Archive for June, 2008

Jun
30

Hilton Head Island Development Targets Active Seniors Only

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June 30, 2008

By Jim Faber – The Island Packet

A 40-home, age-restricted community is planned for Spanish Wells Road near the entrance to Spanish Wells Plantation on Hilton Head Island.

The gated development will be built by Bluffton-based BGD of HHI, a franchise of Ohio-based Epcon Communities.

The community, called Abbey Glen at Spanish Wells, will be restricted to people 55 and older. Construction will start in the fall. Most of the homes will be just over 2,000 square feet and sell for between $498,900 and the mid-$600,000s, said David Brown, the franchisee and president of Southern Lifestyle Group Realty, which will sell the homes.

Abbey Glen at New River, a project by the same developer, got under way two years ago. It’s off of U.S. 278 behind Palmetto Electric Cooperative’s offices. About 40 percent of the houses in that 112-home development have been sold, but it is not age-restricted, Brown said.

However, both Abbey Glens provide condominium-like maintenance, where the management company handles all landscaping and other exterior services. Homeowners are only responsible for interior maintenance, Brown said.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….


LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/story/537523.html

Categories : Hilton Head Island
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Jun
29

Nearly 2,700 New Hotel Rooms are Planned for Columbia

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Tourism groups want more money to market the added hotel units

June 29, 2008

By Jeff Wilkinson – The State

Nearly 2,700 new hotel rooms are planned for greater Columbia over the next 18 months, increasing the city’s stock by a remarkable 26 percent.

But at the same time, local governments are cutting the money they give to the organizations charged with marketing the area and filling those rooms.

Funding for the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau is expected to drop about $300,000. And money that goes to Capital City/Lake Murray Country is expected to be down about $100,000.

The money largely comes from taxes on restaurant meals and hotel rooms. Local governments decide how to spend the tax revenue, and, this year, they reduced the amount given to the marketing agencies.

This comes at a time when, because of higher gas prices and the teetering economy, travelers and meeting planners are looking for more affordable locations like Columbia for vacations and conventions, said Tom Sponseller, executive director of the Hospitality Association of South Carolina.

Hotel occupancy rates are down — about 5 percent — in Charleston and Hilton Head, and down 4.3 percent statewide, Sponseller said. But the occupancy rate has stayed steady in Columbia — 63.9 percent in May of this year, down only slightly from 64 percent last May.

As a result, the average price for a Columbia hotel room has risen to $75.55 a night this year from $71.70 last year.

“When the demand is constant, you get more price,” Sponseller said.

While construction of some of those 2,500 rooms could be delayed because of the slowing economy, hoteliers remain confident in Columbia’s steady market, Sponseller said.

New properties are being built on the outskirts of the city to take the first shot at attracting travelers off the interstates. And downtown has become attractive for more new upscale hotel properties and renovations of older ones.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.thestate.com/local/story/446690.html

Categories : Columbia
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Jun
29

Myrtle Beach’s Burroughs & Chapin to Expand to Charleston?

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June 28, 2008

By Katy Stech – The Post and Courier

A Grand Strand developer that spearheaded the transformation of Myrtle Beach from a quiet seaside town into a sprawling metropolis centered around flashy tourist attractions has its eye on Charleston.

Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc., a 113-year-old company that owns developments ranging from golf courses to malls to luxury neighborhoods, is seeking to diversity its business and expand beyond its empire up the coast — possibly into the Lowcountry.

“We’re looking to expand our real estate and development pursuits outside of Myrtle Beach, and certainly Charleston is an attractive market to us,” said Terry Horack, executive vice president.

Burroughs & Chapin’s interest stems from the Charleston area’s affluence and its proximity to the company’s base, he said. He declined to comment on specific deals the firm is working on.

