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JEDA Bonds Make Renovations Possible at Charleston Airport Radisson

15 Aug 2013, 6:52 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Described as “innovative,” bond financing from the South Carolina Jobs-Economic Development Authority (JEDA) has helped an investor purchase and renovate the 159-key Radisson Hotel Charleston Airport.

Specifically, RCB Hospitality, the owner of the 5991 Rivers Ave. hotel, secured an $8.4 million taxable economic development revenue bond to finance the purchase and value-add renovation of the 115,000-square-foot hotel property. Croft Properties, a company with both New York and California operations, led the project for RCB. “We were able to maximize our investment in this project because of the favorable rates and terms provided by JEDA bond financing,” declared Avi Ryzman, managing member at Croft Properties. “JEDA’s taxable bonds are a valuable tool in leveraging the interest of savvy outside investors in South Carolina. Helping them take advantage of the opportunities we offer is a privilege for our firm,” added Sam Howell, bond counsel with Howell, Linkous & Nettles in Charleston.

RCB Hospitality acquired the 159-key hotel property in the spring of 2012 for $5.3 million or about $33,333 per room. Subsequently it began a value-add renovation and refurbishing project at the property which retains the existing 48 jobs and adds an additional 11 new jobs two years within completion of the upgrade. According to CoStar Group’s coverage of the sale, RCB bought the property from Shree Ganpati Hotel LLC in a direct sale that closed escrow in 25 days. At the moment of the purchase ECB considered the asset as a value-add opportunity, planning on renovating and subsequently selling the property.

The Radisson Hotel Charleston Airport features 159 rooms and amenities such as a sunlit tropical atrium complete with indoor heated pool and whirlpool, fully equipped and newly renovated fitness center, business center, high-speed complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, 12,000 square feet of meeting space in several event spaces, with the newly renovated Ashley Ballroom holding up to 300. Dining options include The Haven Lounge and The Haven Restaurant, offering Lowcountry cuisine.

Image courtesy of Radisson Hotel Charleston Airport’s Facebook page 

$1.2B Bull Street Development Receives Green Light

11 Jul 2013, 8:09 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

“Today we made a giant step forward in moving the Greater Columbia Region toward greatness. The Bull Street development will not only transform Columbia, but the recent debate will also impact the way Columbia approaches doing business,” declared Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Ike McLeese, according to the organization’s official Facebook page. The announcement came after the Columbia City Council approved the redevelopment agreement of the former mental hospital compound on Bull Street, the former home of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH).

According to a Miley & Associates, Inc. economic impact study commissioned by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, upon completion the redeveloped 180-acre former hospital campus would generate over $1.2 billion economic activity, create 11,000 ongoing new jobs, $581 million in labor income and a yearly $20 million in property taxes that would be divided between the local government and schools. Moreover, 1,200 construction jobs will be created during the 20-year development process.

The project has been in the making eight years with the SCDMH and Greenville, SC-based Hughes Development signing a potential build-out plan in 2010. The project’s most recent master plan is signed by the Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) and Cooper Carry, and it involves an impressive percentage of adaptive reuse projects, with 74 percent of existing structures to be repurposed with a  high emphasis on preserving the historic character of the buildings, including the iconic Babcock Building, a Columbia landmark and former mental asylum. In total, 3,558 residential dwellings are envisioned for the project, including apartment units, condominiums, townhomes as well as single family homes of various sizes and incomes. The project also calls for the development of  1.6 million square feet of commercial and office space, a 70-key hotel and church locations, as well as various community facilities and public spaces such as biking and hiking trails, recreational areas, and large-scale off-site roadway upgrades and maintenance. A minor-league baseball park and franchise are also being considered.

According to the Columbia Regional Business Report, the City of Columbia will fund $31.25 million in infrastructure improvements throughout the build-out if the developer will invest a minimum of $81.25 million. Furthermore, the city will construct two parking decks totaling 1,600 spaces upon the completion of either the rehabilitation of the Babcock Building, development of 120,000 square feet of taxable property or building of a baseball stadium. A primary school is expected to be needed and developed on site in the future as well.

