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Latest News in Summerville, SC
Dorchester County mediates with home builder near Summerville; residents concerned
DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester County has agreed to a mediation settlement with builder Kolter Homes regarding The Ponds neighborhood near Summerville.Neighbors say they’re concerned, saying the builder has overdeveloped on the property, but the county disputes that, saying the original agreement was vague.“Kolter has built themselves into a corner,” homeowner Brian Riesen said. “When they ran out of land to develop, rather than hand over the amenities on those lands and give up some of thei...
DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester County has agreed to a mediation settlement with builder Kolter Homes regarding The Ponds neighborhood near Summerville.
Neighbors say they’re concerned, saying the builder has overdeveloped on the property, but the county disputes that, saying the original agreement was vague.
“Kolter has built themselves into a corner,” homeowner Brian Riesen said. “When they ran out of land to develop, rather than hand over the amenities on those lands and give up some of their maximum number of homes they’re allowed to build, they asked to get rid of the amenities and ask for more homes and more land.”
The mediation agreement was approved at the last county council meeting on April 18. It was made public late on Friday. Neighbors say they like some parts of the agreement and don’t like others.
The county, meanwhile, says the mediation agreement between them and Kolter Homes is in the best long-term solution for all parties involved.
The agreement adds 50 more single-family homes, from 1,950 to 2,000 homes, along with 74 townhomes off Lotz Drive and gets rid of the requirement of apartments to be built in the subdivision.
However, some homeowners say they feel like the county has turned their back on them by signing this agreement with Kolter.
“They’re getting rid of the village center requirement, leaving less than two acres of zoned commercial but no commitment to build,” Riesen said. “They’ve eliminated the nature trails, and there’s maybe three miles of the original 18 in existence. Many of us feel Kolter has already violated and broken their contract, and the county was, up until last week, holding them accountable, and now, they’ve just decided to let Kolter do what they want, essentially.”
County Councilmember David Chinnis, in response, says the village center, which is a planned retail center, in the original agreement from 2005 was described as up to 94 acres of land to be used for that purpose, meaning there was no concrete amount of acreage specified.
“The amount is up to, or not to exceed, which is vague,” Chinnis said. “It doesn’t tell you how much there’s going to be. It tells you what it won’t be greater than.”
Chinnis also says the nature trails were not specifically mapped out when the original development was signed.
However, as part of the new agreement, Kolter must install 10 miles of walking trails and keep existing ones intact.
“There’s a picture of what we want to keep,” Chinnis said. “They talk about 10 miles of existing trails, but I don’t know if we’ve ever had them identified. For us to go back in and say, ‘You had to do this. You’ve taken this trail. You’ve got to mitigate it.’ Well, at this point in time, there’s a house on it.”
Chinnis also described the original development agreement as “horrible” and “open-ended” and is not something that would happen nowadays.
Jeff Vandewiel, the community director of the Charleston Division for Kolter Homes, released the following statement.
“Kolter Homes is pleased to have reached an agreement with Dorchester County on the planned improvements and continued development of The Ponds neighborhood. While we respect differing opinions, we believe this new shared vision will continue to ensure The Ponds is a wonderful place to call home and will benefit the greater Dorchester County community.”
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
It’s all in the family: Summerville parents and children all earn degrees from USC School of Journalism
I wanted to make sure they knew they could attend any college, but he raised three Gamecocks. CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As students turn their tassels and mark the completion of college, it will be quite an accomplishment for one Summerville family.When the youngest child graduates from the University of South Carolina in Columbia this weekend, it will mean every member of the Grimes family has a degree from the USC School of Journalism.Randy Grimes was the first to graduate in 1985. Adrianne marched in 1988. Their ol...
I wanted to make sure they knew they could attend any college, but he raised three Gamecocks.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As students turn their tassels and mark the completion of college, it will be quite an accomplishment for one Summerville family.
When the youngest child graduates from the University of South Carolina in Columbia this weekend, it will mean every member of the Grimes family has a degree from the USC School of Journalism.
Randy Grimes was the first to graduate in 1985. Adrianne marched in 1988. Their oldest daughter Erika earned her degree in 2018, Morgan was next in 2020, and the youngest child, Jared-Benjamin, gets his degree from the School of Journalism this weekend.
So did the Grimes’ encourage their kids to follow in their footsteps and attend USC?
“Actually, I as their mother did not, but Randy my husband, yes he did,” Adrianne said. “I wanted to make sure they knew they could attend any college, and I told them to think outside the box. But honestly, he (Randy) raised three Gamecocks. We had the 10-foot inflatable Gamecock in our house, that the kids took pictures by, and they spent time in Williams-Brice Stadium as children. So, with all of that, they grew up understanding or perceiving college and higher education as University of South Carolina.”
