2 for 1: Proposed hotel to ride dual-brand trend

The InterTech Group and its TIGHITCO subsidiary, which opened this factory in North Charleston last year, are the top private-sector sponsors of a South Carolina aerospace expo next month in Columbia

The nine-story hotel planned near the base of the Ravenel Bridge on the peninsular side of the span will carry not one banner but two.

Charleston-based Jupiter Holdings has secured the Element by Westin and Aloft brands, which are both owned by Starwood Hotels, for its 170-room project at Meeting and Huger streets.

"It's called dual-branding. It's a trend in the lodging industry right now because it caters to two different types of travelers," said Eddie Buck Jr. of Jupiter Holdings. "Element has bigger rooms with more amenities, and Aloft is more hip, it's more of a lifestyle brand."

At dual-branded hotels, he added, it's typical for each flag to have its own floors for rooms, though they usually share common spaces such as lobbies and pool areas.

Jupiter recently requested a zoning approval from the city, which it needs before the architectural planning phase can begin. The concept, Buck said, is to include a 240-space parking deck, 30,000 square feet of office space and a 10,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant. Jupiter likely won't break ground on the 600 Meeting project until 2016, Buck said.

It will be the second hotel on the peninsula to latch onto the dual-brand trend. The 304-room lodging going up at the Midtown site near King and Spring streets will offer guests the choice of staying at Hyatt House or Hyatt Place when it opens next year.

Boeing Co.'s North Charleston campus is the epicenter of the growing aerospace industry in South Carolina, but the first-ever Aerospace Industry Day Conference and Expo will be held 100 miles inland, in the capital city.

The event is set for takeoff on Aug. 19 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The conference will include discussions on the state's strategy for aerospace, the impact the industry can have on the state, workforce training, financing, materials and manufacturing research, and numerous other topics. The top sponsors are The InterTech Group Inc. of North Charleston and its TIGHITCO aerostructures unit.

The conference is targeting industry suppliers, manufacturers, economic development officials, educators, supply chain experts, consultants, maintenance technicians and researchers. The fee is $50. Exhibit space for a 10-by-10-foot booth is $500.

Speakers include InterTech CEO Anita Zucker, whose morning talk is titled "Industry Perspective." No one from Boeing South Carolina is listed as a participant.

The expo is being organized by the S.C. Aviation Association, the University of South Carolina and New Carolina. Go to saeu.sc.edu/reg/aerospace for details.

One down. Summerville-based MWV Community Development and Land Management has landed its first tenant - other than itself - for its new corporate home.

Insurance giant AIG has signed a lease for a 4,875-square-foot space in the first Nexton Office Campus building at 201 Sigma Drive, according to CBRE Inc., one of the real estate firms involved in the transaction. The four-story building has about 100,000 square feet of space.

It's one of the first structures in the 4,500-acre Nexton mixed-use community near U.S. Highway 17A and Interstate 26. Nexton developer MWV Community Development, which is the locally based division of packaging giant MeadWestvaco Corp., moved in earlier this year.

A couple of weeks ago, the South Carolina Research Authority announced it had inked its first lease for its new SCRA Applied Technologies Center being built at Nexton. Canadian biopharmaceutical firm Aeterna Zentaris will occupy the third floor in fall.

Goldman Sachs & Co. more than recouped its original investment in a Charleston software company - and then some - by selling off some of its stake for $109.9 million.

Benefitfocus Inc. said Tuesday that the financial behemoth took some money off the table by selling more than 2.85 million shares of the Daniel Island-based technology firm for $38.50 each. The divestment was announced earlier this month.

Investment funds affiliated with N.Y.-based Goldman Sachs have been the biggest stockholders of Benefitfocus since 2007, when they invested $106 million in the business.

The software company didn't receive any proceeds from the sale.

Goldman Sachs now owns about 33 percent of Benefitfocus. At its peak, Goldman Sachs owned about two-thirds. It sold more than 2.6 million shares for about $70 million when it took the company public in September.

The tech firm makes software tools that enable workers to compare, enroll in and manage benefits. Its customers include large employers and health insurance carriers.

The sale didn't ding shares of Benefitfocus. The stock closed Friday at $38.95.

Workers at the North Charleston paper mill who invest in their employer's stock were feeling a little wealthier this past weekend.

Shares of KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. climbed more than 10 percent. or $3.03, on Thursday, and they moved up another half-point Friday, when they closed out the week at $32.23.

The jump was attributed to hedge fund investor Richard Perry's Perry Capital, which made a bullish call on containerboard companies last week. KapStone (symbol "KS") releases its quarterly earnings on Wednesday.

The company bought the Cooper River paper mill from MeadWestvaco Corp. six years ago this month.