Mt. Pleasant apartments sold at discount

The Edgewater Plantation Apartments sold at an 11 percent discount of the previous sale price six years ago.

A group that included a firm run by former U.S. Housing & Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros has cut its losses in a Mount Pleasant apartment investment that got sidetracked by the real estate downturn.

CityView River Oaks 360 LP recently unloaded the Edgewater Plantation Apartments for $42.68 million, according to statement from the buyer.

Formerly known as River Oaks, the 360-unit rental complex near U.S. Interstate 526 and the Wando River fetched about $119,000 per key in the latest sale. The 11-year-old “Class-A” property includes 144 one-bedroom, 168 two-bedroom and 48 three-bedroom apartments.

CityView took a $5 million-plus haircut in the deal. It paid $48 million for the property in 2006, which was twice what the previous owner had shelled out. The sale set a new high-water mark for the local apartment market at that time.

CityView bought with the intention of selling off the rentals units at River Oaks as condominiums, but the ensuing downturn in the real estate business scuttled that plan. A spokeswoman for the seller did not respond to a request last week for comment.

The Praedium Group, a New York-based real estate investment firm, is the new owner. “We think it’s reflective of a good price in today’s market,” said Mark Lippman, a managing director at Praedium.

He said Edgewater will remain as apartments.

“We’re going to do some renovations, expand the clubhouse, do some general cleanup and add some amenities,” Lippman said Friday.

The deal is the first investment in Charleston for Praedium.

“We’re certainly interested in expanding our platform down there,” Lippman said.

The container ship MSC Flaminia, badly damaged by fire and explosions at sea after leaving the Port of Charleston bound for Antwerp in mid-July, was expected to arrive in German waters over this past weekend, according to ship’s owner, Reederei NSB of Germany.

The as-yet-unexplained fire and explosions July 14 in the mid-Atlantic killed two members of the crew and injured others, some with serious burns. Survivors abandoned ship about 1,000 miles from England and were rescued by an oil tanker.

Following the disaster, the 984-foot ship was towed toward England by salvage tugs with firefighting capabilities. The Flaminia was allowed to transit the English Channel during the past week after the last of the fires in containers aboard ship were extinguished and the ship was inspected in cooperation with the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies Germany, according to Reederei NSB.

The weeks of uncertainty that preceded the first 787 Dreamliner handoff from Boeing Co. to Air India last week required more than a little advance planning and flexibility.

The contingencies even included a staged photograph that was taken before the actual delivery.

Boeing released the picture early Thursday when it announced the historic transaction. It showed four Air India and Boeing executives borrowing a page from the retail business by cutting a ribbon outside the new Dreamliner aircraft parked at Charleston International Airport.

As it turned out, the photo wasn’t shot on delivery day. One of the executives in the picture, Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, spoke with The Post and Courier on Thursday and mentioned that he was halfway around the world in Delhi, not in North Charleston.

When asked, Boeing officials said the photo had indeed been taken prior to the closing of the Air India deal out of necessity.

“Since this delivery was very fluid, we took the opportunity to do a ribbon cutting when all of the key players were in the same place at the same time” said Boeing spokesman Wilson Chow. “End of story.”

Money doesn’t grow on trees, the saying goes, but a 28-year-old entrepreneur has found a way to make money by taking them down and offering the service the way McDonald’s sell hamburgers: through franchises. Josh Skolnick started out with a lawn care service while still in high school, but was asked by customers to address their tree problems. He hired a subcontractor for a day to take down a dead tree. While the contractor worked, Skolnick sold tree services to other homeowners. He has yet to cut down a tree himself, but he launched a franchise called Monster Tree Service in southeastern Pennsylvania three years ago. He is targeting Charleston as the next hub of his franchise operation.