ABOUt | The cigar factory

The Cigar Factory was constructed in 1881 as a cotton manufacturing facility with the latest technological advances of the day, such as electricity, steam heat and a fire safety system. After surviving the devastating Earthquake of 1886, the Cigar Factory changed hands and was leased in 1903 to the American Cigar Company, producer of famous RoiTan and Certified Creamo cigars. Great success came with cigar production and as many as 1,400 workers were employed at the factory in the 1930's. During the darkest days of the Great Depression the Cigar Factory was one of the few civilian workplaces that provided secure employment for a full day's wages. Cigars were produced in the building for 70 years and at its high point, 1.5 million cigars rolled out of the factory each day. In the late sixties, the U.S. government started requiring warning labels on tobacco products and placed restrictions on their advertising. This pushed the American Cigar Company to focus on overseas markets and they eventually closed the doors on cigar manufacturing in Charleston.

After the cigar manufacturing ended, the building was used for office and warehouse space over the next decade, as the owners struggled to find the right use for the building.

 In 1980 the Cigar Factory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and shortly thereafter, they welcomed Johnson and Wales, the famed culinary school, which became the largest tenant. 

Consolidations at Johnson and Wales resulted in the Charleston campus being relocated to Charlotte in 2006. A Georgia group purchased the Cigar Factory in 2007 with plans to resurrect the building to its original beauty in the form of loft condominiums, office and retail space. Those plans were halted in 2009 and the building has remained vacant. 

In 2014, Roi-Tan Investments, a group of local investors and Federal Capital Partners, a privately held real estate investment company based out of Maryland, purchased the Cigar Factory. The property has been transformed into a first class, mixed-use building that includes unmatched creative work/office space, signature restaurants and event space, high-end retail and abundant parking.


701 E Bay St,
Charleston, SC 29403

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