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By Brian Walsh Buyer's Agent | Agent in South of Broad, Char...
  • The 2014 Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the U.S.

    Posted Under: General Area in Charleston, Market Conditions in Charleston, Home Buying in Charleston  |  August 4, 2014 1:43 PM  |  37 views  |  No comments
    We did it again!!!!

    http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/08/friendliest-and-unfriendliest-cities-in-us_slideshow_1--Charleston--South-Carolina_10

  • Consumers Remain Uncertain About Economy

    Posted Under: General Area in Mount Pleasant  |  November 29, 2013 10:04 AM  |  258 views  |  No comments

    After taking a sharp dive in October, consumer confidence continued to decline at a more moderate pace in November, indicating the level of uncertainty that still grips the country.

    The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped two points to 70.4 in the most recent reading, the company reported. The decline follows a more substantial decrease in October stemming from the partial federal government shutdown.

    Both index subcomponents took a hit as consumers presented mixed responses on the economy. The Present Situation Index, a measure of Americans’ perceptions of current economic conditions, edged down to 72.0 from October’s 72.6. Meanwhile, the Expectations Index, a measure gauging projections six months from now, decreased more significantly to 69.3 from 72.2.

    “Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened, while economic conditions had slowed,” explained Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “However, these sentiments did not carry over into the short-term outlook. When looking ahead six months, consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects, but remain neutral about economic conditions.”

    According to the Conference Board’s survey, the share of consumers claiming current business conditions are “good” increased slightly to 19.9 percent from October’s 19.5 percent, while those claiming conditions are “bad” increased to 25.2 percent from 23.0 percent.

    Appraisals of the job market were little changed from October. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” ticked up to 11.8 percent from 11.6 percent, and those saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 34.0 percent from 34.9 percent.

    For the next six months, those expecting business conditions to improve increased slightly to 16.6 percent, while those expecting conditions to worsen decreased to 16.8 percent.

    The consumer outlook for the labor market was more pessimistic. The number of consumers anticipating more jobs in the coming months fell more than 3 percentage points to 12.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased slightly to 21.7 percent. At the same time, fewer consumers expect their incomes to increase (14.9 percent), while more anticipate a decline in income (15.9 percent).

    by: Tory Barringer

  • Charleston to issue call for proposals for city-wide bike sharing program

    Posted Under: General Area in Isle of Palms  |  November 1, 2013 2:27 PM  |  183 views  |  No comments

    Charleston Moves sees "terrific" reaction to demos over the weekend

    Posted by Sam Spence on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Bcycle's Ben Kunde demos the company's docking station - SAM SPENCE
    • Sam Spence
    • Bcycle's Ben Kunde demos the company's docking station

    Next fall, downtown residents may have a new way to pedal their way around the city, and they can forget that U-bolt lock. Later this month, Charleston planning officials say they will issue a request for proposals (RFP), asking groups interested in building and maintaining a city-sanctioned bike sharing program to submit detailed information on what they propose.

    City officials are staying tight-lipped about details on what requirements the RFP will lay out, but that hasn't stopped buzz from building around what the Holy City would look like peppered with bike share base stations. The city has been looking at the idea of a bike sharing program for the past three years, Charleston City Planner Philip Overcash says, but interest has really grown over the last year, "I know that there are multiple groups interested in the opportunity for a bike share in Charleston."

    Charleston isn't the only place where the idea has taken off. In cities like Washington, D.C. and New York, massive city-wide bike sharing programs are already popular ways of navigating the urban landscape with both tourists and locals. Customers can rent bikes by the day or sign up with a long-term membership. Both options allow riders to pick up and drop off bikes at stations across the city at a set price.

    Once the city issues the RFP, Overcash says the city hopes to gather proposals over the next 60 days. As far as scale, funding model, and operational specifics, that's up to the individual applicants.

    One local group that says it plans to respond to the RFP is local bike advocacy group Charleston Moves. Don Sparks, the group's founder, says Charleston is a prime candidate for a bike sharing program, "It's a shame we haven't gotten one yet."

    Sparks says he knows of as many as four other entities who have also expressed intentions of applying, but like city officials, Charleston Moves isn't saying who else may send back a proposal to the city.

    As part of the process of preparing to apply, Sparks says Charleston Moves has conducted focus groups and identified 20 potential sites below the Crosstown Expressway, each of which would hold 10 bikes. Based on the success of the program, the initial 200 bike program could be later scaled out to include additional stations off the peninsula and into North Charleston.