Image courtesy of JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD via Wikimedia Commons 

South Carolina Manufacturing Going Strong; Crescent Signs Former Disney Development Executive

3 Jul 2013, 7:34 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

South Carolina’s economy is growing strong, show the latest reports. According to numbers cited by the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the Palmetto State’s 2.7 percent Real GDP growth rate outpaced not only the regional average of 2.1 percent, but also the national average of 2.5 percent.

One of the strongest industries of South Carolina has proven to be its manufacturing, with the state recruiting over $9 billion in capital investments since 2011, creating over 23,000 manufacturing jobs. Such is the growth rate of its manufacturing industry, that the Palmetto State now sports the strongest growing manufacturing GDP on the East Coast.

And it’s no surprise. During the current month already hundreds of new manufacturing jobs have been announced as a result of millions in private investment projects throughout the state. Among June’s investments are two facilities in Barnwell County that are expected to create 95 new jobs. One of the projects will be an expansion of Dayco Products LLC’s existing manufacturing facility worth $2 million. The automotive manufacturer will add new equipment to the facility and create a minimum of 15 new jobs. The second Barnwell investment announced is also an expansion. National Beverage Screen Printers Inc. (NBS) has announced expanding its Williston operations to the worth of $2.5 million that will create 80 workplaces. Another major June project was Canadian bakery products manufacturer Fancy Pokket Corporation’s groundbreaking of it $13 million brand new gluten-free production facility in Lancaster County. The 57,000-square-foot plant will be located in the Air-Rail Business Park, where it will create 68 new jobs over five years. The $13 million facility will be up and running in 2014.

In other South Carolina news, leading multifamily developer and operator Crescent Communities has announced its appointment of former Disney Imagineering/Disney Development Company Executive David Muenks as senior development manager to lead planning for Palmetto Bluff, a Crescent signature community in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Muenks’ previous experience includes professional consulting firm Fetterhoff Company. At Fetterhoff, Muenks directed program and project management support services for Shanghai Disney Resort, Walt Disney Imagineering’s retail and entertainment district under development in China. He was also at the forefront of design and construction of infrastructure and resort facilities at Walt Disney World Resort and The Celebration Company in Orlando, Fla.

Photo courtesy of Crescent Communities

$42M in Apartment Transaction for South Carolina

29 May 2013, 2:14 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

South Carolina’s apartment market saw two significant purchases recently. The acquisitions of The Reserve at Riverwalk in Columbia and Woodfield St. James in suburban Charleston, part of separate deals, totaled 464 units worth a combined $42.2 million in traded apartment assets, stirring up the state’s Class A multifamily market.

Located in the Charleston suburb of Goose Creek, the 244-unit Woodfield St. James was recently acquired by Florida-based Trade Street Residential Inc. (TSRE), a fully integrated owner and operator of apartment assets.

The company paid $27.2 million for the Class A garden-style community that features amenities such as a movie theater, business center, fitness center, resort style pool, clubroom, outdoor kitchen/grill/ television, fire pit and billiards. Individual units feature a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, walk-in closet, balcony/patios, and rent at an average monthly rate of $901. The community is currently 98 percent occupied.

Designed by Housing Studio, the apartment complex was finished in 2009, with C.F. Evans Construction as the main contractor. TSRE is currently arranging mortgage financing on the property, with a $19 million lender commitment already in place featuring a 10-year first mortgage at a 3.75 percent fixed rate. This will be followed by two years of interest payments, then principal and interest payments based on a 30-year amortization schedule.

TSRE also bought the 256-unit Woodfield Creekstone apartment complex, a newly built project in Durham, N.C. partially funding both acquisitions with proceeds from its recently completed public equity offering.

Multifamily REIT Landmark Apartment Trust of America (LATA) also made subsequent acquisitions in South and North Carolina, picking up the 220-unit Reserve at River Walk apartment complex in Columbia, S.C. and 380-unit Victoria Park in Charlotte, N.C. (Read more Victoria Park’s purchase here).

