As head of the firm’s Economic Development Group and a key member of its Real Estate group, Tushar Chikhliker has represented a diverse group of companies, both domestic and international, in connection with numerous economic development projects throughout every region of South Carolina, including some of the largest economic development projects in the State’s history.
Tushar has represented companies across a wide array of industries including heavy and light manufacturing, pharmaceutical and life sciences, data centers, warehouse and distribution, agribusiness, headquarters and office, IT, research and development, alternative energy, and real estate development.
Examples of recent economic development projects in which Tushar has served as economic development legal counsel include:
- $380 million+/ 950-job Korean home appliance manufacturing facility; and
- $500 million+/multi-thousand job US pharmaceuticals facility; and
- $315 million/1,500-job US agricultural technology center facility
- $35 million/600-job US metal fabrication facility to support the aerospace, defense, energy, and marine industries
- Large US data center for a Fortune 15 multi-national company;
- Multi-county French tire manufacturing facility;
- Large US aircraft manufacturing facility;
- Large German van manufacturing facility;
- Multiple large scale solar energy facilities
- Multiple mixed-use, commercial development, and revitalization projects
- Multiple infrastructure construction projects
Tushar’s representation of his clients regularly extends to a myriad of incentive arrangements including fee-in-lieu of tax agreements, special source revenue bonds and credits, multi-county business/industrial parks, State job tax, development, and retraining credits, retail and textile revitalization credits, state and local grant programs, income tax, property tax, and sales tax exemptions. State and federal energy grant programs, State worker training incentives, and other arrangements aimed at sparking new success, or bolstering established success, for his clients in the South Carolina communities where they choose to invest.
Tushar has also assisted with the drafting of South Carolina legislation providing for new economic development incentives or modifications to those already existing in the advancement of his client's interests. He has also counseled clients in working through South Carolina Freedom of Information Act issues affecting economic development projects.
Tushar embraces the uniqueness of each company he represents and understands that in constructing and closing deals with his clients, there is no “one-size-fits-all” path to success. Whether working with in-house attorneys, financial or tax officers, outside consultants, or other company representatives, Tushar prides himself in explaining what can often be complicated legal and financial arrangements to his clients in practical terms which allow them to make prudent business decisions.
A key player in South Carolina’s business and legal communities, Tushar is a member of the Board of Directors, as well as a three-time former Legislative Chair, of the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA), the State's largest economic development trade group. Tushar also serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of SCBIO, a statewide, not-for-profit, public/private life sciences industry association and economic development organization formed to actively promote, build, support, expand, and convene South Carolina’s life sciences industry. Additionally, Tushar serves on the Board of Directors of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.
Within the firm, Tushar is a Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is a past Chair of the Recruiting and Retention Committee
A native of South Carolina, Tushar attended the University of South Carolina where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science with honors from the South Carolina Honors College. During his time at UofSC, Tushar earned multiple awards and recognitions including the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award – the most prestigious award that can be bestowed upon a UofSC student, and an award celebrating excellence in leadership, academics, and community service. Upon graduating from UofSC, Tushar earned his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law, where he served as Student Solicitor of the Law School Honor Council.
Community & Professional
- South Carolina Ports Authority, Port Ambassador, 2021
- S.C. Economic Developers' Association, Member - Board of Directors, Legislative Committee, Prior Legislative Committee Chair
- SCBIO, Board of Directors
- Charleston Regional Development Authority – Board of Directors
- Committee of 100
- Partnership Board, University of South Carolina - Department of Political Science, Past Member
- University Associates, University of South Carolina
- South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Past Board of Trustees Member
- Harvest Hope Food Bank, Past Board Member
- John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court, Past Member
- Richland County Bar Association
- North Carolina State Bar
- Workshop Theatre of South Carolina, Past Board of Trustees Member
- Columbia Opportunity Resource, Past Board Member
- Leadership Columbia, Class of 2008
- Leadership Columbia Planning Committee, Past Member
- Leadership Columbia Alumni Association
- Shandon Neighborhood Council, Past Member
Outside Nexsen Pruet
Tushar has always valued balance in his life. In addition to putting in time at the gym, he spends most of his free time at city parks, Riverbanks Zoo, EdVenture Children’s Museum, or anywhere else he and his wife’s toddler twins might find exciting.
Meaningful service to his community has been a hallmark of Tushar’s professional life. He presently serves on the Board of Trustees of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and the Board of Directors of Harvest Hope Food Bank. Tushar also actively supports his undergraduate alma mater, the University of South Carolina, by serving on its Partnership Board for the Department of Political Science and as a University Associate. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Workshop Theatre of South Carolina and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR). Tushar is also a graduate of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Columbia program, is a member of the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association, and has served on the Leadership Columbia Committee as the Chair of its Economic Development Day subcommittee.
Tushar has also spent significant time making his neighborhood a better place by previously serving as a member of the Shandon Neighborhood Council and the Race Director for the Shandon Turkey Trot, a neighborhood 8K that raises money for neighborhood projects.