As for all the kids choosing to study journalism, Adrianne says that sort of came naturally.
“They used to write and produce sitcoms along with Live 5′s Raphael James’ daughter Jaydn,” Adrianne said. “I have sitcoms with these kids. And I used to tell my husband, we should send them to Disney or Nickelodeon because their stuff was really good. They would write the script, shoot, edit, and then act it out. Also, Morgan was writing books, children’s books. As soon as she started writing, she was writing books. So we have several stories she’s written that are in typing paper, folded together in staples.”
“And Erika was writing journals,” Adrianne said. “When Randy was in grad school at George Washington in D.C., she transcribed every trip we took up there. Every time we went to D.C. she wrote about it and journaled about the trip. So it was in their DNA.”
Randy and Adrianne both used to work behind the scenes at Live 5 and that’s where they met and got married.
Randy is a department head at Trident Technical College in the Film and Media Department, continuing to educate future media professionals.
The rest of the family works in public relations with agencies like the S.C Research Authority, Lowcountry Local First, and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments.
The newest grad is still trying to decide how he wants to make his mark in the world.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Work set to begin on a whopper of a warehouse in Summerville
Construction of the biggest speculative industrial project in the Charleston region kicks off this week with a groundbreaking event for the 1.1 million-square-foot development at Crossroads Logistics Center in Summerville.The site, near the Jedburg Road exit on Interstate 26, is being built out by a partnership between Citimark Realty and Pure Development. The Indianapolis companies formed Citimark Pure Charleston LLC to buy roughly 131 acres fronting I-26 for $8.75 m...
Construction of the biggest speculative industrial project in the Charleston region kicks off this week with a groundbreaking event for the 1.1 million-square-foot development at Crossroads Logistics Center in Summerville.
The site, near the Jedburg Road exit on Interstate 26, is being built out by a partnership between Citimark Realty and Pure Development. The Indianapolis companies formed Citimark Pure Charleston LLC to buy roughly 131 acres fronting I-26 for $8.75 million last year.
Their first building will eclipse by 10 percent the previous record for a local “spec” project — a 1 million-square-foot structure at the nearby Charleston Trade Center.
The Crossroads project is scheduled for completion by late 2022. Plans call for three more buildings to rise in two phases totaling an additional 1.53 million square feet at the Berkeley County site.
Wednesday’s groundbreaking will feature speakers from the State Ports Authority, operator of the Port of Charleston, as well as commercial real estate firm CBRE Inc., which is marketing the project.
The term speculative in this instance means that no tenants have been secured at the time construction begins.
While such projects continue to grow in size and scope, they still don’t approach the region’s biggest-single industrial property. That distinction belongs to the cavernous 3 million-square-foot import hub built just up I-26 in Dorchester County for retail giant Walmart.
The Crossroads project is part of a boom in speculative industrial-grade real estate deals in the Charleston area, particularly along the I-26 corridor from North Charleston to Ridgeville. Almost all of it is being driven by the need to store and sort goods that retailers are importing through Charleston.
Mike White, broker in charge of Daniel Island-based Charleston Industrial, said about 5.1 million square feet of “Class A” space is set to open by the end of this year. Most of that space will be snapped up before a certificate of occupancy is issued, he added.
“The conditions of a high demand and low volume of space available will continue,” White said.
CNN will feature Charleston in its upcoming fourth season of “The Wonder List with Bill Weir,” but it’s not looking to be yet another wonderful tourist piece.
The series is now part of the content catalog at CNN+, the cable network’s subscriber-based streaming service.
The four new shows will focus on “fascinating locations at a critical crossroads brought on by climate change,” according to a written statement last week.
The season kicks off April 21, on the eve of Earth Day.
Weir, who has been CNN’s climate correspondent for about a decade, will anchor reports from Montana, Greenland and Hawaii as well as coastal South Carolina.
In its statement, the network suggested that the Charleston episode will look at the “surging seas and frequent floods” that “batter one of America’s most storied cities and the critical reminders of its slave trade past.”
A North Charleston-based global textile manufacturer’s next stop in its 232-year journey is in the Lone Star State.
AstenJohnson, which makes specialty fabrics for industrial customers such as paper mill operators, recently picked Waco, Texas, for a new 220,000-square-foot plant that will employ 36 workers.
