“What is an Upfit Project?”

Construction Projects Involving Existing Structures 

Upfit, renovation, repurpose, restoration, and additions are just a few words used to describe construction on existing structures. Changes to an existing structure may be necessary because a new visual aesthetic is desired; corporate mandates; or for safety and building code requirements.

The fastest way to put a new face on your business is with an upfit of your existing space or a move into a new location.

Coastal Structures can assist with meeting both franchise guidelines and local code issues to bring your project in on budget and on time.

The Tenant Upfit:

The tenant upfit is one of the most common commercial construction projects.
In its simplest definition, a tenant upfit is the construction of an existing or newly acquired space to accommodate a tenant’s specific needs.

Newly acquired space may include developments, such as Market Common in Myrtle Beach. The developer builds the structures in the new development but leaves the interior work to the incoming tenant. This may include interior layout, plumbing, electrical, walls, and finishes. Later on, a new tenant may come into the space and renovate the previous upfit or tear out the previous upfit to repurpose the space for a new use.

Examples of upfit projects include:

Bistro 217 Restaurant 
Located in the Downtown Pawleys, an award-winning retail complex in Pawleys Island, the Bistro 217 project is a 5,000 square foot restaurant. Designed by Tych and Walker Architects.

Sotheby’s Real Estate
Completed in 2015, Sotheby’s Real Estate located at 35 Capers Way in Pawleys Island features the repurposing of approximately 5,000 square feet of an existing retail building to a new use. Designed by Tych & Walker Architects.

Current project:

Attorney’s Office
52 Capers Way

Renovation projects tend to be more cost-effective because a lot of the structural work is already completed.

The contractor must work within an existing framework, but typically a renovation costs less money than new construction. Experience counts in anticipating problems that might be found in the walls of existing or old buildings. New building codes may require updating existing components to bring them up to current code.

Example of projects that Coastal Structures has done:

Colleton Medical Center Renovation of the Intensive Care Unit
The Renovation of the ICU at Colleton Medical Center in Walterboro, SC updated the facility to meet current standards. Adjacent hospital rooms were modified to serve as a temporary ICU during construction. The construction took place in an isolated and contained environment that kept dust, debris, and noise from entering or disturbing adjacent areas that included operating rooms, delivery rooms, nursery, and the temporary ICU. The nine-month project was completed in February 2016. Design was by Curtis Group Architects.

Additions to existing buildings are another common commercial construction project.

They are exactly what they sound like. Additions require a lot of thought when it comes to placement, size, scale, material, and safety and building code requirements.

Example of projects that Coastal Structures has done:

Winyah Indigo Society Hall
In 1857, the Winyah Indigo Society Hall built this hall to replace an earlier structure. E.B. White, renowned architect who created many notable South Carolina structures, designed the Society Hall. This project included an addition to this historic structure to provide elevator access and restrooms to the second floor.

Current project:

Jeanne L. Fourrier, D.D.S., M.H.S.
1947 Glenn’s Bay Road, Surfside Beach, S.C.


The repurposing of a building can be an extremely complicated improvement especially if the building being reinvented is old.

When repurposing a building, the contractor must work closely with the owner or tenant to ensure that everything being completed meets their needs. Similar to when renovating, the contractor must work within an existing framework, while completely changing the purpose of the building. Experience counts in anticipating problems that might be found in the walls of existing or old buildings.

Example of projects that Coastal Structures done:

Fogel Building

Originally built as a hotel with commercial on the ground floor, the Fogel Building located at 815 Front Street in Georgetown, SC now includes commercial retail on the ground floor as well as 11,500+ square feet of retail shops, with 18 luxury condominiums on the second and third floors. Design by D. Dwayne Vernon, AIA Architect.

If your business is looking to upfit or you know of someone that is, please do not hesitate to give us a call. For more than 25 years, it has been our mission to provide unmatched commercial construction services and a reputable working relationship built on trust, honesty, transparency and reliability- a collaborative teamwork approach that’s all-inclusive from day one between builder, client and architect.

Give us a call today at (843) 546-4491.

To stay up to date on the latest projects from Coastal Structures, follow us on Facebook

Posted on August 10, 2018 in Blog

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top