May 24, 2013

SC business notebook, May 24

First Citizen bank rated top in SE; Mediterranean adding 30+ jobs in Mt. Pleasant; Atlanta firm awarded Horizon developm ent in Charleston

First Citizens rated tops in Southeast

Columbia’s First Citizens bank was rated highest in the Southeast in customer satisfaction in the latest J.D. Power and Associates survey, the bank said Thursday. The 2013 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study surveyed more than 50,000 retail banking customers evaluating multiple factors, such as product offerings and problem resolution. The bank serves 300,000 households in the Southeast region surveyed, which included South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. The bank rated highest in the areas of financial advice received, in-person service experience, problem prevention and account information clarity.

Mediterranean adding 30 jobs

The Mediterranean Shipping Company is adding 30 jobs at its location in Mount Pleasant. The shipping industry giant is investing almost $2 million in the process. The expansion includes new equipment for a data center and the purchase of new property to create a training center for the company’s workers and managers. Mediterranean shipping has had a facility in the state for two decades. Worldwide, the company operates almost 460 container vessels.

Atlanta firm to develop plan for Horizon

An Atlanta firm has been selected to develop the master plan for Charleston’s $1 billion Horizon development. The Horizon Development Foundation announced Thursday that Gateway Development Services Inc. has been selected to transform undeveloped land near the Ashley River. The 20 acres for the project is between the city’s medical complex and The Citadel. It is about half owned by the city and half by the Medical University of South Carolina. Most of the land is now is either undeveloped or used for parking. The plan envisions 2 million square feet of housing, retail space and space for businesses marketing applications derived from basic MUSC research. The other finalist to oversee the project was the Hughes Development Corp. of Greenville.

Hearing to settle port lawsuits set

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing to formally settle lawsuits challenging the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel. A tentative settlement was reached last month and U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel is slated to hold a hearing next Wednesday in Charleston. Environmental groups and a South Carolina agency sued last year, contending deepening the 32-mile shipping channel will dredge up toxic cadmium. Under the settlement, the Army Corps of Engineers would have to perform more mitigation, the Georgia Ports Authority would provide more than $25 million in conservation efforts and transfer 2,000 acres of salt marsh to South Carolina. The plaintiffs could go back to court if tests of equipment designed to replenish oxygen in the water do not work.

Kristy Eppley Rupon and The Associated Press contributed.

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