The family-owned company was formed by Franklin G. Burroughs, who began a small turpentine business, according to its Web site. He partnered with another businessman to build the first railway through the Horry County swamps to what later developed into the Grand Strand area.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.charleston.net/news/2008/jun/28/beyond_strand45948/
Categories : Uncategorized
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Jun
29

National Retailers Opening in Anderson

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Kohl’s, Staples, Dillard’s plan to open stores soon

June 28, 2008

By Angelia Davis – Greenville News

Anderson residents will soon have more national chains in their lineup of retail stores.

Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Kohl’s will open its first Anderson store this fall, according to company spokeswoman Elizabeth DeLuca.

Staples, headquartered in Massachusetts, will co-anchor a new shopping center on Clemson Boulevard with the Kohl’s store and a Dick’s Sporting Goods, according to Michael Black, Staples spokesman.

Dillard’s, too, will celebrate its first Anderson store when it opens at the Anderson Mall.

Black said the core customers for Staples are small businesses. In deciding where to locate a new store, Black said the company looks for areas that have a strong small business community and will have a demand for its products.

“Anderson is fast growing. This is a great opportunity to serve a need there,” Black said. “We’re excited to bring the easy button to Anderson.”

The approximately 20,000-square-foot Staples will be a standard store, Black said. It will employ 30 full-time and part-time workers, he said.

DeLuca said details about Anderson’s Kohl store will be released later. Corporate spokespeople at Dick’s could not be reached for comment.

Dillard’s announced in 2007 that it would build a 126,000-square-foot store at Anderson Mall.

It’s one of several expansions planned for the mall owned by Simon Property Group Inc.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080628/BUSINESS/806280301/1003

Categories : Anderson
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Jun
27

IRR-Residential Adds Offices and Staff

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June 26, 2008
A residential valuation company is focusing on adding depth to its nationwide coverage and providing compliance oversight.

Residential appraisal firm IRR-Residential has added new affiliated firms in four markets. The company also announced the addition of a new chief appraiser and compliance officer.

The new affiliates are IRR-Residential Krantz Appraisal Firm in Missouri; IRR-Residential Value Experts in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La.; and IRR-Residential Rayburn Appraisals & Consulting, in Chicago, according to a statement from the Kansas-based company.

“In today’s real estate market, independence, size, product offering and quality of service are necessary to meet the needs of lenders,” commented John Wood, president and chief operating officer of IRR-Residential.

Thomas M. Munizzo, IFA, DAR, CAR is now the chief appraiser and compliance officer. According to company officials, Munizzo started his career 22 years ago with the family-owned Munizzo Appraisal Co. and was president of the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers in 2006.

“We are fortunate to have found someone with Tom’s background as both an independent appraiser and someone who has been employed by leading lending institutions,” Wood stated in conjunction with this announcement.

Munizzo also commented that he looks forward to working to ensuring IRR-Residential complies with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s new Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC).

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.valuationreview.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=270E8EBA5AF64172B917EBD588EDB85A&nm=&type=news&mod=News&mid=5F249E552B2C49509BC41751816632F3&tier=3&nid=C3F54A1A21F046908ACEE4FB4DDD3BA7
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BLOG NOTE:
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We are very excited about the addition of Tom Munizzo and the new offices of IRR-Residential. Very few residential appraisal firms are actually growing in these tough times, but IRR-Residential is.
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MBD
Categories : IRR-Residential
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Jun
27

Self Storage Market Strong in Myrtle Beach

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Pack rats find more Strand options

June 26, 2008

By Jessica Foster – Sun News

Many businesses are floundering in today’s sluggish economy, but not the self-storage sector.

Storage facilities continue to crop up across the Grand Strand, and despite the increased competition, occupancy rates at many of the local facilities are on the rise.

Space-constricted businesses, homeowners and renters are fueling the growth.

“People need to put their items someplace. They don’t want to sell them or get rid of them,” said Joe Cuozzo, owner of Southern Storage in Murrells Inlet, where all of the 163 storage units are occupied. “Even though maybe the economy is slow, they still want to hold on to their items.”

Three new storage facilities have opened this year in Horry County, making a total of 54, and more are on the way.

