Archive for October, 2011

Oct
31

Charleston Courtyard by Marriott Sold

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A 176-room hotel in Charleston’s historic district has been sold to a real estate investment trust based in Bethesda, Md., for $42 million.

RLJ Lodging Trust paid cash to buy the Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Historic District, located at the corner of Calhoun and Meeting streets, from Noble Investment Group of Atlanta. RLJ said the purchase price represents a cost of about $239,000 per room, which it said is a substantial discount to replacement cost.

“This hotel is an attractive acquisition with significant upside from its recent conversion to a Courtyard by Marriott and its terrific location in Charleston’s historic district, a market with high barriers to entry,” said Thomas J. Baltimore Jr., president and CEO. “We are very excited about this acquisition and believe it is a great addition to our portfolio and compliant with our investment strategy.”

READ MORE HERE

Categories : Charleston
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Oct
31

Relying on Zoning Letters? Beware…..

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From the Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A. website –

In Carolina Chloride, Inc. v. Richland County, Opinion No. 27013, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that a member of the public has no right to rely upon representations of county personnel regarding real property zoning classifications. In its July 2011 opinion, the Court held that the zoning classification of real property is a matter of law, rather than a matter of fact, and that a person cannot be liable for mistaken statements of law.

The lawsuit was brought by Carolina Chloride, Inc. (“Carolina Chloride”), a property owner who believed that its property was zoned M-2 based on a letter from the Richland County zoning administrator and the issuance of various permits and licenses indicating the property was zoned M-2. Carolina Chloride did not learn of its property’s true zoning status until a prospective buyer sought approval for expansion and was denied due to an RU classification. Although the property was subsequently re-zoned, Carolina Chloride sued the County, alleging that the County’s provision of inaccurate zoning information caused the transaction to fall through.

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Categories : South Carolina News
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Oct
31

Grocery Store Development in Charleston Slows

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Publix cut the ribbon this month in the Cane Bay development, the latest addition in a steady stream of sparkling new supermarkets that have opened in the region over the past 15 years.

It stands out from the rest because it might be the last new grocery store that local shoppers see for some time.

Tighter lending standards and a lack of new rooftops following the housing bubble’s burst are shelving further development of supermarkets, according to grocers and commercial real estate agents.

“I don’t know of any more grocery stores that are being built,” said Will Sherrod of Daniel Island-based CORFAC|Anchor Commercial Real Estate, referring to the local market. “That’s really a reflection of the lending environment. The funding is not available. Without the rooftop growth, we are not going to see as active of expansion as we have seen in the past.”

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Categories : Charleston
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Oct
28

Charleston Mentioned in Emerging Trends 2012

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From the recently released Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2012:

Global trade will power export activity around the nation’s primary seaboard ports, where traditional big-box warehouse distribution assets rebound after experiencing  uncomfortably high vacancies. All eyes focus on which East Coast cities can position themselves to capture Pacific container-ship traffic slated to come through a widened Panama Canal in 2014. Some winners will turn into new industrial hubs, but first need to dredge harbor channels to handle deep-hulled vessels. Miami, Charleston, Savannah, and Norfolk look like prime contenders, and New York/New Jersey will not be left out. Houston should pick up business along the Gulf Coast.

Categories : Charleston
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Oct
28

Development of Santee Subdivision to Resume

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Despite a sluggish economy and housing market, one developer is moving forward with his construction plans.

“I want to be a realist. I don’t know how long it will take and how many units we will ultimately do. We will let the market regain traction again, hopefully, and we will let the market dictate just how much we will do,” Lakewilde of Santee Property Manager Peter Nash said.

Nash says the approximately 388 acres off Old River Road between Elloree and Lone Star is prime real estate and is ready to move forward. “It really should be ready for the spring and first-quarter market,” he said.

Nash said he has received the first approval from state and local agencies to begin the project’s first phase. The first phase will include the construction of 39 units and about 27 acres. There will be seven two-acre lots, eight one-acre lots and 24 half-acre lots.

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Categories : Orangeburg
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Oct
27

Economists Say Double-dip Recession Unlikely in S.C.

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A double-dip recession is increasingly unlikely for the S.C. economy, state economic forecasters said Wednesday, citing higher tax collections that continue to exceed expectations.

“The revenue picture continues to brighten and things seem to be stabilizing,” said Chad Walldorf, chairman of the state Board of Economic Advisors, which prepares economic forecasts used by the governor and lawmakers to write the state budget.

The board had projected the state would collect 1 percent fewer tax dollars this year than it did last year. But the board learned Wednesday that collections are running nearly $71 million, or almost 6 percent ahead of those projections.

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Categories : South Carolina News
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Oct
27

New Uses for Old Shopping Malls

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Sobered by store closings and the rise of online shopping, owners of U.S. shopping centers are filling space and drawing visitors by turning to unusual tenants like gun ranges and go-cart tracks.

Mall giant Simon Property Group Inc. opened an aquarium in July at its Grapevine Mills mall near Dallas. Real-estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. put a fencing academy in a former Old Navy store in Florida’s Tallahassee Mall, and a community theater on the lower level of a former Boscov’s store in Harrisburg, Pa.

Aqua Tots Holdings LLC, a business that teaches youngsters to swim, has expanded to 14 locations in Arizona, Texas and Georgia and has 10 more on the way, nearly all in former retail shops. Jumpstreet, an indoor trampoline facility, is buying or leasing former grocery stores, filling them wall-to-wall with trampolines and charging patrons for hourly access.

