On its face, the recent $69 million sale of a privately owned College of Charleston student housing project is a record price for a piece of commercial real estate on the peninsula.
And that's absolutely true - to a point.
On a net dollar basis, the sale is by far the largest, by a margin of about $27 million.
But by another key industry metric, it's not quite at the top of the heap. Some brokers look at how much a commercial property sells on a per-square-foot basis.
The eight-story Campus Center, which has about 201,000 square feet of space, went for $343 a square foot when McAlister Development Co.'s Charleston College Housing LLC sold to a joint venture.
The upshot is that the distinction for the top price ever paid by that measurement remains with the owner of one of the peninsula's newest upscale office buildings. An investment group that bought the 65,000-square-foot 25 Calhoun property near the S.C. Aquarium paid $24 million in March 2013, or $370 a foot.
The Corridor. Commerce. Coding.
Call it the three C's.
The Charleston Digital Corridor, armed with a fresh $247,000 grant from the S.C. Department of Commerce, has launched its latest version of CODEcamp, an expanded education initiative for wannabe techies.
For two years, the city's business-incubating initiative has connected career seekers with qualified jobs in the region's growing high-tech community through the CODEcamp program, which provides individuals of all skill levels with access to affordable training in web and mobile technologies.
With more than 500 attendees to date, the downtown agency on East Bay and Alexander streets is now expanding to include mentorship, employment-focused networking events and an industry advisory board.
"Just like we work to help 'set the table' for business investment through physical infrastructure, we must also build up our innovation infrastructure to foster entrepreneurs and high-tech companies in South Carolina," Commerce chief Bobby Hitt said in a statement.
One of the largest trade organizations in the region is losing its legislative link to Columbia.
Ryan Castle, government affairs director for the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, is leaving the Lowcountry for a pricey, bucolic part of New England that's been in the news of late because President Barack Obama and his family are vacationing there: the greater Cape Cod area.
Castle has taken a job as CEO of the 2,100-member Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors in W. Yarmouth, Mass., according to a report in The Barnstable Patriot. He starts Sept. 2. The organization's territory includes Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, where the First Family began a two-week vacation on Aug. 8.
Castle told the Patriot that his goal as CEO of the Cape Cod trade group is "to re-establish ourselves as being the voice and premium source of information for property owners . and make sure we're helping our community be a better place to work and play.
Castle has been handling government affairs, including lobbying duties, for the 3,500-member Charleston real estate group for the past six years. Before that, he worked in the communications office for former Gov. Mark Sanford. He also was a reporter and editor at the Summerville Journal Scene, which is owned by The Post and Courier's parent.
Whatever's left at the American LaFrance factory in Moncks Corner is up for grabs.
An auction for the inventory is set for Aug. 27 at 9 a.m. at Wingate by Wyndham at 9280 University Blvd. in North Charleston. Bidders from far and wide can participate through a live webcast.
The Branford Group, an equipment auction house, is organizing the event on behalf of an unidentified creditor of American LaFrance.
The company, which made fire and rescue vehicles for more than a century, was abruptly shut down in January by the New York-based private equity firm Patriarch Partners.
Next week's auction will include engines, custom chassis, fire pumps, rims and tires, cabs and other items left at the shuttered plant at 164 Spring Grove Drive. Would-be bidders can check out the merchandise Aug. 25-26. The inventory is valued at $8 million, according to Branford.
Berkeley County sold American LaFrance's manufacturing equipment and other "personal property" at a June auction to recoup $650,000 in unpaid tax fees. The inventory going on the block next week wasn't part of that sale.
As an aside, the Wingate auction site is on land owned by Charleston Southern Universtity. In an odd pairing, American LaFrance proposed building a factory and corporate offices either on or near that property. The deal with CSU later fizzled.
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