Retail developer Ben Carter already has provided a hefty amount of financial support to the College of Charleston. Perhaps now he can provide students with a real-life case study.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the college's Carter School of Real Estate benefactor sold his ownership stake in a Florida shopping mall for an outsize price to a division of Deutsche Bank. Carter's 50 percent interest in the 621,000-square-foot open-air St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville fetched $375 million.
Carter built St. Johns Town Center in 2005, and its tenant roster now includes Louis Vuitton and an Apple Store. He was reported as saying that he cashed out to focus on other projects.
"My business strategy is outlet malls and urban development," Carter told the newspaper.
One key project is his $72 million plan to return downtown Savannah's Broughton Street to its heyday as a shopping and dining mecca.
Carter and his family established the Carter Real Estate Center in 2006. The University of Georgia graduate said he did so after finding that too many job candidates he had interviewed weren't qualified to work for his Atlanta-based company.
Last year, he and wife Tricia announced they were donating $250,000 to fund scholarships for C of C undergrads who focus on real estate. The goal is to prepare them "to produce something" the first day they show up for work, he told The Post and Courier last year.
Carter's family has long ties to the school. His mother traces her heritage to Arthur Middleton, a founder of the college and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Also, the Carters' two children are graduates.
Sunscreen applicator inventor Arianna Megaro fell short of her Kickstarter goal to raise $45,000 by June 21, but that doesn't mean she didn't get enough money to launch her product.
The Charleston resident and College of Charleston graduate received pledges of $22,607 from 385 backers through the online effort, but she couldn't count on any of it because she didn't reach the goal by the deadline.
"Fortunately, however, the campaign created a lot of investor interest, and we were able to raise the funding needed to support BlokRok's first production outside of the Kickstarter fundraising grounds," she said.
BlokRok is the name of the roll-on sunscreen applicator she devised to keep suntan oil or other lotions, which can sometimes be greasy, off the hands. By raising the necessary funds, Megaro said the final mold adjustments were sent to the factory recently and she and her BlokRok teammates are closing on verification of the final part of the product before starting the first production run. Go to www.theblokrok.com for updates.
Got milk? Walterboro does.
Crescent Dairy & Beverages will officially kick off operations in the Colleton County seat this week. The milk producer is holding its grand opening at 11 a.m. Wednesday at 181 Crescent Way.
The company is the first business to set up shop in the Colleton County Commerce Center, a 260-acre business park off U.S. Interstate 95.
The subsidiary of Delaware-based CDBH Inc. is spending about $30 million for the Lowcountry operation, which includes processing equipment that extends the shelf life of sealed, unrefrigerated private-label beverages, in many cases for more than 12 months. The goods will be shipped through the Port of Charleston, officials have said.
Crescent has hired more than a dozen workers and plans to employ about 60 within five years.
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