Although set to go through some repositioning renovation, The Reserve at River Walk—now Landmark at Reserve at Riverwalk—already features attractive amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness center, tennis court, picnic area, car wash, resident activities program and generous landscaping. Comprising one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, the community is located close to several medical and shopping centers, as well as public parks. LATA purchased the asset for $15 million.

Image courtesy of the Woodfield St. James Facebook page

Hilton Garden Inn Greenville Sold for $15M

15 May 2013, 4:08 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Leadership of Hunter: Lee Hunter – Chief Operating Officer, Robert L. Hunter – CEO, Teague Hunter – President

Hunter Hotel Advisors has announced the sale of the 120-key Hilton Garden Inn Greenville located at 108 Carolina Point Pkwy. in Greenville, S.C. The company, a leading provider of specialty brokerage services and capital markets advisory services, represented seller Deean Hospitality LLC—a South Carolina-based company.

Hunter brokers Teague Hunter and Trey Scott were involved in the property’s sale to Summit Hotel Group. According to a press release, the hotel asset sold at a value of $127,000 per key, adding up to a grand total sale price of $15 million.

“We marketed the hotel to well capitalized buyers with whom we have very strong relationships. Like most of our transactions today, the process was completed quickly and quietly,” declared Hunter Hotel Advisors President Teague Hunter. “We were able to bring the property to market and complete the transaction in just five months.”

The 120-key, four-story Hilton Garden Inn Greenville features amenities such as 24-hour business center, meeting rooms (with the largest offering 2,508 square feet of space, capable of accommodating 250), complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness center, swimming pool and 24-hour Pavilion Pantry Market. Other onsite dining/lounge options include the Pavilion Lounge and the Great American Grill.

According to Trey Scott, vice president of Hunter Hotel Advisors, the hotel’s location and strong cash flow made it an appealing investment for buyer Summit. “They outbid three strong competitors,” he added.

Hunter currently has just short of 100 hotels on the market worth almost $1 billion. As of this transaction, Hunter has successfully closed 22 transactions in 2013, with six more sales expected to close before the month is out.

Image courtesy of Hunter Hotel Advisors’ Facebook page 

SCRA Will Have Presence at 4,500-Acre Master Planned Community

17 Apr 2013, 1:47 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

SCRA, an applied research corporation based in Columbia, S.C., has announced entering a deal to buy 10 acres at Nexton, the 4,500-acres master planned community that broke ground earlier this year. The company plans to move its Charleston operations and most of its 185 employees to the newly acquired property at the junction of I-26 and Highway 17A.

The deal, which also includes an option to buy seven more acres at the same location, is expected to close within 90 to 150 days, with groundbreaking for the new facility expected to happen within six to eight months. The new facility, currently in its design stage, is expected to be operational by October 2014.

SCRA has signed Choate Construction as general contractor for the project. LS3P Associates Ltd. is joining the development team, handling the architectural aspect of the facility.

“We are excited to announce our plans for relocation,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “While we carefully evaluated several properties throughout the region, Nexton was best-suited for our needs, location and space requirements. We look forward to being a part of a community where technology and sustainability are embraced in a walkable, urban environment.”

MWV Community Development and Land Management President Kenneth T. Seeger added: “SCRA and Nexton are a perfect fit. We are both committed to ‘what’s next.’ SCRA’s mission is to help develop technology-based companies, and Nexton seeks to become the region’s most technologically advanced community.”

Nexton, the 4,500-acre master-planned community being developed just a short distance from Charleston at the junction of I-26 and Highway17A, will contain several neighborhoods and villages, as well as major employment opportunities. It will feature several multifamily developments, hotels, LEED-certified office buildings, retail developments, and entertainment and dining venues, along with an abundance of parks. Nexton is being developed by MeadWestvaco Corp.’s MWV’s Community Development and Land Management Group.

