CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The first of five multi-story buildings in Charleston’s upper peninsula will open its doors to new neighbors in September and leasing is starting in July.

Morrison Yard is a mixed use space along Morrison Drive in Charleston’s Eastside neighborhood. It will feature residential, office and retail spaces.

“You take these sites that used to be industrial or more heavy commercial and they’re seeing a lot of appetite to become something different,” said Robert Summerfield, the Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability for the City of Charleston. “Morrison Yard is a great example.”

Summerfield says that the upper peninsula area is in a transition period as available land becomes construction sites for large developments.

There are five projects currently under construction and three of them, Morrison Yard, 1310 Meeting and 55 Romney, feature apartments.

“This is an opportunity to bring more population back to the peninsula,” said Summerfield. “As anyone who has taken a look at our census numbers will see, the peninsula over the last several decades has lost population.”

Neighbors around Charleston’s Eastside have mixed feelings about the development.

“We are always glad that there is development coming for tax revenue for the city to do other things and provide money for programs, but we also know that those same developments displace people,” said Pastor Matthew Rivers, of St. John’s Church. “It really concerns me that we cannot provide enough affordable housing for people of all levels to live, work and play in the city.”

A concern for Pastor Rivers is gentrification, but he says that people are focusing on building affordable housing.

The Humanities Foundation and the James Doran Company are building an over 80 unit space for senior citizens who need middle and low income housing according to Rivers.

As options for those who can pay higher rent are starting to dot the Charleston skyline, the Charleston Housing Authority (CHA) is moving towards updating their units for lower income neighbors.

“We’re making progress. It’s a very slow process,” said Pete Sherman, the Director of Development for CHA. “We are in the works with Meeting Street Manor Extension which is another 44 units. We hope to create more affordable housing there. Perhaps another 150 units.”

At 275 Huger Street, which has 12 public housing units, Sherman says they want to expand to 77 units. Issues with the state tax credit application are slowing down the project’s approval, but early 2023 is a possibility for breaking ground.

While building new units is on the agenda, the housing authority wants to renovate the community right next to Morrison Yard.

“We’re looking at reworking the Cooper River Court area which is around Sanders-Clyde Elementary. We hope to move forward with Cooper River Court in the next year or year and a half,” said Sherman. “It’s going to take eight to ten years to phase each one of these (projects) in.”

In the future, Pastor Rivers says that he wants Mayor John Tecklenburg and the city to consider more than the money when developers want to build so they can help the affordable housing issue.

“Put the people first. How does this plan impact the people? How do we make sure that we are providing affordable housing for the people within those developments?,” said Pastor Rivers.