The $50 million makeover of the main runway at Charleston International Airport is nearly complete.

After nearly a year of being closed, the 9,000-foot-long airstrip should be completed by July 8, according to airport officials. A ribbon-cutting ceremony could take place either July 22 or July 24.

The Air Force owns the main and secondary runways. It shares them with the state’s busiest airport.

The project was originally set to be completed by the end of May, but construction delays held it up. Portions of the main runway were built during the 1940s, and they were nearing the end of their lifespan, according to the Air Force.

During construction, all 132 commercial flights per day and about 25 military flights per day were diverted to the secondary 7,000-foot-long runway, which underwent its own facelift in 2009 and 2010. The latest project had minimal impact on air traffic.

Boeing Co. also uses the runways for both its South Carolina-made 787 Dreamliners and for the 747 cargo jets that ferry 787 parts.

Code camp

Today marks the first day that some new revisions to the International Residential Code, take effect, a move that eill change the way homes are built.

Construction firms and other interested parties who want to get up speed on the new rules have a chance this week to learn about the changes and the impact they will have on the industry. It comes courtesy of the Charleston Home Builders Association. The group is holding an information session Tuesday in council chambers at North Charleston City Hall. The free event runs from 1 to 3 p.m.

In need of approval

It’s a date: In three weeks and three days, shareholders will get together to vote to approve or reject the proposed merger between two of the state’s biggest and oldest banks.

First Federal of Charleston parent First Financial Holdings Inc. and SCBT Financial Corp. have scheduled separate events for July 24 to tally the ayes and nays.

First Financial stockholders will meet at the company’s North Charleston headquarters at 2440 Mall Drive at 2 p.m. SCBT investors will convene at the same time at 520 Gervais St. in Columbia.

The companies announced the roughly $300 million deal in February, saying they are pairing up to accelerate growth, cut costs and build scale. They hope to complete the tax-free stock exchange in the third quarter. The deal will create the fifth-largest lender in South Carolina based on deposits. The boards of the companies already have approved the acquisition.

Meanwhile, smaller rival Bank of South Carolina alluded to the deal while announcing its 12 cents per share quarterly dividend Thursday. It also claimed some fresh bragging rights.

“With recent merger announcements of market competitors, the Bank of South Carolina will be the senior bank headquartered in Charleston,” CEO Fleetwood S. Hassell said in a statement. “This, we plan to remain.”

Teetering on a sale?

The speculation about the expected sale of regional grocery chain Harris Teeter is churning again.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Cerberus Capital Management has made a bid on the Matthews, N.C.-based upper-tier supermarket operator, which has seven stores in the Charleston area.

Harris Teeter, a publicly traded company with about 210 locations, has been exploring a potential sale for months with the help of investment bankers at J.P. Morgan. On May 8, the company said it is in discussions with “certain parties” about strategic alternatives but that it is unknown whether the talks will result in a deal.

The company is not talking about the sale process.

Locally, Harris Teeter operates four stores in Mount Pleasant, two in Charleston and one on James Island. A new North Charleston store will be near Wescott Plantation on Dorchester Road.

Citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that Cerberus is considering a structure under which a part of the grocer would remain publicly traded. The buyout shop earlier this year acquired several mostly down-market supermarkets from Supervalu Inc. and plans to grow that business.

Southern lodging

Southern Living magazine has picked three upscale South Carolina lodgings as charter members of its newest club.

The Time Inc. monthly is introducing the Southern Living Hotel Collection, a small, curated group of independent, four- and five-star level hotels, resorts and inns that span 18 Southern states and offer authentic Southern hospitality.

Two of the first 15 hotels are in Charleston. They are the John Rutledge House Inn and the Wentworth Mansion, both part of Charming Inns. Another national favorite from South Carolina, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, also made the inaugural list.

The collection is by invitation only. The magazine will continue to add properties over the coming years until the list reaches up to 100 locations.

A new web site — SouthernLivingHotelCollection.com — is scheduled to go live today featuring all of the properties in the collection and highlighting why they were chosen.