Monthly Archives: June 2015

CHS Harbor Deepening Approved by Corps’; Next: Funding

David Wren of The Post and Courier reports the Army Corps of Engineers has approved the deepening of the Port of CHS from 45′ to 52′ to handle post-Panamax ships so they can carry up to 14,500 cargo boxes thru the Port at any time of the day (instead of waiting on incoming high tides).  It was unanimously approved by the Corps’ Civil Works Review Board in Washington; next step is for the Corps’ Chief of Engineers to sign off (expected in September) to present to Congress for funding this Fall.  Total cost – about $509M.  At 52′, CHS would offer the deepest harbor on the East Coast.  The port is a huge component to the CHS economy, handling some $60B of cargo, including some 800-1000 BMWs each week coming from the Upstate, and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and Volvo cars would be next.

New Home Sales and Permits At Highest Point Since 2007

For the first 4 months of 2015, more than 1,100 new homes sold, making up some 23% (or 28% according to one source) of the 4,700+ residential closings; that compares to 8% for the national average.  Leaders in new home closings include Carolina Bay in western Charleston County and Carolina Park in Mount Pleasant; Charleston County had 41% of the closings for the region.  Berkeley County had 37% of the new home closings and Dorchester the remaining 22%.  And it is all because of jobs, jobs, jobs being created in the region thanks to Boeing, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.  Warren Wise of The Post and Courier has the article.

There is also another recent article from Warren on other single-family residential noteworthy items

  • big increases in sales at Kiawah, with 92 contracts for purchase aggregating to some $145M
  • new building for The Citadel’s new School of Business in the works/design phase downtown – not really residential, but displacing some renters
  • new subdivision for Mungo Homes on Johns Island
  • new 84-lot phase for Ryland Homes in Carolina Park in Mt. Pleasant
  • Schumacher Homes with new models/homes in Ladson
  • less undewater homes in the CHS region this year, down 31% as compared to just Q1 2014

Restaurant-Retail Update for June 2015

Warren Wise of The Post and Courier gives us a great update on retail/restaurants coming and going across the CHS region.

  • Chipotle is looking at two more sites (they have two already – one on Rivers Avenue in N CHS and one at King/Calhoun downtown); the two new sites would be in West Ashley at 2051 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. near Citadel Mall, and the other in a former mattress store at Centre Pointe near Tanger in N CHS.  How ’bout Summerville or Mt. Pleasant?
  • Velocity Air Sports plans to open an entertainment facility with trampoline dodge ball and such at the 40k SF former Sofa Super Store at 8551 Rivers Avenue in N CHS.
  • A local pharmacy, Delta Pharmacy and Medical Supply will open its 7th location in Hollywood inside the Pigg.
  • Lulu Burgess of Beaufort will open a 1,285 SF store at 409 King St.
  • A wedding boutique store, Steel Magnolias Boutique, has opened at 416-A Old Trolley Road in Summerville.
  • PowerFit, a personal trainer, has leased 2,400 SF at Morgans Point Road in Mt. Pleasant.
  • A new Sunoco station is set for a re-grand opening in Summerville at 9910 Dorchester Road.

Got Apartments?

More apartments are planned in and around CHS, as noted in an article by Warren Wise of The Post and Courier, as he points out plans submitted to the city for four new developments:

  • An unspecified number of units at a site near the intersection of Meeting Street and Cooper Street, downtown.  Plans call for a structure of up to 80′ though current zoning allows only up to 55′.  The site would need to be re-zoned from light industrial/general business to mixed-use workforce housing.  The developers are Gruca Properties and Frederick Fabian of Venters Capital.
  • One block away, Atlanta-based Brand Properties is seeking to build a 5-story mixed-use building with 128 apartment units along Meeting Street between Jackson and Lee Streets.  It would include a 208-space parking deck and 11,200 SF of office space.
  • In West Ashley, next to Westwood Plaza shopping center, where Harris Teeter announced it would build a new grocery store, a developer wants to build a 174-unit apartment community in five 3-story buildings.  Its would be a JV between Jim Kourafas of Caerus Construction Co. and Trident Construction Co.
  • Another 78-unit, 3-story building would be an additional phase of the recently complete River’s Walk apartment community is planned at 301 Seaport Lane in Mount Pleasant, off Mathis Ferry Road.

Local Investor Buys Downtown Offices/Parking Lots

Origin Development Partners LLC, headed by local investor Tony Kassis, has purchased the offices for law firm Womble Carlyle in downtown CHS, plus three nearby surface parking lots.  The law firm will lease back the buildings.  No pricing has yet to be determined, per the article by John McDermott of The Post and Courier.

Noisette Office Building to Be Renovated

Anchor Center is a 1950s, large floor plate office building in the Noisette development in N CHS and contains 156k SF.  The building will be renovated to attract big users, including government contractors, government agencies and tech companies, according to its new owner.  The Post and Courier’s John McDermott has the story.

Not Just Outside, CHS Real Estate Market Remains Hot

The local CHS residential real estate market continues to remain red hot.  Sales volume is up 19.4% for the first five months of 2015 as compared to the same period last year, and prices are up 8.0%, with the median price now at $235,000.  The CHS Metro Chamber of Commerce estimates 43 people move to the CHS region every day.  The strongest areas of demand:  in Charleston County, Mount Pleasant; in Berkeley County, around Summerville; and in Dorchester County, in Ridgeville, where the new Volvo plant was announced.  Warren Wise has the story here for The Post and Courier.

Boeing Projecting Strong Demand for Planes For Next 20 Years

Boeing, the maker of the North Charleston built 787 Dreamliner, projects demand for some 38k new commercial airplanes over the next 20 years, worth some $5.6 trillion.  They anticipate the Dreamliner will capture about 22% of that demand, representing some $2.5 trillion.  While the biggest demand (70%) will be for single-aisle planes like the 737MAX that will debut in 2017, Boeing reported they have over 5,700 planes on order, worth some $435 billion including 838 Dreamliners for 60 different customers.  David Wren of The Post and Courier has the story ahead of one of the airline industry’s biggest marketing events The Paris Air Show.

Faber Plaza Office Building Breaks Ground

On one of the two last remaining sites around Faber Executive Park, locally based Durlach Associates broke ground on a spec, 125k SF 5-story office building called Faber Plaza.  Their financial partner on the project is Trinity Capital Advisors of Charlotte.  John McDermott of The Post and Courier has the story.

$22M Pricing for Former Force Protection Plant in Ladson

John McDermott of the Post and Courier shares an article on the sale of a seven-building manufacturing and warehouse facilities most recently occupied by Force Protection which once employed 1,000 persons that made military troop carriers that were resistant to roadside bombs. General Dynamics, which bought Force Protection in 2011, still occupies a portion of the building(s) on a total of 259 acres, of which more than 100 remains undeveloped.  The buyer was JL Woode, a local investor with offices also in Chicago.