Southend Brewery has a new landlord. The historic downtown Charleston building that houses the business at 161 East Bay St. is now in the hands of a New Jersey-based real estate investor, courtesy of a Manhattan property sale.
Greg Maloof's Maloof Equi-ties SC LLC of Red Bank, N.J., recently acquired the 134- year-old red-brick structure for $5.5 million, or about $337 a square foot, from locally based Calhoun Associates LLC. The previous owner paid $3.4 million for the three-story corner building about a decade ago.
"I bought it as an investment property," Maloof said last week. "I sold an investment in New York, so I diversified into other places in the country, and Charleston is one of the places I wanted to be. I always liked South Carolina. I've been to Charleston and this opportunity came up, so I took advantage of it. ... I saw that it was a great building in a great city and the tenant is very good - and even if the tenant leaves at some point, I know we wouldn't have trouble filling that space."
According to a report on the real estate website costar.com, one of Maloof's firms sold two corner buildings with 95 apartment units in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan to Canada's Crest Realties for $23.69 million late last year.
The 16,300-square-foot Southend building, built in 1880, was first named for merchant F.W. Wagener, who bought and sold groceries, liquor, cotton and fertilizer. In the 1930s, it became known as the Ohlandt Warehouse. Before Southend Brewery moved into the space in 1996, the site housed the popular nightspot East Bay Trading Co.
NOAA wants to know a little more about local weather conditions.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has asked the Charleston County Aviation Authority for permission to put a temporary meteorological monitoring station at Charleston Executive Airport.
The purpose is to gather research on land-falling tropical storms that can lead to flooding and flash flooding, according to a proposal presented to the Aviation Authority, which owns the Johns Island airport.
The unmanned station is just going to be in place for a limited time - from May 1 of this year until Nov. 1, 2015. That covers two hurricane seasons.
NOAA won't issue its official 2014 hurricane forecast until May, just before the tropical cyclone season starts in June, so maybe it's looking for an uptick in activity over last year's quiet tropical season in the U.S. or it's glancing at the Old Farmer's Almanac for some guidance.
"Expect a hurricane threat in mid-September," the almanac says for the Southeast region.
NOAA has operated the stations at other airports. It will need FAA approval for the location of the small tower it hopes to erect, pending permission by the Aviation Authority.
An app to check out
Marriott Hotels is putting the front desk in the palm of its guests' hands.
The lodging brand announced last week that its downtown Charleston location at 170 Lockwood Drive will be among the first Marriotts to offer a new technology on the Marriott Mobile App that will allow guests to check in and out of their rooms and to request services, such as wake-up calls or extra towel deliveries. The local property is owned by JHM Hotels of Greenville.
Other markets Marriott is testing the new technology include San Diego, Chicago, New York and Denver, among other large destinations.
Marriott launched a mobile app in July that offers guests the option to check-in remotely from their smart phones. The hotel brand introduced a new check-out feature on the app last week at 326 of its locations across the country. By the end of the year, all 500 of Marriott Hotels will have mobile check-in and check-out technology. The app is available in the App Store for Apple devices and on Google Play for Android devices.
"By relentlessly focusing on the needs of the next generation of travelers who are mobile and global, Marriott Hotels is putting itself at the forefront of the hotel mobile revolution," said Paul Cahill, senior vice president of brand management for Marriott.
It was a rare sight that under different circumstances might've raised some hackles among the groups seeking to rein in cruise ship operations in Charleston.
Not one, but two Carnival vessels were tied up to Union Pier Terminal at the same time Tuesday afternoon, if only briefly.
The Carnival Splendor made an unexpected call to the city. A medical emergency involving a crew member forced it to divert to Charleston as it was returning to New York City from Florida.
The 3,006-passenger ship set anchor at the south end of Union Pier, not far from the former dockside warehouse that the State Ports Authority wants to convert into a $35 million passenger terminal.
The Splendor tied up just behind the Carnival Fantasy, which calls Union Pier home when not at sea.
Cruise operations in downtown Charleston have been a divisive topic for years as opponents argue that the pleasure ships are a nuisance to the historic area. Some also have worried about multiple vessels being in port at once.
The owner of CresCom Bank is doubling down.
Charleston-based Carolina Financial Corp. announced Friday it has declared a two-for-one split of its thinly traded shares. It takes effect Feb. 28.
The holding company began offering quotes on its common stock to outsiders for the first time in October to boost liquidity for investors. Shares of Carolina Financial can be bought and sold via the OTC Bulletin Board. The over-the-counter ticker symbol is "CARO."
The OTC Bulletin Board displays real-time quotes, sale prices and volume data for stocks that aren't listed on a national exchange. It's operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, an independent regulator.
Carolina Financial opened Community FirstBank in 1997 at 288 Meeting St., which remains its headquarters. It expanded later to Myrtle Beach by forming Crescent Bank.
CresCom was formed in 2012 when Carolina Financial merged the two lenders. The bank also owns Crescent Mortgage Co., which makes home loans in 43 states.
The price quote on the stock Friday was $36.10.
SCANA Corp. officials could have some winter war stories to share this week with Wall Street.
The Cayce-based owner of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., will release its fourth-quarter and 2013 earnings Thursday on the heels of two recent ice events that led to rolling blackouts as well as extensive outages caused by Mother Nature. The day's events include a conference call and question-and-answer session with analysts who track SCANA.
On the line will be Jimmy Addison, chief financial officer for the parent company, and Steve Byrne, chief operating officer of SCE&G.