In November of 2014, Tushar traveled to India as part of Governor Nikki Haley's delegation of South Carolina business leaders. On January 2nd, Columbia's The State newspaper reported "Interest in Haley led to more meetings on Indian trade mission, Commerce says."
The 18-member delegation of business and government officials had 90 meetings scheduled but ended up conducting about 120, S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said....
Hitt said having the private business representatives on the trip allowed the state to reach more business prospects and do a better job in selling South Carolina.
"If you went over there with all government people, you would not give them the impression of who you really were as a business state," he said. "You want a diversity of all types of people. You only get one first impression."
Greenville Business Magazine's Legal Elite of the Upstate, 2018
In February of 2015, Law360 profiled Tushar for its "Minority Powerbrokers Q&A" series.
Tushar was recognized as a South Carolina Super Lawyer - Rising Star in Bonds and Government Finance Law for 2012. The State also recognized his professional and community involvement by selecting him as one of the newspaper's "20 Under 40" for 2011. He has served on the LeadershipNextSC Advisory Group and was a 2010 graduate of the Diversity Leaders Initiative, both of which have been established by the Riley Institute of Government, Politics, and Public Leadership at Furman University.
In 2008, Tushar graduated from the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Columbia program, is currently a member of the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association, and has served on the Leadership Columbia Planning Committee. He also has served on the Shandon Neighborhood Council. He has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Workshop Theatre of South Carolina and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Columbia Opportunity Resource.
Highlights of his career include:
- The State newspaper's 20 Under 40 List - 2011
- John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court
- Leadership Columbia
- Midlands Diversity Leaders Initiative - Riley Institute
- South Carolina Super Lawyer - Rising Star in Bonds and Government Finance Law (2012)
- Host/Presenter, Webinar: Job Tax Credit in Tier III & IV South Carolina Counties, September 15, 2019
- Nexsen Pruet Economic Development Seminar: NC vs. SC, Presenter: South Carolina Grants, South Carolina Property Tax Incentives, November 6, 2015
- Realtors Seminar (2015) Presenter, Property Tax Basics and Incentives, Abandoned Building Revitalization and Retail Revitalization Acts - Nexsen Pruet, LLC
- "Minority Powerbrokers Q&A," Law360, February 23, 2015.
- Hard Dollars Seminar, September 6, 2013, Presenter, Program Requirements for State Grants – Nexsen Pruet, LLC.
- Greenwood Partnership Alliance Meeting, August 29, 2013, Blighted Big Boxes and Cast-Aside Construction: A Look at SC’s Retail Facilities and Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Acts.
- Legislative Update Seminar, June 21, 2013, Presenter, A Comparison of South Carolina vs. North Carolina Incentives – Nexsen Pruet, LLC.
- State Economic Development Incentives for the Agribusiness Industry, November 2, 2012, Presenter, FILOTs and MCBPs for Agribusiness – Palmetto Agribusiness Council.
- What You Need to Know to Help Your Company Succeed, October 17, 2012, Presenter, State and Local Incentives for Existing Industries in South Carolina – Association of Corporate Counsel, South Carolina Chapter.
- Incentives for Real Estate Developers: Commercial, Retail, Tourism, Multi-Family, October 5, 2012, Presenter, Closed Big Box/Textile Mills Revitalization Credits and Fee-in-Lieu/Multi-County Business Parks – Nexsen Pruet, LLC.
- SC Clean Energy Summit, July 18, 2012, Presenter, Alternative Energy State Tax Incentives – South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance.
- Selected Issues Regarding Spec Industrial Parks and Mega Sites, June 8, 2012, Presenter, Fee-in-Lieu and Spec Industrial Parks - Nexsen Pruet, LLC.
- Newbie Seminar, December 1, 2011, Presenter, Property Tax Basics and Incentives – Nexsen Pruet, LLC.
- Economic Development and Legislative Update Seminar, June 24, 2011, Presenter, MCBP – Advanced Issues – Nexsen Pruet, LLC.
- SC Journal of International Law & Business Symposium, February 25, 2011, Presenter, A Company Perspective: Common SC Economic Development Incentives – USC School of Law.
- SCATT Academy, February 3, 2011, Presenter, FILOTs and MCBPs – South Carolina Association of Auditors, Treasurers, & Tax Collectors.
- Economic Development School, July 1, 2010, Presenter, Economic Development and Tax Update – Nexsen Pruet, LLC.
- Project Finance: Financing the $10 Million - $15 Million Manufacturing Warehouse and Distribution Facility, April 21, 2010, Presenter, New Markets Tax Credit Financing – Nexsen Pruet, LLC.
- 10.09.2020 | News from Nexsen Pruet
- 05.27.2020 | Media Mention
- 05.21.2020 | Blog Post
- 08.02.2022 | Article
Across the Carolinas, food and beverage manufacturing is growing, with companies developing disruptive innovation and platforms. Join Nexsen Pruet for an industry update highlighting trends, challenges, and recent successes.