Plantation Storage opened in April in Carolina Forest, its third location in South Carolina, and already about a third of its units are claimed.

“We are in a growth mode and expansion mode,” said Charles Chase with Chase Properties, Inc., who owns the chain.

Though Chase declined to give occupancy rates for the chain, he said the business is still growing, though at a slower rate than during strong economic times.

“We’ve weathered recessions in the past fairly well. We’d like to think we’re somewhat recession resistant,” he said. “Even in a down-time economy we feel like there’s a reasonable amount of business that still needs us.”

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/business/story/499194.html
Categories : Myrtle Beach
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Jun
27

Okatie Village Wins Initial Approval

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June 26, 2008

By Michael Welles Shapiro – Island Packet

Reversing a stance it took in March, the Beaufort County Planning Commission on Wednesday gave the thumbs up to a proposed Okatie development that would add 1,252 homes to the area.

The commission’s 4-to-2 vote means plans for Okatie Village, a mixed-use project along S.C. 170, will come to the Beaufort County Council with a positive recommendation. A firm date for council consideration hasn’t been set.

Because of the strain the development could place on the highway and on local public schools, the commission also recommended County Council require the developer to pay fees to cover those costs before giving the project a final go-ahead.

“I need to be made comfortable on the schools. I need to be made comfortable on the road,” said commission chairman Jim Hicks, who voted for the proposal.

For one member of the council, location was a sticking point.

“Rural land south of the Broad (River) is kind of like lips on a chicken; it’s very hard to find,” said Chechessee commissioner Parker Sutler.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/story/534283.html

Categories : Hilton Head Island
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Jun
26

Columbia Home Sales Plunge 23 Percent

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Market has way to go before bottoming out, industry observers say

June 26, 2008

By Kristy Eppley Rupon – The State

Home sales were bleak in the Columbia area and throughout South Carolina in May, a time when the selling season should be in full bloom.

The Columbia area’s sales sank 23 percent from May of last year — the biggest one-month loss of 2008.

Most areas in the state saw sales drop 20 percent or more, according to figures released Wednesday by the S.C. Realtors trade group. Sales statewide fell 23 percent in May.

If sales don’t pick up this summer, Columbia home sellers could be in for a rough year, said Nick Kremydas, executive director of S.C. Realtors.

“We’re probably going to see a little bit more decline before we start seeing some improvements, and the improvements are going to be slow,” he said.

May’s numbers are “worse than I thought,” said Barbara Lowrance Hughes of the Wolfe Co., who has been selling real estate in Columbia more than 30 years.

Columbia-area sales fell 16 percent in April and are down 15 percent through the first five months of 2008.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.thestate.com/local/story/444005.html
Categories : Columbia
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Jun
25

Keys Added to FHA Appraiser Roster

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IRR-Residential Columbia is pleased to announce that Beth Keys has been approved for addition to the FHA Appraiser Roster. HUD maintains a roster of appraisers who have satisfied certification requirements to perform FHA appraisals. Lenders underwriting FHA-insured loans may only accept appraisals from an appraiser on the FHA roster.

Her background since entering the appraisal profession in 2003 has included mass valuations with the Lexington County Tax Assessor’s office, as well as appraisals for eminent domain purposes with a private firm. In addition to the valuation of residential properties, she has appraised a variety of commercial properties. Ms. Keys holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina. She is an Associate Member of the Appraisal Institute and has a South Carolina Certified General Appraiser License.

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Appraisals on residential properties in the Midlands region can be ordered at:
https://irrresidentialcolumbia.appraiserxsites.com/iFrame.aspx?FileName=order.x&ReferrerGUID=8d553d22-30cf-47d8-a080-3e08d1ea7129&language=English&UID=nfrxvx55qptykx3tmhnxxz45#top

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Jun
25

Live/Work Appeal Rises with Gas Cost

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June 25, 2008

By Jessica Foster – Sun News

Soaring gas prices are spurring people to ditch their cars and look at buying homes in walkable, urban developments like those cropping up on the Grand Strand, a recent survey shows.

