A homegrown business that’s been hauling goods to from the Port of Charleston for more than 30 years now is part of a Wisconsin company that’s listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc. announced that it has expanded into the region by purchasing all of the stock and property of Mount Pleasant-based Wando Trucking Inc. in a deal valued at $9 million.
Formed in 1982 by Citadel graduate Ray Segars, Wando Trucking primarily moves imported and exported goods, including raw rubber, building materials, paper and plastics to and from the port terminals in Charleston and Savannah. It had about $13 million in revenue last year, Roadrunner said.
Wando Trucking is based on Wando Lane near the State Ports Authority’s Wando Welch Terminal.
“The ... acquisition enhances the scale of our intermodal services in the Southeast and provides better access to the ports of Charleston and Savannah,” said Brian van Helden, president of Roadrunner’s truckload and logistics business.
Room for more?
Amid growing concerns about overdevelopment in the peninsula’s hotel industry, a city zoning board approved an exception last week that would allow a 54-room hotel to be built at 583 King St.
Plans for the proposed lodging shows a three-story structure that would to fill a vacant parcel just south of Spring Street. The developer was represented at the zoning meeting by Anton J. Sedalik. The design now goes before the Board of Architectural Review.
The development is the latest in the string of lodging projects planned or under way on the peninsula, a trend that has set off some alarm bells about livability issues such as traffic. City officials and preservationists are seeking changes to the peninsula’s accommodations rules, which were last updated about 15 years ago.
Last year, two Charleston area residents made the final cut for Belk’s Southern Designer Showcase to have their products sold during the retailer’s 125th anniversary this year.
The contest was so successful, Charlotte-based Belk has brought it back for a second year. And this time three Charleston area women are in the running: clothing designers Emily Papuga with her Suite 33 line and Julia Davidson with the Julia Faye line, as well as jewelry designer Anne Hughes with Anne Belen Jewelry. They’ll present pieces from their collections May 22. Winners get the opportunity to have their designs featured at Belk stores in the Southeast and on belk.com.
Zero = ‘It’
It’s new. And it’s already “It.”
The newly opened Zero George Hotel in downtown Charleston has made Travel + Leisure magazine’s “It List” of the coolest new hotels in the world for 2013. Of the 61 properties named, the 18-room lodging at George and East Bay streets is the only representative from Charleston.
Zero George is spread over five restored circa 1804 buildings. The suites feature custom-designed armoires, wood floors, period millwork details and private piazzas. The boutique hotel also houses Zero Bar & Cafe, a bistro open in the evenings. T+L described Zero George as “this genteel town’s first truly contemporary retreat,” in its June issue.
The hotel is owned by Dean and Lynn Andrews, who purchased the former Maison du Pre inn a year ago for $3.2 million and did extensive renovations to the property. He was the managing director of the 440-room Charleston Place.
Pining to grow
One hundred million tiny trees. At 500 per acre, they would cover about 150,000 football fields. But 100 million is the number of mass-control pollinated loblolly pine seedlings produced by Ridgeville-based ArborGen.
The company recently marked the milestone for the bio-engineered product, which enables growers to raise more trees in less time. The company said it’s the only significant U.S. supplier of such seedlings.
ArborGen was formed in 2000, but its roots go back decades. It was created when the research programs of three forest-product giants were combined: Westvaco Corp., now MeadWestvaco Corp.; International Paper Co.; and Rubicon Ltd. of New Zealand.
Those remain the top shareholders in ArborGen, which flirted with the idea of selling stock in an initial public offering in 2011 but then backed off when market conditions soured. It’s expected to float an IPO at some point.
Meet me in Charleston
NN Inc. isn’t as well-known as IBM, but the two companies share something in common: They have picked the Lowcountry for their off-site annual shareholder meetings.
Whereas IBM had to book the Charleston Area Convention Center last year, NN has booked a more intimate setting for its May 16 affair: the Renaissance Charleston Hotel on Wentworth Street.
NN is based in Johnson City, Tenn., best known as the home of NASCAR’s Bristol Motor Speedway. The company makes high-precision metal bearing components and other products.
NN has held previous annual meetings at the Renaissance. One of its local connections: CEO Roderick R. “Rock” Baty has a place on the Isle of Palms, property records show. Baty, who also is chairman and president, is retiring this year. This will be his last annual meeting as a board member.