Grapevine: Boeing South Carolina closes in on new milestone

American Airlines’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off on its debut flight last May.

While Boeing Co. will be marking its centennial anniversary this summer, the number 100 will be celebrated for a different reason at the company’s North Charleston campus on Tuesday.

That’s when Boeing South Carolina will make its 100th Dreamliner delivery to a customer, in this case American Airlines.

The 787-8 rolled off the production line in December and has been undergoing test flights since then. It will be the 14th Dreamliner delivered to Dallas-based American, which has ordered 42 of the fuel-efficient, wide-body planes for delivery through 2018.

The carrier was the first airline to buy the 787. It has an option to buy up to 58 more Dreamliners.

The delivery to American follows last week’s delivery of No. 99 to Saudi Arabia Airlines.

The first South Carolina-made Dreamliner came off the assembly line at Boeing’s $750 million, 1.2-million-square-foot North Charleston site almost four years ago, in April 2012.

Visitors to Riverfront Park in North Charleston now have free access to the Internet.

The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation is providing the wireless service, the city said in a written statement last week.

“With existing events at the park and others planned, the ... public Wi-Fi service will enable event organizers to have a smooth and seamless use of the network for their internal operations,” said Lisa Reynolds, the park’s manager.

The Digital Corridor Foundation previously has deployed free Wi-Fi service at eight other locations around the region, including downtown Charleston, West Ashley and Daniel Island.

The nonprofit group, which promotes the region’s technology economy, recently announced it will hold its annual iFive:K race and post-race festivities at Riverfront Park on the former Navy base for the first time on April 14. Previously, the run took place in downtown Charleston.

South Carolina has the second-best business climate in the country, according to a survey by Site Selection magazine.

The Palmetto State received the second-highest number of votes from site selection consultants as the best place to do business. Georgia was close behind with 15 votes while Texas led all states with 30 votes.

The magazine also asked corporate real estate executives which factors are most important when choosing a site. Their answers: workforce; state and local taxes; transportation infrastructure; utility infrastructure; building prices and supply; and ease of permitting and regulatory procedures.

The sale of a longtime homebuilder in the Charleston region to a larger competitor has closed, with the sale price coming right at the bottom end of the estimate range.

Industry giant PulteGroup Inc. of Atlanta said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it finalized the purchase of crosstown rival John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods for an even $430 million. Previous estimates put the sale price between that figure and $450 million. The sellers were Wheelock Street Capital and the Wieland family.

Announced in late December, the deal gives PulteGroup about an additional 7,000 lots — not including 1,300 available to buy through purchase options — and 400 homes in backlog in Charleston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh.

The acquisition will add to Pulte’s considerable heft in the three-county region, where the company and its Centex and Del Webb divisions are developing homes in about 15 master-planned subdivisions, from Cane Bay Plantation in Summerville to Carolina Bay in West Ashley.

Wieland began building in the local market about 35 years ago. When the sale was announced, it was actively constructing homes in Dunes West in Mount Pleasant, on Daniel Island, and at Carnes Crossroads and Nexton, both in Summerville.