Harbor National Bank set to switch to BNC brand

BNC’s original Mount Pleasant branch on U.S. Highway 17 will be combined with this office that Harbor National Bank opened on Houston Northcutt Boulevard, a couple of miles south.

The tide is changing permanently at Harbor National Bank.

The Charleston lender, which was acquired by the parent of BNC Bank in December in a $51 million stock swap, will switch to its new owner’s name and signage at the start of business Tuesday. Customer accounts, as well as all back-office processing systems, were to be merged onto the BNC platform over the three-day holiday weekend.

“As we open our doors tomorrow morning in Charleston, our increased presence here is indicative of our overall commitment to this market and our growth strategy for the company,” said Rick Arthur, BNC’s chief consumer banking officer.

As part of the changeover, the bank is shuffling some real estate. BNC is closing its two original Charleston area branches — one near Wando Crossing in Mount Pleasant; the other on Carriage Lane in West Ashley. It’s consolidating those locations at the former Harbor offices on Houston Northcutt Boulevard and at Ashley Landing on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, respectively.

The local BNC head office and main branch is moving to 153 Meeting St. from its former East Bay Street office, where the bank will house its wealth management unit, Arthur said.

High Point, N.C.-based BNC will open for business Tuesday with five full-service branches in the market.

Arthur, who is based in Charleston, said the “bank is still very much local,” noting that Charlie Rivers, the former Harbor CEO, is staying on as South Carolina coastal executive. Rivers has a two-year employment contract with BNC.

Before the sale, Harbor was the region’s youngest startup bank. It opened its doors nine years ago this month.

BNC expanded into the coastal South Carolina market in April 2010, when it took over Myrtle Beach-based Beach First National Bank. It moved down the coast into the Charleston area in mid-2012, when it assumed the assets of the failed two-branch Carolina Federal Savings Bank.

Southwest Airlines wants to take Lowcountry travelers home — to its home. On the weekends.

The Texas-based carrier announced last week it is adding nonstop service between its main hub at Dallas Love Field and Charleston International on Saturdays only starting April 11.

Restricted introductory fares start at $89 each way, the airline said. According to Southwest’s website, the weekly flight is scheduled to leave Love Field at 9:30 a.m. and depart Charleston at 1:35 p.m.

Only American Eagle serves the Charleston-Dallas route right now, with two flights a day.

Southwest recently acquired the rights to two additional gates at Love Field, allowing it to add destinations and more nonstop flights.

Southwest already offers nonstop service out of Charleston to Chicago, Nashville, Houston and Baltimore.

South Carolina’s busiest airport continues to add destinations and new carriers. Porter Airlines began offering once-a-week seasonal service to Toronto on Saturday. Silver Airways begins nonstop service to Orlando and Tampa, Fla., on March 19.

Jack Jones is retiring from Boeing South Carolina on May 1, but that doesn’t mean he’s leaving the Charleston region entirely.

Jones, vice president and general manager, said he’s in the market for a place to spend at least some of his time when he’s no longer punching the clock.

“I have a home in the Northwest, but because of this great community and a lot of great people that I’ve met, I’m looking at a more permanent residence here, like a condo or something like that here in the Lowcountry. It’s a great community,” Jones said during the opening ceremony last week of Boeing’s propulsion facility in North Charleston.

Jones said he has just one post-retirement goal: “Enjoy myself.”

Beverly Wyse, who has led Boeing’s 737 program in Washington state for the past four years, will succeed Jones and has been spending most of her time lately at the North Charleston 787 Dreamliner campus. She said the gradual transition in leadership will “give me an opportunity to get to know the team as well as understand all the things that Jack has put in place, as well as get to know this incredible community.”

Wyse said she has made the permanent move to the Charleston region.

“I’ll be a little bit back and forth (to Washington) as we always are, staying close to the 787 program,” she said. “But I’ve got my feet and everything right here and my family is on the way.”

A sizable retail building proposed for Summerville has a Tennessee connection, by way of the Peach State.

Summerville Investment Partners LLC, a Georgia-registered business that shares that exact name with an unaffiliated South Carolina firm, is tied to George Tomlin with shopping center developer GBT Realty Corp. of Brentwood, Tenn.

The company has submitted plans to build an 88,000-square-foot retail structure with 401 parking spaces on an undeveloped 21-acre tract at the end of Jockey Court near Sawmill Branch. The site is near Interstate 26 and U.S. Highway 17A, close to Wal-Mart and Comfort Suites.

The tenant is not identified in the wetlands-filling application filed with the Army Corps of Engineers and the state.

“We are not at a point where we can announce what our plans are there. We have strict rules with retailers until a lease has been signed.” GBT spokeswoman Jenn Weyand said last week. It will probably be summer before any names are released, she said.

The application calls for filling 2.4 acres of wetlands. The tract is in Berkeley County, just outside of Summerville town limits.