Monthly Archives: August 2015

$4.5B Jasper Port Moving Forward at A Headwind’s Pace

An update on the massive port planned at the GA-SC border that has been in the works for 8 years now.  The latest:  “consultants told the SC State Ports Authority that a permit will be sought this Fall so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can begin environmental studies on the massive project”, according to an article from Bruce Smith of The Associated Press via The Post and Courier.

BenefitFocus More Than Doubling Its Presence in Upstate – Adding 100 Jobs

Daniel Island-based information tech firm BenefitFocus will add 100 new jobs in the Greenville area in an announcement coming next week.  Allison Prang of The Post and Courier has the initial announcement here.

MUSC Coming to Lower Berkeley County’s Carnes Crossroads

Warren Wise of The Post and Courier reports that MUSC Health Primary Care broke ground today on a 10k SF primary care facility in Carnes Crossroads, just east of Nexton and south of Cane Bay Plantation, two massive planned unit developments undergoing significant commercial and residential growth.

Warren also reports that Carolina Park, a 1700 acre PUD in Mount Pleasant is opening THREE new phases of residential development – two in The Village and a third phase of custom homes in Riverside where prices are $500k to over $1M.

Lastly, Dunes West Golf and River Club has announced new townhomes priced from $430k and two new decorated townhome concepts in Ryland Homes’ 84-unit Tollison Path subdivision in Carolina Park.

New EarthFare in Summerville Nearing September Opening

The CHS region’s second EarthFare will open next month, this one in Summerville.  Warren Wise of The Post and Courier has the story here, along with some other retailer and restaurant openings around town like Boot Barn signing a 10k lease next to Hobby Lobby in the Promenade at Northwoods in N CHS and Uncle Maddio’s Pizza’s latest expansion plans and Budget Blinds opening a 4th area store.  Plus, a few more stores joining EarthFare in Summerville – Dunkin’ Donuts, Mattress Pro, Crust Pizza, and Tijuana Flats, all expected to be open by Thanksgiving.

$7.72M – For A House – on Battery in Downtown CHS !!!

A VA-based couple has paid a record $7.72M for a single-family home on the Battery downtown, eclipsing the highest price ever paid in Charleston.  The house is known as The Colonel John Ashe House at 32 South Battery.  The buyers are James and Augustine Smith of Roanoke, VA, developers of senior housing with an expanding footprint in the Lowcountry, so an affiliate of the Smiths bought an office building at 34 Broad St recently, too.  John McDermott and Warren Wise have the story here for The Post and Courier.

Atlanta Investors Acquire 3 Hotels in CHS

Per an announcement from BusinessWire, A joint venture of Hotel Development Partners and publicly-traded Ares Management has acquired three hotels totaling 248 rooms in N CHS – including two Marriott products, the Residence Inn by Marriott, the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott.

Colliers International Mid-Year 2015 Industrial Market Report – Game Changers

David Wren of The Post and Courier reports on the recently released Colliers International Q2 2015 industrial market report for Charleston that highlights some “game changers” of some job creators such as Volvo Cars North America and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans which, combined, will create over 5,300 direct jobs between just the two of them and a $1 BILLION investment in CHS.  And the multipliers, automotive suppliers and third party logistics providers (and don’t forget Boeing) will grow automotive manufacturing in the region and across the state.  The big picture – vacancy is now at 6.8%, down 300 basis points from just one year ago and leasing is robust with possibly as much as 2MSF to be be absorbed in 2015.  Recent projects announced:

  • Gerber Childrenswear – $33M, 477k SF distribution center in Berkeley County
  • WestRock/SunCap – speculative 350k SF warehouse at North Pointe Business Campus in Hanahan.
  • Childress Klein/Amstar – speculative 279k SF warehouse in Charleston Regional Business Center off Clements Ferry Road/I-526.
  • Patillo Industrial Real Estate – 142k SF spec warehouse in Palmetto Commerce Park in N CHS; its expandable to 400k SF.
  • Childress Klein/Jamestown – 272k SF multi-tenant building recently completed also in Palmetto Commerce Park.
  • Lineage Logistics – 340k SF cold-storage distribution facility in Palmetto Commerce Park for exports like poultry and vegetables through the Port of CHS.

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Top 20 Grossing U.S. Retailers

The top 20 retailers in the U.S. in terms of gross sales are, according to a list from – and two weren’t even really around 15 years ago (Amazon and Apple).

  1. Wal-Mart ($343B and 5,109 stores)
  2. Kroger Co ($103B and 3730 stores)
  3. Costco ($78B and 464 stores)
  4. Home Depot ($74B and 1,965 stores)
  5. Walgreens ($72B and 8,157 stores)
  6. Target ($72B and 1,790 stores)
  7. CVS/CareMark ($67B and 7,808 stores)
  8. Lowe’s ($54B)
  9. Amazon ($49N – NO STORES!)
  10. Safeway ($36B and 1,326 stores)
  11. Best Buy ($35B and 1,445 stores)
  12. McDonald’s ($35B and 14,350 stores)
  13. Publix ($30B and 1,296 stores)
  14. Apple ($28B and 259 stores)
  15. Macy’s ($28B and 821 stores)
  16. RiteAid ($26B and 4,570 stores)
  17. Ahold ($25B and 768 stores)
  18. Sears Holding ($25B and 1,659 stores)
  19. TJX Cos. ($22B and 2,569 stores)
  20. HEB Grocery ($19B and 317 stores)

N CHS Retail Node Getting Conn’s HomePlus, a new La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings; Plus West Elm Opens Downtown

The regional retail mass around Tanger Outlets at I-526 and I-26 in N CHS is getting two new boxes next to the new Field and Stream that will open later this month – a 45.8k SF Conn’s HomePlus was announced and La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries will open a 16.2k SF box next to Conn’s and both should be open in Spring 2016.

Also, West Elm, the high-end furniture shop and cousin to Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn will open its new 10k SF store at 484 King Street downtown.

Along with other retailer/restaurant news from Warren Wise of The Post and Courier.

YTD 2015 Home Sales in CHS Surpass 2011 Total

Thus far in 2015, 9,600 homes have sold, up 19.3% from this time last year, and already past the total that sold for the entire year 2011.  According to the article by Warren Wise of The Post and Courier, the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors also reports home sales in July alone were up 20.4% and the median price, at $237,750, was up 10%.