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South Carolina trade mission heads back to Israel

  • Updated
South Carolina trade mission heads back to Israel

Lane closures resume Monday in front of Charleston International Airport.

A delegation representing the Palmetto State has returned to the Holy Land to further tighten economic ties between the two.

The South Carolina-Israel Collaboration’s fifth annual Business & Research Mission was scheduled to leave this past weekend for Tel Aviv and return home Thursday.

The trip agenda shows, among other stops, visits to business parks, a jewelry manufacturer, a technology incubator and a research and development center operated by semiconductor giant Broadcom.

The group was scheduled Monday to be in Jerusalem to see Bio Jerusalem and attend Our Crowd, an investor conference and reception.

The cost of the six-day outing was $4,500, not including airfare.

The S.C.-Israel Collaboration’s top sponsors include The InterTech Group Inc. of North Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said last week that the annual trade mission “is an extremely important initiative, stimulating business and research partnerships between companies and universities in South Carolina and Israel.”

His agency said Israel-based companies have announced nearly $9 million in capital investment and 140 jobs for the Palmetto State since 2013. Also, Israel accounted for more than $120 million of the state’s total export sales in 2014, a 22 percent increase over the previous year.

Navigating the main traffic artery at Charleston International Airport is about to get a little trickier.

For 10 weeks starting Monday, two lanes at a time in front of the main terminal will be closed to vehicles to make way for more construction.

All lanes were reopened for holiday travel season. Now, the final wave of work on the center median will start in phases next week. That road structure will be demolished and repaved, and construction will include the installation of improved outdoor lighting and underground cables to support new taxi and valet booths, according to an airport statement.

Barricades will be set up to block two lanes of traffic on either side of the median. The other lanes will remain open.

The final three phases of roadwork will take place Jan. 25-Feb. 5; Feb. 12-March 11; and March 14-31.

It’s part of the airport’s $200 million terminal overhaul.

A second local retail center with a bit of Olde English in its name has changed hands.

The Shoppes at Centre Pointe, which cost investment powerhouse Goldman Sachs & Co. dearly a few years back, recently sold for $16.5 million.

The seller is affiliated with the Dallas private equity firm Lone Star Funds, which had owned the 140,000-square-foot North Charleston pro-perty for less than two years.

The buyer is an offshoot of Atlanta-based Monarch Investments.

The 13-acre center at Interstate 26 and I-526, next to Tanger Outlets and Sam’s Club, is anchored by Ashley Furniture HomeStore and Staples. Other tenants include Dollar Tree, McAlister’s Deli, Qdoba Mexican Eats, Cici’s Pizza, Sally Beauty Supply, GameStop, Cricket Wireless and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Built about a decade ago, the property was sold to a Bethesda, Md.-based real estate company in March 2007, nine months before the start of the Great Recession, for an eye-opening $28 million.

The buyer in that deal borrowed $23 million of that from Goldman Sachs, and it eventually stopped making the nearly $135,000 monthly payments. Litigation ensued and the shopping center was taken over by a receiver that, in turn, sold it to Lone Star Funds for $14.65 million in February 2014.

The latest sale to Monarch, the retail arm of Crown Holdings Group, was brokered by The Shopping Center Group. The buyer also owns the 240,000-square-foot North Charleston Center at Rivers and Aviation avenues.

The Centre Pointe transaction came on the heels of the sale of The West Ashley Shoppes, which had a more recent brush with foreclosure. The retail property at 946 Orleans Road, across from Citadel Mall, fetched $15.45 million, county land records show.

The shopping center was repossessed two years ago by a lender owed about $24 million.

The tenants include Bed Bath & Beyond, World Market and Monster Music.

The new owner is T West Ashley SC LLC, part of the Dallas-based commercial real estate firm Tabani Group.

Staff reports

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