The 903 real estate agents who responded to the online Coldwell Banker survey said that 96 percent of their clients are concerned about the rise in gas costs and 78 percent have more of a desire to live in an urban setting because of it.

Here along the coast, however, it’s tough to say whether sales in and around live/work developments such as The Market Common, Withers Preserve, St. James Square, and The Village at Sunset Beach are tied to gas prices, developers said.

“The bottom line is business has picked up,” said David Stuart, broker for The Village at Sunset Beach in Brunswick County, N.C. “Gas may have something to do with it, but it’s also just the fact that the tourist season has started and you have more people in the area.”

Townhouses are selling in the local live/work communities: Buyers claimed four townhouses in the Sunset Beach project in the past month, said David Wilkes, vice president of the development company Dock Street Communities. St. James Square near 38th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach saw three sales in the past month, and at The Market Common, around 30 townhomes sold in March and April before a slowdown in May, which Wilkes attributed to the motorcycle rallies that month.

Home prices in urban villages can be steeper than in other developments, meaning it’s a trade-off for many buyers – do they pay more for their home now or on gas later? It costs at least $235,000 for a residential Dock Street townhouse and $310,000 for a live/work unit, compared with the median local home price of $179,000, according to first quarter statistics from the S.C. Association of Realtors.

Developer Robin Roberts has been trying to build pricey lofts in downtown Myrtle Beach for two years near the former Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park site, but people haven’t been willing to pay the $599,000 price tag despite the promise of stores and restaurants within walking distance, he said. He needs to pre-sell three of them before he starts building, and so far only one has been claimed.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/business/story/497808.html

Categories : Myrtle Beach
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Jun
25

New Tech Campus Spurring Growth in Northwest Greenville

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June 25, 2008

By Angelia Davis – The Greenville News

Northwest area residents are expecting more than educational opportunities from the new Greenville Tech campus in their area. They’re expecting the 110,000-square-foot facility to spur development throughout the northwest area.

“What can come out of this will mean volumes as far as growth and things like that,” said Berea resident Jim Mattos.

“It’s just a win situation for us. We don’t even know what the potential is. We’ve just got to arrive at it.”

Resident James Blakely believes “we’re going to see a lot of economic development in the area just because of this campus.” Blakely cited the new Waffle House on White Horse Road, near the Northwest campus, as one example of impending change to the area’s landscape.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080625/BUSINESS/306250003/1003
Categories : Greenville
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Jun
25

Experts Assessing Downtown Orangeburg

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June 25, 2008

By Times and Democrat Staff

Downtown Orangeburg is getting a close look by development experts this week.

Officials from Main Street South Carolina and the National Trust Main Street Center are in the city to assess downtown’s greatest challenges and opportunities. They are to recommend a course of action for the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association.

The team arrived in Orangeburg on Monday for two days of interviews, tours and meetings. On Wednesday, they are to meet with community leaders to present their observations and proposals.

“The assessment will provide us with an objective analysis of the downtown’s biggest needs,” said Ben Pendarvis, president of DORA’s board of directors. “Main Street South Carolina and the National Trust Main Street Center have worked with over 1,900 towns and cities, including many here in South Carolina. Together they have a wealth of experience to share with us.”

The team includes Beppie LeGrand from Main Street South Carolina; Randy Wilson, president of Community Design Solutions of Columbia; Beverly Meng, former executive director of Mississippi Main Street, and Hilary Greenberg, president of Greenberg Development Services of Charlotte, N.C.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.thetandd.com/articles/2008/06/25/news/doc48617efd3b0ff426462764.txt

Categories : Orangeburg
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Jun
24

Point of Sale – Beaufort County Owners Bracing for Tax Bills

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June 22, 2008

By Michael Welles Shapiro – Island Packet

Tax bills that go out in October could be startlingly high for nearly 6,200 people who’ve bought property in Beaufort County in 2007.

