The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has a hot ticket on its hands after nabbing one of the biggest names in the world of business for its annual economic outlook conference.
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt will be the keynote speaker at the March 13 event, which runs noon-2 p.m. at the Charleston Area Convention Center.
Immelt, who also chairs the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, has ties to the Lowcountry that go back years, through a Kiawah Island vacation home and golf club memberships. He’s also an acquaintance of The InterTech Group Inc. CEO and chamber board member Anita Zucker. She sat with the GE chief at his last local public appearance at a College of Charleston fundraiser in March 2011.
On the Horizon
Charleston’s HorizonProject will become a little clearer on Wednesday, when three prospective developers of a mostly empty 20-acre patch on the west side of the peninsula present their ideas.
Six companies submitted proposals for the long-awaited Horizon Project, a collaboration between the city and the Medical University of South Carolina, last year. While project officials have sketched out a grand vision, the developers’ plans have not been revealed.
Gary Cooper, the city’s director of procurement, said the pitches at the S.C. Research Authority offices at 5300 International Blvd. in North Charleston begin at 9 a.m. and are open to the public. He said the three firms that will be presenting are Gateway Development of Atlanta, Pizzuti Companies of Columbus, Ohio, and Hughes Development Corp. of Greenville.
The Horizon district is bounded by Lockwood Drive, Hagood Avenue and Fishburne and Spring streets. The vision is for more than $1 billion in investment over the next couple of decades to create some 2 million square feet of apartments, offices and research space.
Similar grand-scale initiatives in other cities have bred controversy and had only limited success, but Mayor Joe Riley said the city and its partners are aiming for a “nationally significant” development.
Look for some wheeling and dealing soon at the former Northside Nissan site in North Charleston.
Hendrick Automotive Group recently closed on the 3-acre parcel with a 12,000-square-foot building next to its Toyota Scion dealership on Rivers Avenue, according to Mark Mizell of the Sadler Group commercial and industrial real estate firm.
It’s not certain what is going there, but the scuttle is that Volvo of Charleston might be moving there from Savannah Highway to make room to expand Hendrick’s Mini Cooper inventory.
Volvo general manager Brad Davis said nothing has been decided and the corporate folks are handling the move, but he did say the space is needed because “we are bursting at the seams, which is a good thing.”
Time will tell what will drive onto the site.
Last year’s massive hack of the S.C. Department of Revenue was a wake-up call, a rude reminder that with our dependence on the Internet comes vulnerability.
Many people have re-evaluated their password regimes and taken other measures to protect their digital information, but for nonprofits, businesses and individuals still wondering what to do, there’s CyberSecurity 101.
The first $59 offering from the S.C. Tech Academy, a recent initiative from Charleston’s Coastal Community Foundation, the course began last week and continues Tuesday and for the next two Tuesdays after that. Bob Hooper, whose company specializes in computer security, repair and encryption, leads the two-hour sessions.
“He’ll build a little bit week to week, but they’ll essentially stand alone,” said Tina Arnoldi, director of information management. She said people still can benefit from the remaining classes. Also, the academy likely will offer another course and a similar set of sessions on social media later. Go to sctechacademy.org/ security-class for details.