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State ranked high for doing business

by Matthew Clark

According to a development magazine, South Carolina ranks second overall for doing business.

In its 2016 Top States for Doing Business, Area Development – a quarterly magazine aimed at site consultants and other industry executives – said the state rated high because of several factors including incentives, government, and the state’s permitting process.

South Carolina was second to Georgia which, for the third year in a row, claimed the top spot in the magazine’s list. The magazine said Georgia rated the highest in six of the 10 categories it uses to determine the overall ranking. The magazine said Georgia rated highest in the categories of responsive state government and workforce development programs.

Regionally, the Southeast claimed nine of the top 20 spots in the rankings. Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and Mississippi joined Georgia and South Carolina in the top 10. Texas and Indiana were the only states in the top 10 that were not in the region.

South Carolina was ranked No. 2 in cooperative and responsive state government – behind top-ranked Georgia – and third behind Indiana and Ohio for most improved economic development policies. The magazine cited the state’s manufacturing sector as a “powerhouse and an even bigger economic development winner.”

Lummus said the Upstate has benefitted from the attributes listed by Area Development as the region has 41 companies who have announced more than $761 million in capital investment in 2016. Those announcements have led to the creation of more than 3,500 new jobs. Lummus said that, of the 41 companies announcing new capital investment this year, 16 were companies already in the Upstate while the remaining 25 were new.

Demand For Small Homes Remains Big

by Abe Hardesty



The appetite for moderately priced homes remains high in the western corner of Upstate South Carolina. 

According to the August report from the Western Upstate Association of Realtors, homes priced between $100,000 and $150,000 sold quickest - 80 days in August. Homes priced above $300,000 sold slowest, 120 days. 

The Number of homes sold in the area (Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties) in August was 510, a 21.4 increase over the same month in 2015. The median salaries price rose by a healthy 6 percent, from $157,574 a year ago to $167,000. Home sellers received an average of 95.7 percent of the asking price. 

But the lack of homes in the fast-selling price range remains an industry concern for the long term.   





Housing construction expert foresees steady growth for Anderson

by Abe Hardesty


Home construction in Anderson County will continue its trend of steadily increasing since 2011, but likely at a slower pace next year, housing market analyst Dale Akins told members of the Homebuilders Association of Anderson on Tuesday.

Akins, founder and president of The Market Edge, said he anticipates a 10.1 percent increase in Anderson home construction next year.

The forecast is a summary of various factors — including employment numbers, national economic indicators, population increase, and consumer optimism.

While Akins calls the Anderson economic picture "very, very healthy" as compared to many areas of the country, he doesn't expect to see the robust continued growth of recent years.

Housing permits in the first half of 2016 were 22 percent higher than in 2015 — a bump he links to an election year — and 2015 was 13 percent higher than the previous year.

In the first six months of 2016, 441 building permits for single-family housing were issued in Anderson County, 83 more than at this time in 2015.

The number permits in the county has soared from 217 in 2011 to 414 in 214 in 2012, 531 in 2013, 692 in 2014, and 780 a year ago. That reflects a general trend in the Upstate, where the number of building permits in eight westernmost counties is 19 percent higher than a year ago.

Akins, a Knoxville resident, is much more confident in the Upstate and Anderson economy than the rest of the nation.


IMG_20160728 …: Representatives from area Publix stores join Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County staff and volunteers raise the first wall of the Publix-sponsored home in Anderson.

In the fall of 2015, Publix Super Markets charities donated $4 million to Habitat for Humanity Affiliates across its markets. Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County was one of the lucky recipients of a $75,000 donation, a complete home sponsorship.

The building of that home began with a special wall raising on July 28 with the future homeowner, Habitat staff and volunteers, the founder of the Anderson County Habitat for Humanity affiliate and representatives from Publix. Over the next several weeks, volunteers from area Publix stores joined them to help build this home.

The home is in an Anderson subdivision where Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County is blessed to have been donated several lots. They began building in the neighborhood last fall with the help of the Clemson Tigers football team, and they are nearing completion on the third home there. The Publix home will be the fourth Habitat home in the neighborhood, and the 62nd home Habitat Anderson has built in the 30 years since its founding in 1986.

As they strive to provide decent, affordable housing, they find that building in one neighborhood is not only cost effective from a construction standpoint, but it also creates a community of people with a shared experience who can live and grow together as they build strength, stability and self-reliance through the long-lasting impact of homeownership.


Boom Times: South Carolina expected to outpace US economy

by Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A new report suggests the Port of Charleston and booming development along the Interstate 85 corridor should mean the South Carolina economy will outpace the national economy next year.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports ( ) the analysis from Wells Fargo Securities suggests that the state's economy should grow about 3.8 percent during 2017. The national economy is predicted to grow about 2.1 percent.