Image courtesy of www.nextonsc.com

South Carolina Manufacturing Secures New Investments; Charleston Trophy Office Building Sold

3 Apr 2013, 3:40 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Austrian-headquartered Constantia Hueck Foils LLC, a company present in South Carolina since 1997, is set for an expansion that will increase both its production facility as well as its workforce. According to an announcement made by the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the $12 million investment will increase Constantia’s current facility, located at 1111 Northpoint Blvd. in Blythewood, by 15,000 square feet.

Groundbreaking for the expansion is set for April, with an expected finishing date of October 2013. Construction is handled by an unnamed local contractor. The expansion will also create 15 new jobs, with hiring set to start during the summer. The Vienna, Austria-based company specializes in the development and production of high-performance packaging for the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Another major boost to the South Carolina manufacturing industry was recently given by Miami-based Essex Holdings Inc. by announcing plans to establish a new manufacturing facility in Marion County. The global resources company declared an investment of $54.4 million and 215 new jobs. The new facility is expected to be operational before the second quarter is out.

As of January 2011, South Carolina had recruited more than $8 billion in capital investment and more than 21,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.

In other news, The Post and Courier recently reported the $24 million sale of Charleston’s newest office building. Located at 25 Calhoun St. in Charleston’s downtown, the property was sold by Concord Park Charleston LLC to CMB Property Co.’s 25 Calhoun CMB LLC.

The trophy-grade office building is currently 93 percent occupied and offers leases for $35 per square foot. The four-story property opened in 2011 with an $18 million price tag. It features a variety of sustainable design elements.

Image courtesy of GoogleMaps

Chart courtesy of Colliers International 

South Carolina Hotel Business Remains Strong; Student Housing Market Slows Down

20 Mar 2013, 4:36 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

U.K.-based InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) recently announced the opening of the Holiday Inn Express Charleston Downtown–Ashley River following a multimillion dollar conversion. The 153-key downtown Charleston property recently underwent extensive renovation that included replacing all fixtures, equipment and furniture. Some of the hotel’s newest features include walkout balconies and granite countertops.

The eight-story asset is located at 146 Lockwood Blvd. Onsite amenities include a fitness center, outdoor pool, 24-hour business center, circa 700 square feet of meeting space and high-speed Wi-Fi. The property, franchised by an IHG affiliate, is owned by Charleston OPCO LLC and managed by Charlestowne Hotels.

Located next to the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and just two miles away from Charleston’s historical district, Holiday Inn Express Charleston Downtown–Ashley River is the second Holiday Inn-branded hotel to open in the city in 2013 following the Holiday Inn Historic Charleston Downtown, which opened in January.

In other hospitality news, Paramount Lodging Advisors (PLA) announced brokering the sale of the 92-key Quality Inn and Suites in Spartanburg, S.C. The hotel advisory and brokerage firm represented seller LA3D LLC.

Located at 160 Simuel Rd., the 1998-built property, originally a Fairfield Inn, was converted in 2011 to a Quality Inn and Suites property.  Amenities include a fitness center, outdoor pool, business center, meeting space and conference center.

In other news, plans for the long-hyped 800-unit student housing projects slated to rise on the site of the old 320,000-square-foot Palmetto Compress warehouse have been scrapped. According to Student Housing Planet, Edwards Communities Development Co. informed Columbia city officials of its withdrawal from the plan after the Columbia Design/Development Review Commission denied the developer’s application in late 2012, this followed by a lawsuit by preservationists trying to prevent the building from being razed.

According to The State, Columbia’s city government may now buy the historic property and redevelop it as either residential or mixed-use.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Lodging Advisors via PRWeb

332-unit Columbia Community Picked Up by SVB; Eco-Friendly E-Waste Processor Announces $40M Investment

1 Mar 2013, 9:57 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Kansas City-based SBV Communities has announced the purchase of the 332-unit Quail Run Apartments in Columbia. The purchase, which closed February 22, is SVB’s first step into the Columbia market. The purchase price has yet to be disclosed.