READ MORE HERE

Categories : National News
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Oct
27

PwC to Take Vacant Verizon Space at Richland Mall

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PricewaterhouseCoopers plans to move its 400 workers who handle IT, data processing and administration functions to the former Verizon customer support center in Richland Mall.

The move, which will take place in waves over the next year, will consolidate the company’s operations in Columbia under one roof and on one floor, said Steve Silber, PwC spokesman.

Services provided by the Columbia office support “the entire firm across the country,” he said.

The move also will provide PwC, which four years ago launched the back-office operation in Columbia with a “relative handful” of workers, room to grow, Silber said. “One of the reasons we chose this space is that it can accommodate potential growth over the years,” Silber said, adding that the company is continuing to grow.

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Categories : Columbia
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Oct
26

U.S. Office Market Posts Strong 3Q Absorption

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With the construction pipeline all but shut down and reduced rents prompting many tenants to trade up for better or more efficient space, the U.S. office market absorbed a strong 19 million square feet in the third quarter, according to data presented this week at CoStar Group’s Third-Quarter 2011 Office Review & Outlook.

The leasing activity helped lower the national office vacancy rate slightly to about 13.1% — down nearly a half percentage point since hitting its peak a year ago. Should leasing activity remain at the level seen this past quarter, it would set the stage for future rent increases, since little to no new supply is being added. CoStar’s analysis found office rents firming or already trending up in some key metros, and more increases are expected to spread across the country by 2013.

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Categories : National News
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Oct
26

More Apartments Coming to Charleston

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The second of at least four new apartments proposed for Mount Pleasant is off and running.

Developers of the 258-unit Woodfield Long Point Apartments broke ground Thursday at the 32-acre site on Wando Park Boulevard, near Interstate 526 and Long Point Road. The one- to three-bedoom residences will range from 783 to 1,340 square feet, and amenities will include a pool, clubhouse and a fitness center.

The developer is Arlington, Va.-based Woodfield Investments, which announced the project in May with joint venture partner Global Growth Trust. They shelled out $3.4 million for the land, and Orlando’s CNL said it would borrow $21.4 million for construction. Completion is set for the spring.

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Categories : Charleston
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Oct
26

Construction of Irmo Area Hospital to Begin

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Palmetto Health finally is ready to break ground on its long-discussed new hospital in northwest Columbia.

The first shovels of dirt will be turned during an 11 a.m. ceremony Thursday at 190 Parkridge Drive. The public is invited.

The new $99 million Parkridge facility will be a 76-bed, full-service hospital with emergency care, a labor and delivery unit and six operating rooms.

Categories : Columbia
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Oct
22

Columbia and Charlotte Hampton Inns Sold

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Westwind Investors has sold two Hampton Inn​s in North and South Carolina to Terrapin Investments.

The properties, totalling 211 rooms, included the following assets:

  • The 100-room, Hampton Inn & Suites Charlotte-Arrowroad located in Charlotte, North Carolina, just seven miles from downtown Charlotte off of Interstate 77. The property features 1,300 square feet of meeting space, an outdoor swimming pool, and fitness and business centers.
  • The 111-room, Hampton Inn Columbia Northeast located in Columbia, South Carolina is well located between I77 and I20 near Fort Jackson Army base. The property features an outdoor swimming pool and fitness center.

Each property will undergo brand improvements including the new Hampton Inn “Perfect Mix” lobby along with renovations to the guestrooms.

Categories : Charlotte, Columbia
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Global research firm Real Capital Analytics (RCA) is well known for its tracking of real estate capital flows. For a limited time RCA is freely offering a choice of 1 of 20 examples of their Trends & Trades market reports. Unfortunately, none of the samples includes markets in the Carolinas, but they will give you an idea of the quality of their data.

Each report gives a snapshot of any market’s live performance activity with lists of the most recent transactions, plus top buyers, sellers and capital sources. Download a complimentary PDF to better understand key aspects of the capital environment on a local and national basis.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE RCA REPORT HERE

Categories : National News
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Oct
21

Global Hospitality Resources Releases Report

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Global Hospitality Resources, Inc. (GHR), an international hospitality advisory, research, and publishing firm has released their mid-year 2011 GHN Transaction Report.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD REPORT PDF

Categories : National News
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Oct
21

Ground Broken on Greenville’s 100 East

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Davis Property Group has begun construction on 100 East, a seven-story mixed-use building featuring apartment units and retail space in the heart of downtown Greenville. Scheduled for a Summer 2012 completion, the project will consist of 48 apartment units, 6,000 square-feet of ground level retail and the city’s only rooftop swimming pool.

Featuring large open spaces, the floor plans at 100 East will be contemporary and will provide residents with a unique living environment. Interior specifications for all units include GE appliances, stackable washer/dryers, granite countertops and plank flooring. Common amenities include private electronic access to the building, Spring Street Garage parking on the same level as the apartment with a short walk to the front door, and a ground level fitness center that will be accessible 24 hours a day.

According to Austin Knapp, the Development Manager for the project, “This project will be truly unique for South Carolina as our feature amenity will be a rooftop swimming pool. This will be the only rooftop swimming pool off the South Carolina coast and the only one currently offered in an apartment community. The rooftop deck will offer outstanding views of downtown and provide outdoor entertaining space with gas grills.”

Categories : Greenville
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