Monthly Archives: February 2014

BiLo Buying Another 134 Stores in FL/GA/SC

BiLo Holdings was approved by the Federal Trade Commission yesterday to buy the struggling Harvey’s, SweetBay and Reid’s grocery chains from Delhaize. Most of the stores in two of the chains are located in rural sections of GA/FL and SC, with SweetBay’s in some metro areas. According to one report, some will be re-flagged as BiLo stores,others as WinnDixies such as in FL. The acquisition increases BiLo Holdings’ store count to 685 after BiLo and WinnDixie merged in 2012. Last year, it bought 22 Piggly Wiggly stores in the Lowcountry that now fly the BiLo flag. Abigail Darlington of The Post and Courier has the story.

Biking/Pedestrian Lane Addition on Hwy 17 Bridge Approved by CHS City County

The CHS city council approved converting an automobile lane to a pedestrian/bike lane on the US Hwy 17 bridge over the Ashley River into downtown CHS to allow connectivity for commuters between West Ashley and downtown, especially those in the Ripley Light, Windermere and Avondale areas who work in the MUSC/Roper Hospital areas. But the linkage goes far beyond with proponents envisioning bicyclists could access to/from West Ashley all the way to the Ravenel Bridge and Mt. Pleasant. The city estimates some 1,500 bicyclists/pedestrians will use the bridge each weekday and about 1,000 per day on weekends. “Its not about closing off a lane but opening up a bridge”, said one proponent. Schuyler Kropf with The Post and Courier has the complete story.

Boeing Engineering Firm Expanding in N CHS

Warren Wise of The Post and Courier has a story on an engineering firm that works alongside Boeing and its 787 DreamLiner design and is expanding in North CHS.

Sergeant Jasper Apartments To Be Re-Developed

Ashley Barker of The Charleston Regional Business Journal reports on the planned demolition this summer of The Sergeant Jasper Apartments and the re-development of that site for a new multi-family development – just not the 14-story version.

$1 Billion in Downtown CHS Projects in The Works

The Post and Courier and Warren Wise have a story about the substantial amount of new developments underway and planned in downtown CHS, from housing to retail, hotels, restaurants, office space, College of Charleston and government projects and so on. Amazing. And it is not just talk; it is happening before our very eyes.

CHS YE2013 Retail Market Report Out – 6.0% Vacancy and Increasing Rents

The Charleston retail market continued to improve since mid-year 2013 with increased occupancy rates and new construction. National tenants are showing a greater interest in Charleston. Bass Pro Shops, Southern Season, H&M, Chipotle and Madewell all opened stores or announced plans to locate to the market.

See the entire market report here from our retail landlord services team of John Orr, CCIM, and Elyse Chubb.

CHS Industrial Market Continues To Improve

The Charleston industrial market experienced additional improvement during fourth quarter, continuing a trend of declining vacancy that began in 2012. At the end of 2013, the vacancy rate fell to 8.4% from 9.5% the previous quarter and from 10.9% a year ago. Existing product larger than 75,000 SF is almost completely absorbed. Net absorption for the quarter was 384,053 SF and for the year was 1,141,422 SF.

Leasing activity in smaller facilities continued its strong pace as trade suppliers expand and new ones moved to the area. As supply has tightened with decreasing vacancy, average lease rates increased during 2013 and should continue to rise. Construction costs are rising nearly 15% year-over-year for steel and other key items. Fourth quarter’s lease activity was characterized by a large number of leases in the 25,000 SF – 75,000 SF range and one larger lease, Husqvarna leasing 450,000 SF at 1116 Newton Way in Summerville. Yet the total net absorption was very strong compared to the previous several quarters.  See the link above for the full report.

CHS Office Market Improving Hourly – ok, Quarterly

Colliers International’s Charleston Office Team has published their Year-End 2013 market report and the news just keeps getting better – for landlords at least. Some 190k of space was absorbed in all of 2013 and the occupancy improved to 11.4% overall and 7.1% for Class A space (only 5.7% for direct or non-sublease space) – a nearly 200 basis point improvement from Q3’s vacancy. See the complete report here.

Wal-Mart/Family Dollar Venture Mulled by Analyst

It could be just talk, but a Credit Suisse research analyst publicly wonders (er, speculates) about Wal-Mart Express jumpstarting its expansion by acquiring the Family Dollar chain. Jennifer Thomas of the Charlotte Business Journal has the story.

CHS Port Volume Up 7% in 2013

Container volume was up a strong 7% at the five area port terminals. The article goes on to report, “Since 2010, the ports authority has captured nearly half of all container volume growth in the South Atlantic market through the addition of new customers and cargo from discretionary markets, inland-favorable freight and growth of bulk transload operations.” Liz Segrist of the Charleston Regional Business Journal has the report.