Under a 2006 state law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2007, the county must assess property based on its sale price. For instance, if a home previously was assessed at $150,000, but sold in 2007 for $200,000, it would be assessed based on the $200,000 sales price. The law applies to residential and commercial properties.

Higher assessments, one of the factors used to compute property taxes, almost always cause tax bills to go up.

Pam Kurtz is one of those people who expects her property taxes to jump. She moved to Hilton Head Island in 2005 with her husband. After his death, she bought a smaller, more affordable home in 2007.

Her new home previously had been assessed at $543,000, but because she paid $620,000 for it, that’s the new assessment, according to county records.

“If they’re going to use purchase price, that’s not good for me,” said Kurtz. “I worry because between that and the cost of insurance, it could push me off the island.”

David Donnell of Bluffton is in the same boat. He sold his home last year, then bought a new one. Now the person who bought his home is bracing for higher taxes.

His old house sold for $1.65 million, about twice the previous assessment of about $800,000.

“All of a sudden, I sell the house and the guy’s tax bill doubles,” Donnell said. “Seems like every time someone makes a windfall, the county does, too.”

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/story/530983.html
Categories : Hilton Head Island
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Jun
24

Hilton Head Harris Teeter to Undergo Changes

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June 24, 2008

By Jim Faber – Island Packet

The Harris Teeter on the south end of Hilton Head Island could be torn down and rebuilt as a much larger store.

Preliminary plans show the grocer wants to demolish its 33,000-square-foot store in Park Plaza and build one that’s 52,000 square feet, with a separate 8,000-square-foot retail building next door, said Nicole Dixon, a town planner. Details on what the separate store would contain were not available.

The new store would face Greenwood Drive, not Office Park Road as it currently does, she said.

Officials with the grocery chain met with town planners Monday to start discussing the project.

Jennifer Panetta, director of communications for North Carolina-based Harris Teeter, said the store reconstruction is early in the planning process.

“We are working with the city to develop a timeline and to ensure the architecture of the new building represents the community we serve,” Panetta said. “The expanded square feet will allow Harris Teeter to provide its shoppers with expanded offerings of the top quality products they expect from Harris Teeter.”

The grocer also has a store in Main Street Village on the north end of the island.

Dixon said the plans would need to be approved by the town’s Design Review Board, but would not have to go before the Town Council. Harris Teeter’s preliminary plans fit all zoning and density requirements, she said.

The plans discussed between town staff and Harris Teeter on Monday were only preliminary. The grocer hasn’t submitted official plans for review by the design board yet, Dixon said.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.islandpacket.com/266/story/532281.html

Categories : Hilton Head Island
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Jun
23

Could Bluffton’s Old Piggly Wiggly Become the New Town Hall?

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June 23, 2008

By RENEE DUDLEY – Island Packet

Bluffton officials have sought information about the sale price of the former Piggly Wiggly property in old town with an eye toward using the site for a new town hall, according to some involved in the talks.

Town Manager Bill Workman told an Island Packet staff member Friday the asking price is $3 million. At least one council member said that figure was too high.

The council recently created a list of capital improvement priorities, which included building a new police station and addressing drainage issues, among other things. While a new town hall is not on that list, the council has occasionally met in closed session in recent years to discuss possible sites for a new location. Money for a town hall was not included in the 2008-2009 budget approved last week. However, a new town hall has made the list in the past, Workman said.

“We looked at every piece of property in and around old town,” he said.

June Simoneaux and Jeff Scott — the children of George Scott, who owned what was the first grocery store in Bluffton — now own the 20,500-square-foot building. Simoneaux said the site of the former Piggly Wiggly, which closed Feb. 2 amid slowing business, would be “a perfect spot for town hall.”

Workman said someone in town — he couldn’t remember who — suggested the site would be ideal. He asked Planning Department staff to find out the asking price, he said.

The current town hall at 20 Bridge St. — a former middle school that costs the town $1 a year to rent — is filled to capacity, Workman said.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.islandpacket.com/266/story/531483.html

Categories : Hilton Head Island
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