Volvo S60 (copy)

Volvo Cars will build a redesigned version of its S60 sedan when its Berkeley County manufacturing campus begins production this summer. It also will instruct mechanics on how to maintain fix the vehicles at a new training center. File

'Volvo U'   

Volvo Cars said it will build a training center in the Charleston region to teach mechanics at dealerships how to repair the increasingly complicated technologies that run the automaker's newest models.

The so-called Volvo University is also seen as a way to lure more workers into automotive technician jobs that often go begging even as the field is entering a growth spurt.

The training center probably won't be built at the company's $1.1 billion plant under construction in Berkeley County, because that site will be too busy with production starting this summer. Volvo plans to announce a location, investment amount and other details by the end of this year.

Bounce back

Hamstrung by low inventory and rising prices, Charleston-area home sales nudged back into positive territory in March after slumping in February.

Residential real estate transactions rose nearly 2 percent last month from a year earlier, the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors said.

“As expected, this month’s sales activity is steady, but a slower pace than last year," said association president Kimberly Lease. "Available inventory and affordability are putting downward pressure on our otherwise healthy market."

The slight uptick in sales follows a 12 percent decline in transactions in February. So far this year, 3,940 homes have sold at a median price of $259,000. The volume is down about 1 percent from the first three months of last year.

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cabin Boeing 787 10 Singapore Airlines.jpg (copy) (copy)

The 787-10 (above) can hold more passengers than previous two versions of the Boeing jet. File/Wade Spees/Staff

Delivering the goods

The inaugural delivery of a 787-10 jet built at Boeing Co.'s North Charleston campus highlighted a first quarter that saw the aerospace giant bring 34 Dreamliners to customers, the company said Tuesday.

Singapore Airlines was the kickoff customer for the 787-10, taking delivery of the wide-body on March 25.

Boeing has now delivered at least 30 Dreamliners for 13 consecutive quarters.

The North Charleston campus assembled 15 of the planes that went to customers during the first three months of the year. Boeing's Everett, Wash., plant turned out the other 19.

It's a record

A record amount of containerized cargo moved through the Port of Charleston's terminals last month as the busiest March in history eclipsed numbers set a year earlier.

"The record volumes ... reflect seasonally strong volume in all segments combined with the further deployment of big container ships to the U.S. East Coast," said Jim Newsome, CEO of the State Ports Authority.

The SPA handled 4 percent more containers compared to March 2017, when the port set its last monthly record.

Through the first three quarters of fiscal 2018, the SPA moved 1.6 million 20-foot-long containers, on target for an annual record.

Bellying up

Record-setting attendance at the 2018 Charleston Wine + Food Festival translated to more than $15 million in economic impact for the region, according to the College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis.

The culinary extravaganza, held Feb. 28 to March 4, drew 13,780 out-of-town visitors, up from 8,442 in 2017. Executive director Gillian Zettler attributed the 61 percent growth rate to the festival’s programming, which included more than 100 events.

Locals also attended in greater numbers this year, with 52 percent of the overall crowd of 29,072 people hailing from the Charleston area.

Nonstop to Cleveland

Charleston International Airport added another nonstop destination.

United Airlines launch seasonal Saturday service to Cleveland that started April 14 and will run through June.

The roughly two-hour flight to the Ohio city on the shores of Lake Erie leaves the Lowcountry at 11:11 a.m. and touches down in Cleveland at 1:28 p.m., according to the airline's website. The return flight leaves Cleveland at 8:30 a.m. and lands in Charleston at 10:41 a.m.

Historic offering

Like much of old Charleston, Fenwick Hall Plantation drips with history. Soon, the pre-Revolutionary War-era property on Johns Island could add a new chapter to its storied past as it once again hits the market. Asking price: $8.875 million.

Fenwick Hall is privately owned by hedge fund sponsor John C. Pernell of Polaris Investment Partners, who bought it in 2000 and operates his business from the site. He's selling all but about three acres where his offices are located because, at 65, he wants to simplify his life.

"Eighteen years is enough. I want to go to a less-crowded space," he said, referring to development pressures. "It's time to pass it along to the next owner."

Whoever buys the will probably have to invest another $1.5 million to restore the 7,818-square-foot main house to its former glory.

Lost lease

A no-frills grocery chain is emptying the shelves on one of its four Charleston-area stores after it was unable to negotiate a new lease.

Save-a-Lot on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in West Ashley will close April 21, general manager Paul Nicholas said. He called business "good" and said customers like the store.

"Rent prices are just insane," Nicholas added.