November 2023 News
After Closing N. Charleston Paper Mill, WestRock Co. to Be Sold for $11 Billion
WestRock Co. has agreed to be sold to Dublin-based Smurfit Kappa in an $11 billion deal, creating a global packaging giant. When combined, the two companies will become the second-largest packaging company globally, and will be known as Smurfit WestRock. The deal follows WestRock's recent closure of its North Charleston paper mill due to high operating costs and capital investment needs. This transaction “is expected to be finalized by mid-2024”. Read more here and here.
New 23-Acre State Park on James Island to be Completed 2024
A new 23-acre state park is being developed on the northeast waterfront of James Island adjacent to the Fort Johnson historic site. The land was purchased in 2021 for $23 million and includes the May Forest Convent, which will become an event venue. The park will offer “a day-use recreation and picnicking area with views of Charleston Harbor, the Ravenel Bridge, and Fort Sumter.” The park is set to officially open in the spring or summer of 2024, but has already launched its “soft opening phase” and is currently open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m with free admission. Read more here and here.
South Carolina Ports Set To Become The "Preferred Port" on the U.S. East Coast
Now that Charleston has the deepest harbor on the East Coast and after more than $3 billion in infrastructure investments, President and CEO Barbara Melvin has announced plans to modernize the North Charleston Terminal, adding at least 2 million TEUs of additional capacity to the Port of Charleston, as well as building port capacity and rail capabilities at the new Navy Base Intermodal Facility in North Charleston and developing an inner-harbor barge operation. According to a recent study, “the total economic impact of South Carolina Ports is $86.7 billion annually, which supports 260,020 jobs and $17.6 billion in labor income.” Read more here and here.
The 'Low Battery' Project in Downtown Charleston is Nearing its Final Phase
After years of construction, this project involves refurbishing sidewalks, planting new trees and greenery, adding grass areas, and installing park benches on and along the iconic seawall. It not only enhances the area's beauty but also serves as protection against rising sea levels and storm surges. While the ongoing construction has caused inconveniences, Charleston's Mayor John Tecklenburg believes the end result will be worth it, benefiting the city's resilience against sea-level rise and providing a beautiful and functional space for citizens to enjoy. The project, costing approximately $77 million, is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months. Read more here.