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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