits in a way they’ve never had before.

“Number one owning, actually having ownership in the property, being able to increasing our capacity to serve the community, and then just long term stability in reference to knowing that we will be here in the community for quite a while to continue to serve.”

Over the next 6 months, the structure will go through extensive renovations.

The project will cost an estimated $4.7 million, some of which is coming from state grants. But other Lowcountry non-profits have also contributed, including an $800,000 investment from the Coastal Community Foundation.

The facility itself will create about 45 jobs in North Charleston.

There will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the Opportunity Center Monday morning at 11 a.m. in North Charleston.

Construction on the new Opportunity Center is expected to be completed in July. And it is expected to be open for services starting in September.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.