- Life Sciences Webinar Series Session 2 - Onshoring of the Industry- Targeted Economic Development Strategies
Nexsen Pruet's newest webinar series is focusing on Life Sciences companies in the Carolinas. These webinars will focus on various legal and regulatory issues that Life Sciences companies deal with on a daily basis. They are also designed to provide updates and strategies on how to deal with these issues.
- 09.15.2022 | The Buzz: A SC Economic Development Podcast | Episode 88: James Chavez, President & CEO of SC Power Team
This episode, we are joined by President & CEO of the SC Power Team, James Chavez. With a 20-year track record of success in serving suburban, second-tier and rural communities Chavez leads a team that supports South Carolina’s 20 electric cooperatives, powering more than 1.6 million South Carolinians.
- 07.20.2022 | Episode 87: Henrietta Baskins
This week, we are joined by Henri Baskins, Executive Vice President of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Henri leads the Minority Business Accelerator program in Columbia.
- 07.06.2022 | Episode 86: Tom Komaromi
This week Kara and Tushar, sit down with General Counsel of Samsung Electronics Home Appliances America, Thomas Komaromi to discuss the five-year anniversary of the Newberry, South Carolina plant.
- 06.15.2022 | Episode 85: Michelle Fowler
This week Kara and Tushar, co-host of The Buzz, discuss workforce development in the low-country with Michelle Fowler, Chief Administrative Officer at W International in Goose Creek, SC.
- 05.25.2022 | Episode 83: Duane Parrish
This week Kara and Tushar, co-host of The Buzz, discuss tourism after the height of the pandemic with the Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Duane Parrish.
Kara and Tushar are joined by Jeff Ruble, Director of Richland County Economic Development. Jeff has a seasoned history working on some of the largest economic development projects to approach South Carolina in his 30 years experience.
- 01.04.2022 | Episode 82: James Chappell, SCBIO, President & CEO
Heather and Mathew are joined by special co-host Nexsen Pruet attorney Tushar Chikhliker for a crossover episode with The Buzz to introduce SCBIO’s new leader, James Chappell. After a nationwide search, James has been named as SCBIO’s new President & CEO to lead the organization’s great work in directing the flourishing life sciences industry in South Carolina. Tune in for this special episode to learn about James Chappell, the future of life sciences in the state and SCBIO’s development efforts at www.thepulsehealthcast.com or www.buzzpodcast.com.
Tushar is joined by special co-hosts Matthew Roberts and Heather Mathews for a crossover episode with The Pulse – A Health Care and Life Sciences Podcast - to introduce SCBIO’s new leader, James Chappell. After a nationwide search, James has been named as SCBIO’s new President & CEO to lead the organization’s great work in directing the flourishing life sciences industry in South Carolina. Tune in for this special episode to learn about James Chappell, the future of life sciences in the state and SCBIO’s development efforts at www.thepulsehealthcast.com or www.buzzpodcast.com.
- 12.15.2021 | Episode 71: Micah Mallace, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales, South Carolina Ports Authority
During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, South Carolina Ports Authority plays a crucial role in helping Santa deliver the goods. In this episode of The Buzz, Kara and Tushar talk with Micah Mallace, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales for the South Carolina Ports Authority, about the impact the pandemic has had on the global supply chain - and how years of planning have helped SC Ports productivity shine during these turbulent times.
- 11.30.2021 | Episode 69: Nelson Lindsay
Nelson Lindsay, a seasoned and state-certified economic developer with more than two decades of experience, joins Kara Gormley Meador + Tushar Chikhliker to talk about his new role as CEO + President of Central SC Alliance. Nelson and Tushar discuss all things workforce development on episode 69 of The Buzz.
The Buzz alum Jim Stritzinger is BACK to discuss rural broadband connectivity in South Carolina! You may remember him from an early Buzz episode (from July 2020), discussing his career in broadband mapping and outlining the finer points of South Carolina's 'digital divide,' along with what it would take to close that gap. Today, Jim is back in his new role as Director of the NEW South Carolina Broadband Office to discuss next steps - how is the state tackling broadband accessibility challenges? What infrastructure is in place, and what is being built to connect South Carolinians? What kind of money does that even take? Kara and guest host Tushar Chikhliker dive into all of that and MORE with Jim. Tune in!
Workforce development is always a *hot* economic development topic - join us to learn more about what one technical college program is doing to fill that pipeline! Midlands Technical College Business Solutions Director Jeremy Catoe sat down with Kara and surprise guest host Tushar Chikhliker. We explore internships vs apprenticeships, the benefits of apprenticeships, and how MTC's program is working with students as early as their high school careers. Interested in hosting an apprenticeship, or know someone who may want to participate? Tune in and learn the ins and outs!
The Charleston Regional Development Alliance is tackling a lot of major issues and trends in economic development, like onshoring/reshoring, electric vehicles and life sciences (to name a few). Burnie & Kara spoke with Mike Graney, CRDA's VP of Global Business Development, and Tushar Chikhliker, CRDA Board Member and head of Nexsen Pruet's Economic Development group, about this and more - including sustainable growth and workforce availability in the Lowcountry. Tune in!
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