1600 Meeting Street, just moments from downtown, is a local creative cluster providing office space, art + design studios, non-profit hub, community resource center, local food + drink and a collaborative work environment. Basically an all around GOOD IDEA center.

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Leapfrog PR will host an art installation by Outside the Box Fine Art. Small and large works will be for sale and membership opportunities available. Outside the Box will host an art-inspired cocktail party from 4-6 with 2015 artist Harrison Blackford.

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Up to 35 local entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to work under the same roof with a new co-working space in downtown Charleston.

Lowcountry Local First — a Charleston nonprofit that supports local, independent businesses and promotes local goods — plans to open a co-working space in the first quarter of 2014.

The space will not be sector-specific. Lowcountry Local First Executive Director Jamee Haley anticipates local entrepreneurs, small business owners and creative types using the 3,100-square-foot space.

 

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An eye-popping mural commands a double-take as you mosey up Morrison Drive. Big, bright, and colorful, it perks up an otherwise blah landscape of uninspired commercial buildings, warehouses, and vacant lots—your typical by-the-train-tracks, post-industrial blight. The mural depicts a vibrant green field and cheery red truck overflowing with monstrous squash, immense onions, and a watermelon the size of a water tower, like a promo for a B-grade horror flick.

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It’s always been a challenge explaining to visitors where the City Paper offices are located. It usually goes something like this: “We’re on Morrison Drive, which is just the northern end of East Bay Street. We’re right across from Martha Lou’s, you know that little pink building with the fish on it? But if you get to the strip clubs you’ve gone too far. You know what? Just Mapquest it.”

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Driving north up the neck of the peninsula, the three-story brick building at 1600 Meeting Street Road is hard to miss. Set among strip clubs, train tracks, and industrial warehouses, the 1920s-era structure is empty, the lawn overgrown with weeds, a worn “Antiques” sign hinting at a former tenant. But even though it looks like it could be haunted, the building is undeniably beautiful, its vacancy a shame. A symbol of the area’s long-forgotten past, 1600 Meeting also inspires hopes of what it could one day become.

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There’s a strip joint down the street, a tattoo parlor nearby and you can get body piercings around the corner. But that’s part of what makes 1600 Meeting St. the perfect incubator for creativity. Located in the industrial Neck Area of the Charleston peninsula, this big-boned, three-story office building was built by the Exxon Corp. (aka Esso) in 1926 and has served in several other capacities during its lifetime.

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