The $40 million factory is expected to open in 2023 and will make “nonwovens,” a widely used material formed by bonding synthetic fibers through either a chemical, mechanical or heating process.
In this case, the specialty textiles to be made in Waco will be sold to manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, filtration and piping industries, among others.
A local economic development group provided the 36-acre plant site, and the company qualified for $2 million in public financial assistance from the city and county, according to a report in the Waco Tribune-Herald.
“The long-term prospects for our nonwovens business are excellent,” CEO Kevin Frank said in a written statement. “Customer demand for our products has only been growing. This investment will allow us to satisfy the increasing demand and continue to offer more products and innovation.”
The global company expanded into the nonwoven sector when it acquired a Missouri-based manufacturer in 2014. It bought another plant a few years ago in New Hampshire.
AstenJohnson traces its corporate ancestry to a family-owned wire business that was started in 1790 in Manchester, England. It’s now headquartered on Corporate Road. Its only South Carolina plant is in Clinton.
Boeing South Carolina’s science-and-math-focused education program has learned that it’s reached a major milestone.
The manufacturer, which makes its 787 Dreamliner in North Charleston, announced last week that more than 1 million students had participated in DreamLearners, a STEM-heavy instructional outreach it launched about 10 years ago in the Palmetto State.
As part of the program, school kids have toured the Boeing South Carolina campus and have had the program come to them in their classrooms. During the COVID-19 pandemic, DreamLearners went virtual.
Students do a hands-on paper airplane activity and learn about careers in the core STEM elements of science, technology, engineering and math, as well as advanced manufacturing and aerospace.
More than 7,600 Boeing employees have volunteered to participate in DreamLearners, the company said.
Boeing celebrated hitting the seven-figure milestone last week at North Charleston Elementary School, not far from its 787 Dreamliner campus.
A Charleston-born business built from formal-wear feathers made famous by celebrities has fashioned a new formation to fete its decade-old creations.
Brackish, a bow-tie retailer that launched after groomsmen’s wedding gifts made from turkey feathers proved popular, is toasting its 10 years in business with a new neckwear adornment called “Cheers.”
The latest version features a turkey feather in the center, a nod to the original design. Its colors — blue, white, green and others — are meant to reflect the Palmetto State from the salty Atlantic to the rolling hills of the Upstate.
Owners Ben Ross and Jeff Plotner, friends from their college days at Wofford, say the commemorative and limited-edition tie “instantly invokes good times with family, friends and, in this case, feathers.”
Edwin Hughes figures he’s spent about half of his adult life at Charlotte Douglas International.
As a member of American Airlines’ Executive Platinum club, he is a frequent visitor to the big Queen City airport, which serves a major hub for the carrier.
Now he has a new place to spend his layovers. A passenger lounge concept that’s already available at Charleston International recently opened its doors at Charlotte Douglas.
The Airports Dimensions-operated Club CLT in Concourse A made its debut March 30. It’s open daily from 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and seats 105. Hughes, who lives in West Ashley, said it’s a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle at the North Carolina travel waystation that accommodated more than 43 million passengers in 2021.
“If you’ve got a long layover and you need to get some work done or just relax, it’s a great extra amenity,” said Hughes, who travels about 40 weeks out of the year. “If you fly out of Charleston, you’ll either have to go through Charlotte or Atlanta on most flights, so it’s nice to have this place to go if you’re an American flyer.”
Anyone can access the lounge with a $45 day pass. Club CLT is also available to Priority Pass members, a lounge access membership that starts at $99 a year. Customers in the lounge are limited to a three-hour maximum stay. Food and drink are complimentary with entry.
The Club concept also has outposts in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and 10 other U.S. airports. Club CHS at Charleston International opened in mid-2019.
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of The Post and Courier contributed to this report.
Sagebrook Home establishing operations in Berkeley County
$80 million investment creating 117 new jobs COLUMBIA, S.C. – ...
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Sagebrook Home, a global home décor brand, today announced plans to establish operations in Berkeley County. The company’s $80 million investment will create 117 new jobs.
Founded in 2015, Sagebrook Home’s portfolio includes over 10,000 products including furniture, accessories, wall art, garden decor, lighting and more. The company is a leader in delivery, fulfillment and drop shipping to customers worldwide.
Located at 574 Trade Center Parkway in Summerville, Sagebrook Home’s Berkeley County facility will serve as a 500,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art distribution center for the company’s home décor and wholesale operations.
Operations are expected to be online in May 2022. Individuals interested in joining the Sagebrook Home team should visit the company’s contact page.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has awarded a $100,000 Set-Aside grant to Berkeley County to assist with the costs of site preparation and building construction.