The report predicts that South Carolina businesses will add another 110,000 jobs by the end of 2017. The report notes that manufacturing employment jumped 6 percent in the Charleston area over the past year, accounting for 1,400 new jobs.

The report said that the widening of the Panama Canal and the state's inland port in Greer should spur demand for both warehouse and industrial space.

Earle Street Kitchen & Bar to open second Anderson location

by Nikie Mayo


Earle Street Kitchen & Bar, a popular restaurant in downtown Anderson, is expected to open a second location next month inside the Club at Brookstone.

The Club at Brookstone is a golf course development in Anderson County, about 1.5 miles from Interstate 85 Exit 27. The restaurant, to be called Earle Street at Brookstone, is expected to open inside the property's clubhouse.

Many favorites from Earle Street's downtown location will be on the menu at the clubhouse. Those offerings include pork ribeye, filet mignon, chicken and waffles, meatloaf, and a shrimp and grits dish.

The new restaurant is part of a multiphase, multimillion-dollar renovation to The Club at Brookstone.

Upgrades to the golf course at The Club at Brookstone began in late May. The next phase of renovations calls for a new pool complex. Other planned projects include a fitness center, a corporate boardroom and a cabana bar.​

South Carolina unemployment hits 15-year low

by Amanda Coyne

South Carolina's unemployment hit a 15-year low in June. The state's unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent from the 5.6 percent the previous month. 

That's the lowest it's been since July 2001. The net increase of employed people in the state rose by 109  to about 2.2 million.

Gov. Nikki Haley praised the numbers as evidence of the state's success.

"Great things are happening in our state. Thanks to the hard work of our employers, employees and Team South Carolina, we are able to celebrate 15 year record low unemployment rate, but we aren't finished, "Haley said. "(This recent) announcement is all the motivation we need to stay focused on things like workforce training, tax relief and investments in our so we can keep the momentum going."

The number of people  in the unemployed workforce decreased by "nearly 4,270, " to 125,591, according to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, but the labor force decreased by 4,161 people. When the labor force decreases, it means people have stopped looking work in that market.

Route through Anderson favored for proposed high-speed rail

by Terri's Team

MYKAL McELDOWNEY/ Greenville News Riders board an Amtrak train at the Greenville Amtrak Station early on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

A Key study that cold set plans for a high-speed rail through the Upstate is expected to conclude in 2017, but whether that rail line would pass through Anderson or Greenville is not certain. 

Three routes are being considered by the Georgia Department of Transportation for a high-speed rail that would go from Atlanta to Charlotte, cutting through the Upstate. Two routes - the I-85 route and Southern Crescent route - would go through Greenville, according to maps presented at the Global South Metro Exchange on Thursday. 

However, the Greenfield line, which would go through  Anderson but bypass the city of Greenville, is the current front runner, according to Stanley Mack, rail programming manager for the intermodal division of the Georgia Department of Transportation.  

"The data right now is leaning toward the Greenfield," Meck said.

The Greenfield route would require the most new infrastructure, but would allow for speeds up to 220 mph, Meck said. A chart presented showed the I-85 route would have potential top speeds between 125 and 220 mph, but one plan for the Southern Crescent route would be limited to a top speed of 79 mph due to proximity to car traffic. 

No final decisions about which route to pursue have been made. 



By Amanda Coyne, The Greenville News



Oyster bar coming to downtown Anderson

by Terri's Team

Shannon Todd of Anderson walks her dog Roxie by the future business location of a Shucks Oyster Bar (right space) building, with a permit for work by Glenn Construction in the window at 315 North Main Street in downtown Anderson.

The first oyster bar in downtown Anderson is expected to open in November. 

Shucks Oyster Bar will open at 315 N. Main St., next to Growler Haus craft beer bar. 

Owner Steve McCuen said Shucks Oyster Bar will offer raw, steamed and broiled oysters, as well as a full bar. Its menu also will include clams, crab legs, scallops, shrimp and low country boil.

At its meeting Monday night, the Anderson City Council will consider a staff recommendation calling for Shucks Oyster Bar to receive a $37,400 business-assistance grant for interior improvements. the restaurant also will receive a $1,061 grant to help par for a new facade.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate rises to 3.45 percent

by Terri's Team

WASHINGTON (AP) - Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged higher this week, remaining near historically low levels as a continued enticement to prospective homebuyers.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.45 percent from 3.42 percent last week. The average rate is down sharply from 4.04 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 2.75 percent from 2.72 percent last week.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage remained at 0.5 point this week. The fee for a 15-year loan also was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year mortgages averaged 2.78 percent, up from 2.76 percent last week. The fee rose to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 143

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