“Columbia represents a fundamentally solid investment with significant upside potential at measured risk,” declared Director of Multi-Family Acquisitions Chris Thomson in a news release. “Occupancy rates have declined significantly since 2010, and rental rates have increased three percent during that time.”

He added: “With rental demand expected to continue and new construction not projected to meet that demand for several years, we are extremely excited about the prospects for Quail Run.”

The 15-asset strong SVB Communities was formed in 2009 and comprises the multifamily real estate division of Spectrum Business Ventures Inc.—a private investment firm based in Kansas City, Mo.

Quail Run Apartments sits on 42 acres of wooded lands and consists of lofts, garden-style apartments and town homes offering one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Units feature fully equipped kitchens with breakfast bars or adjacent formal dining areas, walk-in closets, extra storage, and screened-in porches. Community amenities include a country club-style swimming pool, fitness center, lighted tennis courts, fishing pond, pavilion with grilling area, and pet-friendly walking trails.

In other news, Recleim—a start-up recycler of appliances and e-waste materials—recently announced it will be establishing its first recycling plant in Aiken County.  The facility, a $40.6 million investment, will be located at 118 Hard St. in Graniteville—about an hour away from Columbia. The project is expected to generate around 200 jobs.

The Recleim’s plant will feature state-of-the-art, proprietary technology that will safely contain harmful substance typically found in e-waste while also salvaging about 95 percent of processed e-waste. Furthermore, the facility is expected to be one of the most environmentally responsible and efficient in North America.

Charts courtesy of Colliers International

University of South Carolina Keeps Local Student Housing Market Hot

13 Feb 2013, 7:09 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Student housing is now one of the most dynamic markets in South Carolina, especially in the Columbia metro area. One of the main drivers of the local housing boom has been and continues to be the University of South Carolina (USC), which has steadily increased it student body.

In fact, Student Housing Planet reports that USC has 5,600 more students than 10 years ago. Increasing enrollment was necessary to balance out the loss of state funding, but it has created a shortage of student housing. Furthermore, a significant percentage of existing dormitories needed upgrades. Half of the 25 student residences still need upgrade and maintenance work.

Student Housing Planet reports that USC has spent $94.6 million on renovating six student dormitories in the last four years. Among those is Patterson Hall, which underwent a $32.5 million upgrade in 2011, turning an outdated property into a suite-style development striving for LEED Silver certification. The 544-bed, nine-story dormitory features amenities such as smart classrooms, a cyber lounge, Wi-Fi, spacious kitchens on every floor and larger rooms.

Such revamping is probably what the 551-bed Women’s Quad is in for as well, as the three dormitories within it—McClintock, Sims and Wade Hampton—are slated for a $27.2 million upgrade. By 2015, 1,270 rooms making up seven dorms are slated for renovation at a minimum estimated price tag of $35.4 million. Seven more buildings will be redeveloped or completely replaced after 2015.

The renovation of the Women’s Quad will also include connecting the three dorms, creating 50 more student beds. This along with six new Greek houses totaling 240 beds that could be built in a parking lot across the Greek Village could diminish the housing shortage substantially.

Partnerships with private student residences are needed as well, and there seems to be no shortage of proposed projects. As previously reported on this page, several private student housing projects have been approved in the past few months and are in various stages of development. Such is the Ben Arnold–Monarch Ventures partnership project dubbed Monarch at USC, which aims to redevelop the former SCANA building into an 851-bed, 21-story dorm.

The 258-unit project would offer one- to five-bedroom apartments with amenities such as a study lounge, conference and club rooms, and a fitness center with yoga and steam rooms. Street-level retail, as well as a car and bicycle park, are also imagined.

While Monarch was announced in summer 2012, WC Columbia LLC just recently filed documents with Columbia’s Design and Development Review Commission for a 122-unit 249-bed multifamily project on Pendleton Street near the Amtrak station, reported Student Housing Planet.

Photo courtesy of University of South Carolina Housing’s Facebook Page