Port of Charleston

Declines in the housing industry and broad based weakness across all South Atlantic trade lanes drove container volume down throughout the region. Charleston posted 5% lower volume at FYE 2007 compared to last year. The port received $167 million in state funding for the new terminal access road and progress for the new Naval Base Terminal continues. The Port of Charleston’s export/import balance and high productivity rate render it well positioned for an economic upturn.

Demand for private terminal space with deep water access remains very strong. The 40-acre Chevron plant sold for $20,000,000 and the 100-acre Macalloy site sold for $33,000,000.

Manufacturing & Distribution

The positive impact of the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle manufacturing sector continues to be felt. Major suppliers including Pegasus Steel and Streit Armoring, USA absorbed a total of 350,000 SF during the year. Although Force Protection recently adjusted their sales forecasts downward, the new calculation reflects a business which has grown at a blistering pace over the past two years.

The Vought/ Alenia 787 Dreamliner production program has experienced mixed success. Although worldwide orders for the Dreamliner have exceeded expectations, the production delivery of the aircraft has fallen behind schedule. GE teamed up with SKF Engineering to form a joint venture called Venture Aerobearings to produce high precision steel bearings in the 127,000 SF spec building at Palmetto Commerce Park. Additional suppliers for the Dreamliner production facility should absorb additional industrial space in 2008.

Announced expansions include Dupont’s $500 million expansion to ramp up production of Kevlar vests, Weber Automotive Corporation’s $10 million expansion to meet the demand for its specialized engine parts and Robert Boshe Corporation’s $10 million expansion of their automotive brake production facility.

Jones Apparel Group’s distribution facility laid off the bulk of its workforce and is currently subleasing its two 300,000 SF buildings on North Rhett Ave.

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