Some key business events of the past week:
In one of the biggest local real estate deals of 2016, an investment firm purchased the vacant Morris Sokol Furniture building in downtown Charleston.
Vanderking LLC, managed by Frederick Simon and Michael Shuler, in partnership with Greenwich, Conn.-based Wexford Capital, paid $22.5 million for the Upper King Street building through a company called Vanderking 510 LLC.
Simon declined to say what the plans are for the building at King and Reid streets, saying more information would be released later.
The 37,000-square-foot retail store closed in the fall after 94 years in business when owner Joe Sokol retired.
A new office building proposed for North Charleston is for an unidentified company that’s looking to bring more than 500 jobs to the region.
Dallas-based KDC is seeking permits on behalf of an employer code-named “Project Phoenix.”
Plans submitted to the state show an 80,000-square-foot office complex with nearly 700 parking spaces. The 16.5-acre property is part of the Ingleside tract, near U.S. Interstate 26 and Highway 78.
Project Phoenix first surfaced in September. It was described at the time in public documents as a Fortune 500 employer specializing in “customer care” and “technical support.”
Charleston County has said the planned $21 million investment would create 564 jobs over five years with average annual wages of $30,500.
The Charleston region accounted for nearly one-fourth of all capital investment announcements by new and existing businesses in South Carolina last year, according to data released by the state Commerce Department.
New manufacturing plants being built by Swedish automaker Volvo and German-based Mercedes-Benz Vans topped the department’s list of announcements, with a combined $1 billion investment and the creation of 3,800 jobs.
For the year, Commerce said it recruited 150 projects planning to invest $4.2 billion and create 17,280 jobs in South Carolina.
Stockholders of Southcoast Financial Corp. have approved the sale of the Mount Pleasant-based banking business by a wide margin.
Owners of about 5.7 million shares voted at a Jan. 29 special meeting to back the deal with BNC Bancorp, for a 99 percent majority.
The 10-branch Southcoast Community Bank announced last summer that it had agreed to be sold to the larger BNC in a stock swap valued at more than $90 million at that time.
The exact amount will be determined once the deal is finalized. The acquisition would expand BNC’s footprint in the local market to 15 branches from five.
The Journal of Commerce, a maritime industry publication, reported the Port of Charleston had 12.48 percent growth in imports last year — the fifth-highest total of all U.S. ports.
But that differed slightly with the State Ports Authority’s official figures, which put the growth in imports at 12.02 percent in 2015. That would be just enough to drop the Port of Charleston one notch to No. 6 in the rankings, right behind the Port of Houston. The statistical difference likely stems from the Journal’s use of a proprietary database rather than figures from the ports themselves.