“As Sagebrook Home continues to grow, the decision to distribute from both the East and West Coasts seemed a natural evolution. With the rising cost of shipping, there was no better time to add bicoastal distribution. This new distribution center gives us the opportunity to implement the latest in technology and keep Sagebrook Home a force in the HOME category.” -Sagebrook Home Co-CEO Justin Kachan
“With its proximity to Interstate 26, Interstate 95 and the Port of Charleston, Berkeley County is the ideal place for a business to get their product to marketplaces all over the world. Today’s announcement by Sagebrook Home is a testament to our strong logistics network that helps make South Carolina the ideal destination for businesses.” -Gov. Henry McMaster
“Sagebrook Home’s decision to locate a new distribution facility in Berkeley County is reason to celebrate. This announcement speaks volumes to our state’s logistics advantages, infrastructure and business-friendly environment.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III
“SC Ports is thrilled to handle goods for Sagebrook’s first East Coast distribution center. This impressive home décor company will benefit from SC Ports’ creative supply chain solutions and expansive port infrastructure. Sagebrook’s new furniture distribution center builds on Charleston’s centrality to the furniture and home goods segment.” -SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome
“Berkeley County is proud to welcome Sagebrook Home to our community. Sagebrook Home’s $80 million investment will help provide more jobs and quality workforce opportunities for the hardworking people in our county. This industry commitment is proof that Berkeley County continues to shine as a bright beacon for industry growth.” -Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb
Summerville High’s robotics team attends world championship in Texas
Summerville High School’s robotics team, Team 3489, Category 5, took their robots and engineering prowess to the FIRST Robotics world championship from April 20-23 in Houston, Texas.FIRST Robotics is a national organization in which teams of high school students design their own robots to compete in field games. The competitions encourage teens’ participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects while also teaching them the business side of things.“It’s a lot of fun but also a lot of...
Summerville High School’s robotics team, Team 3489, Category 5, took their robots and engineering prowess to the FIRST Robotics world championship from April 20-23 in Houston, Texas.
FIRST Robotics is a national organization in which teams of high school students design their own robots to compete in field games. The competitions encourage teens’ participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects while also teaching them the business side of things.
“It’s a lot of fun but also a lot of work. Kids are really hands on with the different sub teams, whether it be mechanical, electrical, CAD (computer aided design), programing, all of these different areas that go into building the robot,” said Matt Marvin, mechatronics teacher and robotics mentor at SHS.
“We had two regional events. The first one was in Anderson, South Carolina and the second one was in Knoxville, Tennessee and so we won an award at the Anderson event,” he continued. “It was the Engineering Inspiration Award. That’s for long term spreading and promoting engineering and STEM in schools and the community.”
By winning that award, Marvin said, the team — which is made up of students from both SHS and Ashley Ridge High School — received an invitation to the world championship, as well as fees paid by NASA.
Every year begins a brand new competition and a brand new season. Students have six weeks to build a robot to compete. Right now, they are preparing for the off season. But soon students will be hard at work on a brand new robot.
“It really is an awesome thing for these kids,” said Marvin. “It’s not like us adults are coming in and micromanaging everything. This is a student-run team and it’s really impressive.”
The skills the team is learning can take them far in math and science fields, as well as business and marketing. They put in a lot of hours, often staying after school to work and coming in on weekends.
Building a robot in six weeks is no easy task. But not only do they build the robot, but they work on getting sponsors, grant writing and fundraising.
“This is my six or seventh year now,” said team member Svanthana Lingan, a sophomore at SHS. “I started in fifth grade, starting with literally LEGO robots, and I worked myself through that pipeline to get here. I got hooked in fifth grade.”
The 2022 robot is a reflection of the passion the students have for robotics. It shoots balls, can run autonomously and climb ladders.
There is a lot that goes into the building, and students have to be committed. For some students like freshman Matthew Logan Deason, who one day wants to design and build airplanes, it’s an obvious fit.
“My family, we’ve been a bit of a STEM kind of family. My dad works with planes and programming,” he said. “In fourth grade, I started doing the LEGO robotics and that was a lot of fun to me, so it kind of became a family thing where my little brother and my older brother got involved and we all kept doing it.”
The robotics team at Fort Dorchester High School also received recognition from FIRST, according to a Dorchester School District 2 press release. The team, called the Burning Magnetos Team 342, earned FIRST’s Blue Banner Woodie Flower’s championship banner and the Spirit Award, which celebrates “extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit through exceptional partnership and teamwork furthering the objectives of FIRST.”