The Tar Heel State’s loss is Berkeley County’s gain.
Charlotte-based chemical company DAK Americas last week said it is closing its 600-worker Cape Fear plant in Brunswick County, N.C., to cut costs and will move some of the displaced production work to its Bushy Park site on the Cooper River.
The consolidation plan “will allow us to further improve our low-cost position by supplying the vast majority of the Cape Fear Site customers from our other North American facilities,” said Jorge Young, DAK Americas’ president
DAK will have four U.S. plants, including one in Columbia, after the closing in September. It also operates manufacturing sites in Mexico and Argentina.
Locally, DAK Americas produces polyester fibers and resins used in plastic soft drink containers and other products. The company, which is owned by Mexico’s Alfa SAB de CV, acquired the Cooper River and Wilmington-area plants from DuPont in 2001.
“With DAK Americas announced closure of its Cape Fear Site, the DAK Americas Cooper River site near Charleston will see an increase to its production by running at slightly higher rates” the company said in statement last week.
The company added that it “does not expect any major job increases at the Cooper River site due to the closure of the Cape Fear site.”
Talk of hotel growth on peninsular Charleston seems to dominate tourism news lately. Here’s the latest on a 54-room hotel planned for King Street that was first reported in April.
A business partnership called TKH Holding Group LLC now owns the vacant lot at 583 King St., a site directly across the street from the proposed Midtown hotel, office and retail project, according to Trey Sedalik of TKH.
The quarter-acre lot was purchased for $895,000 from Reznick King Street Properties LP, according to the local office of commercial real estate firm Avision Young.
The project has cleared zoning approval that allows a hotel up to 55 feet tall in that area of upper King Street. It still must go to the Board of Architectural Review for approval.
Sedalik isn’t ready to share any renderings of the as-yet unnamed boutique inn, but he said it would have on-site parking.
He hopes construction could begin within the next year or so on what he described as a “unique offering” in the city.
Of the more than 1,500 hotel rooms in the works or planned for the peninsula, Sedalik said, “I don’t think everything that’s proposed will come to fruition.”
But, he added: “Over the past 25 years, occupancy has trended upward. The hospitality market is very strong in Charleston.”
Like home sales, hotel stays and other indicators, the spring Festival of Houses and Gardens and Charleston Antiques Show reported a better year than 2012 as the economy returns to a more solid footing.
The two events generated $6.4 million for the local economy, up 13 percent over 2012, according to the College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis.
Organized by Historic Charleston Foundation, the show and the festival attracted more than 14,000 visitors and locals over the course of a month, generated 71 local jobs and created nearly 700 volunteer opportunities.
The analysis found the people who took part in the events spend 25 percent more than the average spring Charleston tourist.
Funds raised from the programs support the foundation’s preservation work.
The 11th annual antiques show will kick off the festival March 21-23, while the 67th annual spring home and garden festival will be March 20-April 19. Tickets for both go on sale Nov. 1.
A free website that features current economic and workforce information about the Charleston region has snagged an award from a national economic development industry group.
The Charleston Regional Competitiveness Center — charlestonregionaldata.com — was honored for “Outstanding Achievement and Excellence in Data Collection/Dissemination Efforts” at the Council for Community and Economic Research’s annual conference in Nashville.
The site takes government data about the metro area and notes leading indicators and trends to help local businesses understand the environment and help job seekers or site-selectors size up the region.
The center and site was launched in April 2011, keying off the Charleston Regional Development Alliance’s “Opportunity Next” strategic plan. Other collaborators include the BCD Council of Governments, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Trident Workforce Investment Board.
P.I.E. Bake Shoppe in downtown Charleston offers the “Best Deli Sandwich in America,” according to Restaurant Hospitality Magazine. Restaurant owner and chef Paige Young won for her ham blueberry sandwich.
“We know this isn’t your typical deli sandwich, which is exactly what intrigued us. ... But here’s a deli-style sandwich that appeals to those with a delicate appetite and to those who shave their knuckles every other day,” the judges noted. “Don’t let the blueberry chutney fool you; the wasabi mustard provides a kick and savory balance.”
The sandwich’s other ingredients are include fig goat cheese, red onion and baby spinach, all combined on house-made herbed focaccia bread.
“We wanted to provide an alternative for a delicious, yet creative, sandwich that combines savory and sweet elements,” said Young, a graduate of the College of Charleston and the Notter School of European Pastry and Arts
P.I.E. stands for Paige’s Incredible Edibles. It’s at 5 Warren St., off upper King Street.
South Carolina’s chief executive has formally saluted a local Army officer’s efforts to fast-forward the Charleston Harbor deepening project
Gov. Nikki Haley last week awarded the Order of the Palmetto to Lt. Col. Edward P. Chamberlayne, commander of the Charleston district of the Army Corps of Engineers.
During an presentation, Haley touted the importance of the project that will help bring bigger vessels to the state and, in turn, fuel job growth.
Chamberlayne received the honor just weeks before he ends his two-year stint in Charleston. The Army Corps’ local office is overseeing the feasibility and economic analysis of the proposed $350 million deepening that will take the harbor to 50 feet from 45.
Chamberlayne has had to shave four years and $7 million in costs from the study portion of the process. Lt. Col. John T. Litz will replace him next month as Chamberlayne moves on to the Pentagon.