    Sparks says he's not discouraged by any friction from preservationists looking to maintain the antebellum charm of the lower peninsula, calling any opposition "a red herring for guys who think Charleston should be buggy whips and hoop skirts."

    "I can't imagine it not doing great," says Sparks, "I could easily see 40-50 stations on the peninsula."

    Charleston Moves says its initial estimates put the annual cost of implementing and maintaining the 200-bike program at $1.2 million, with expectations that the program will cover its costs in the first year.

    "It's not going to be cheap," says Charleston Moves executive director Tom Bradford. Both Bradford and Sparks emphasize that Charleston Moves is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, and that they're not getting into the program for the cash. If chosen, the group says an independent division would be tasked with the day to day operation of the program, most likely in partnership with a third-party to produce and maintain the system's infrastructure.

    "We've got deep roots here, and we're confident that we'll put together a strong proposal, Sparks says. "Whether we do it or not, we're interested in having a strong bike sharing program in Charleston."

    In anticipation of the RFP, Bcycle, a national contractor that runs programs in cities from Madison, WI to Spartanburg, S.C., took a trip to Charleston last weekend to demo their system in a parking lot just off lower King Street. Bradford called the reaction to the demos "terrific," and said they were turning excited people away all day who had hoped to take the bikes for a spin, "we had to tell them it was just a demo."

    The idea of bike sharing not new to Charleston. An informal "yellow bike" program in 1997 set up bikes around the city for communal use got some traction, but, eventually the bikes began disappearing from the streets. The College of Charleston is also running a pilot program right now where cyclists can check out bikes from the Stern Student Center.

    Projections on the project's timeline differ depending on who you ask, but once a proposal is chosen and the details are ironed out, city officials have a realistic goal of having bikes ready to rent this time next year.

  • Charleston to issue call for proposals for city-wide bike sharing program

    Posted Under: General Area in Mount Pleasant, In My Neighborhood in Mount Pleasant  |  November 1, 2013 2:27 PM  |  197 views  |  1 comment

    Charleston Moves sees "terrific" reaction to demos over the weekend

    Posted by Sam Spence on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Bcycle's Ben Kunde demos the company's docking station - SAM SPENCE
    • Sam Spence
    • Bcycle's Ben Kunde demos the company's docking station

    Next fall, downtown residents may have a new way to pedal their way around the city, and they can forget that U-bolt lock. Later this month, Charleston planning officials say they will issue a request for proposals (RFP), asking groups interested in building and maintaining a city-sanctioned bike sharing program to submit detailed information on what they propose.

    City officials are staying tight-lipped about details on what requirements the RFP will lay out, but that hasn't stopped buzz from building around what the Holy City would look like peppered with bike share base stations. The city has been looking at the idea of a bike sharing program for the past three years, Charleston City Planner Philip Overcash says, but interest has really grown over the last year, "I know that there are multiple groups interested in the opportunity for a bike share in Charleston."

    Charleston isn't the only place where the idea has taken off. In cities like Washington, D.C. and New York, massive city-wide bike sharing programs are already popular ways of navigating the urban landscape with both tourists and locals. Customers can rent bikes by the day or sign up with a long-term membership. Both options allow riders to pick up and drop off bikes at stations across the city at a set price.

    Once the city issues the RFP, Overcash says the city hopes to gather proposals over the next 60 days. As far as scale, funding model, and operational specifics, that's up to the individual applicants.

    One local group that says it plans to respond to the RFP is local bike advocacy group Charleston Moves. Don Sparks, the group's founder, says Charleston is a prime candidate for a bike sharing program, "It's a shame we haven't gotten one yet."

    Sparks says he knows of as many as four other entities who have also expressed intentions of applying, but like city officials, Charleston Moves isn't saying who else may send back a proposal to the city.

    As part of the process of preparing to apply, Sparks says Charleston Moves has conducted focus groups and identified 20 potential sites below the Crosstown Expressway, each of which would hold 10 bikes. Based on the success of the program, the initial 200 bike program could be later scaled out to include additional stations off the peninsula and into North Charleston.

    Sparks says he's not discouraged by any friction from preservationists looking to maintain the antebellum charm of the lower peninsula, calling any opposition "a red herring for guys who think Charleston should be buggy whips and hoop skirts."

    "I can't imagine it not doing great," says Sparks, "I could easily see 40-50 stations on the peninsula."

