Big day here for Charleston’s hotel industry

Bennett Hospitality’s hotel site is the two-story former library property (center) next to Marion Square on King Street. That building has since been demolished.

The downtown Charleston lodging industry is entering a new era Monday — one marked by a nine-figure price tag.

At high noon, locally based Bennett Hospitality is scheduled to break ground on what was described last week as a $101 million luxury hotel along King Street, right next to Marion Square.

It’s believed to be the costliest private-sector real estate investment to date on the Charleston peninsula.

Few other details have been released.

Mike Bennett, the developer, and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley will be present at the shovel-turning event, according to a statement.

The full-service, high-rise hotel was first proposed in 2004 for the site of a now-demolished county library, but the deal was delayed for years by a zoning dispute. Preservationists also fought the proposed height and scale of the building.

One other Lowcountry hotel cost more to build: the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort had an estimated construction bill of $125 million when the 255-room upscale property opened in 2004. That is about $158 million in 2014 dollars.

If you didn’t see the Dreamliner make its flyover at the RBC Heritage golf tournament in person this month, now is your chance to catch it on video.

Boeing South Carolina, which makes the 787 jet at its North Charleston campus, has posted a video of the flyover on its YouTube channel — http://tinyurl.com/ofemv4x — and its “We Are Boeing SC” page on Facebook.

The 787-9 model, scheduled for delivery to Singapore-based low-cost carrier Scoot, passed over the 18th hole of the PGA event about noon April 17 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.

Crewed by Boeing test and evaluation Capts. Tim Berg and Mike Bryan, the Dreamliner briefly stopped second-round play as it approached the course from the south. The plane made a climbing turn before cutting back across the fairway for one last look before flying back to Boeing’s North Charleston site.

The InterTech Group Inc. is now both an investor in and a creditor to an Ohio-based utility owner.

The North Charleston manufacturing conglomerate is providing Gas Natural Inc. with a $5 million short-term loan through its NIL Funding Corp. affiliate, according to a filing with Securities and Exchange Commission.

The so-called bridge loan is due in six months. It carries an annual interest rate of 7.5 percent.

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Cleveland-based Gas Natural said $2.2 million of the proceeds paid off other loans between it and a subsidiary, Energy West Inc. The company also plans to use the NIL funds as working capital while it seeks to refinance its long-term debt.

“This interim financing solution provides Gas Natural with additional liquidity and flexibility, and will accelerate the company’s transformation,” Robert Johnston, InterTech’s chief strategy officer, said in a statement. “We believe Gas Natural is well-positioned to execute its growth strategy, increase its earnings power and ultimately maximize shareholder value.”

Privately held InterTech owns nearly 9 percent of the utility owner’s common stock. It disclosed the nearly $10 million investment in Gas Natural late last year. The shares are held in a trust controlled by InterTech CEO Anita Zucker.

Gas Natural owns regulated utilities that distribute and sell natural gas to about 68,000 residential and business customers in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, North Carolina and Kentucky. The company also operates interstate pipelines and produces natural gas.

Construction at Charleston International Airport seems to never end, but one day it will. Nevertheless, work was delayed from the outset and then a couple of other times as construction progressed on the $189 million terminal overhaul. So the majority of work won’t be finished until November at the earliest.

The construction company hired to do the work, known as Austin-Hitt, was under contract already when work was initially postponed. Now that it’s taking longer to remake the terminal than initially anticipated, the contractor wants more money for its time and effort.

How much more hasn’t been disclosed. But it was discussed behind closed doors last week under the guise of “contractual matters” during a board meeting of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, which owns and oversees the airport.