Local & State | Coast
CHARLESTON -- A partner in the financially crippled venture that had been developing the Carolina Park project lost a bid to halt a sale of the 1,200-acre Mount Pleasant tract approved for more than 1,400 homes. In a terse ruling, U.S. District Court Judge David Norton denied Republic-Charleston LLC’s request for an order that would have essentially scuttled the foreclosure auction set for Tuesday. The decision came after several hours of arguments this week that highlighted bitter divisions between Fairfax, Va.-based Republic-Charleston and its local partner in the project, MDC of Charleston LLC. The two companies each control a 50 percent stake in the developer.
First Federal parent’s loss eases
NORTH CHARLESTON -- The owner of First Federal said it expects to post a third-quarter loss of between $11 million and $13 million when it releases earnings later this month, an improvement from the previous quarter, when it lost $19.1 million. North Charleston-based First Financial Holdings Inc. also said it expects to set aside between $34 million and $38 million to cover potential loan losses for the three months that ended June 30.
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Lennar buys 175 acres to build homes
CHARLESTON -- Lennar Corp. has purchased 175 acres in the expanding Cane Bay Plantation neighborhood in Berkeley County, a bullish deal that marks one of the largest local land purchases by a home builder so far this year. The builder plans to construct a yet-unnamed neighborhood of single-family homes, despite a glut of existing homes and unsettled economic concerns. Bob Hilliard, division president, said Lennar has made contrarian investments before in Charleston: “We were buying land in 2009, and we feel like the market has done nothing but improve.”
New buyer found for car dealerships
CHARLESTON -- Gene Reed has found a new buyer with a familiar name for his two Charleston-area dealerships. Charlotte-based Hendrick Automotive Group will buy Gene Reed Toyota & Scion in North Charleston and Lexus of Charleston in West Ashley for more than $80 million, Reed said. Reed said last month that he would sell the two dealerships to Houston-based Group 1 Automotive for $70 million, but that sale hit a snag last week when Toyota, which owns both car brands, filed a lawsuit to block the proposed transaction. According to Toyota’s lawsuit, Group 1 is contractually ineligible to purchase additional dealerships because its current operations do not meet all performance criteria.
Nation & World
Stocks end week on high note
Stocks ended a big week with modest gains Friday after China renewed Google’s license to operate in the country and traders awaited earnings reports due next week. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59 points to push its gain for the week to 5.3 percent. Broader indexes posted bigger gains. News on the economy wasn’t as upbeat. Inventories held by wholesalers rose in May for a fifth straight month though sales dropped for the first time in more than a year. Traders often avoid making big bets just before earnings releases because the reports provide a good picture of how companies are performing.
Wendy’s introducing new salads
Wendy’s is introducing a line of new salads such as Apple Pecan Chicken and BLT Cobb as the fast-food chain tailors its sales pitch to focus on “real” ingredients to appeal to foodies.
The (Charleston) Post and Courier and The Associated Press contributed.