    Charleston Moves says its initial estimates put the annual cost of implementing and maintaining the 200-bike program at $1.2 million, with expectations that the program will cover its costs in the first year.

    "It's not going to be cheap," says Charleston Moves executive director Tom Bradford. Both Bradford and Sparks emphasize that Charleston Moves is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, and that they're not getting into the program for the cash. If chosen, the group says an independent division would be tasked with the day to day operation of the program, most likely in partnership with a third-party to produce and maintain the system's infrastructure.

    "We've got deep roots here, and we're confident that we'll put together a strong proposal, Sparks says. "Whether we do it or not, we're interested in having a strong bike sharing program in Charleston."

    In anticipation of the RFP, Bcycle, a national contractor that runs programs in cities from Madison, WI to Spartanburg, S.C., took a trip to Charleston last weekend to demo their system in a parking lot just off lower King Street. Bradford called the reaction to the demos "terrific," and said they were turning excited people away all day who had hoped to take the bikes for a spin, "we had to tell them it was just a demo."

    The idea of bike sharing not new to Charleston. An informal "yellow bike" program in 1997 set up bikes around the city for communal use got some traction, but, eventually the bikes began disappearing from the streets. The College of Charleston is also running a pilot program right now where cyclists can check out bikes from the Stern Student Center.

    Projections on the project's timeline differ depending on who you ask, but once a proposal is chosen and the details are ironed out, city officials have a realistic goal of having bikes ready to rent this time next year.

  • HGTV to feed America’s insatiable appetite for real estate reality TV with 3 new shows

    Posted Under: General Area in Charleston  |  October 17, 2013 9:13 AM  |  129 views  |  No comments

    HGTV to feed America’s insatiable appetite for real estate reality TV with 3 new shows

    share this     
    Oct 15, 2013

    HGTV knows that after a long day showing houses or building listing websites or apps or whatever the heck it is you do that brings you to Inman.com, that there’s nothing you’d rather do than flop down on the couch and watch some reality shows about flipping houses.

    The three new shows the network is launching are somewhat self-explanatory: “Flip It to Win It,” “Rent or Buy,” and “Fixer Upper,” the Hollywood Reporter reports. And fans of “Flip or Flop” (there are apparently 9 million of you ages 25 to 54) will be thrilled to learn HGTV has ordered up 13 more episodes. Source: hollywoodreporter.com

    - See more at: http://www.inman.com/wire/hgtv-to-feed-americas-insatiable-appetite-for-real-estate-reality-tv-with-3-new-shows/#sthash.maLyEv6G.dpuf

  • Charleston gets No. 1 city pick for third year in a row

    Posted Under: General Area in Charleston, Home Buying in Charleston  |  October 15, 2013 8:20 AM  |  157 views  |  No comments

    Holy City clutches the threepeat from Condé Nast Traveler

    Posted by Paul Bowers on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM


    The readers of Condé Nast Traveler have voted Charleston the No. 1 city in the United States for the third year in a row, putting the city ahead of No. 2 Santa Fe, N.M., and No. 3 San Francisco, Calif.

    In this year's Readers' Choice Awards, readers praised the Holy City's "sand, sun, history, good food," and "insanely nice" locals. The next Southern city on the Top 10 list is No. 7 New Orleans, La., followed by No. 9 Savannah, Ga.

    The Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau celebrated the news with a YouTube video featuring appearances by Charleston Grill Executive Chef Michelle Weaver, former American Idol contestant (and 2012 City Paper Music Awards Singer of the Year) Elise Testone, and a whole lot of locals throwing up the number three like it was a gang sign. Go ahead on, Charleston.


    Tags: Condé Nast Traveler, We're No. 1, award fatigue, Elise Testone, tourism, Video, Image

  • Judge tosses permit for SC cruise terminal

    Posted Under: General Area in Mount Pleasant, In My Neighborhood in Mount Pleasant  |  September 12, 2013 10:35 AM  |  306 views  |  No comments

    CHARLESTON, South Carolina — A judge has tossed out a federal permit for a proposed $35 million cruise terminal in Charleston, saying the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately review the project impacts.

    The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel is a victory for neighborhood and preservation groups opposed to Charleston's expanded cruise industry.

    Those groups sued saying the Corps needed to do a more extensive review of impacts on the environment and the city's historic district. The Corps said that installing five clusters of pilings beneath a building already used for maritime purposed would have little impact.

    But Gergel says the analysis was flawed by limiting it to installing piers. He says he's issuing an order sending the permit back to the Corps for a wider review.

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