From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on December 1, 2008 - 1:41pm - Add new comment

It has not escaped my attention that some major money is going to be invested in South Carolina.
American Titanium Works is going to build a titanium mini-mill in Laurens County. The Chicago steel company is going to spend $422 million on a plant that will employ 320 people.
As if that wasn’t enough, 40 engineering jobs are going to be created at Clemson. The company is setting up an engineering technical center at the university’s automotive research campus.

By: Tim Rausch on November 24, 2008 - 10:27am - Add new comment

Even the Downtown Development Authority of Augusta has been affected by the credit crunch. This quasi-governmental agency has $184,000 deposited with Bank of America and paid its bills on time, but its credit card was revoked.

The executive director relayed the message that the revocation was a credit decision.

No surprise, the DDA is switching banks for its checking and savings.

U.S. banks charged off more than 5 percent of all credit card loans in the second quarter, representing some $50 billion that they’ll likely never collect, according to the Federal Reserve.

By: Tim Rausch on November 17, 2008 - 8:55am - Add new comment

It is the time of the year where my sister and I start the song and dance about what to get our parents for Christmas. It is a question that usually provides a shrug as an answer, so the common fall-back is a gift card. Hey, it lets them pick what they want.

But there’s a new worry. Is the retailer going to be there right after Christmas? We need to choose a little wiser now in case the store goes bankrupt at the conclusion of the holiday season.

By: Tim Rausch on November 9, 2008 - 9:15pm - Add new comment

The document that will be used to drive discussion on Augusta and North Augusta’s downtown development over the next few decades is being written right now.

By: Tim Rausch on November 2, 2008 - 5:48pm - Add new comment

There are indications that Xethanol might not be leaving town. First of all, the company is no longer known as Xethanol.

The New York-based alternative ethanol company has turned itself into an Atlanta-based alternative energy technology company that now goes by the name of Global Energy Holdings Group.

It already has changed its stock exchange ticker. (For those of you who want to invest, it is GNH.)

By: Tim Rausch on October 30, 2008 - 9:52am - Add new comment

    When the meltdown began, the rules of the commercial development game changed.
    Mike Graybill, a principal with Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial, was talking about the changes in credit rules for commercial development.
    (The company is widely known for its work outside of Georgia. It is known around here for most recently putting together Evans Town Center and Evans Exchange, as well as the land where CarMax is going up along Interstate 20. It does a lot of its work outside of Georgia.)

By: Tim Rausch on October 19, 2008 - 8:30pm - Add new comment

We keep bidding farewell to furniture businesses. Furniture General in downtown Augusta has left us. Ashley Furniture in west Augusta was shut down more promptly by its Alpharetta, Ga., franchise owner.

Add Ivan Allen Workspace to the list, which decided a few weeks ago that it was going to run its Augusta operations out of Atlanta.

It won’t have a sales office or warehouse in Augusta by the end of the month.

By: Tim Rausch on October 17, 2008 - 4:49pm - Add new comment

A hamburger chain that has been eating up awards in the nation’s capital is going to have a home on Washington Road.
Troy Jordan, a vice president with the Augusta-based development firm of Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial, says Five Guys Burgers and Fries is one of the four tenants that will move into to a building under construction in front of the newly opened Kroger store at the corner of Washington Road and Alexander Drive.
Five Guys has 331 locations in 28 states nationwide.

By: Tim Rausch on October 15, 2008 - 12:38pm - Add new comment

Ivan Allen Workspace won’t have a sales office in Augusta by the end of the month. The company is going to run its operations out of the Atlanta headquarters instead.
We’ve had Ivan Allen in Augusta since 1954. Up until 2003, it was just an office furniture store, but then added some architectural and interior-design assistance.
The reason given for the store closing: “advances in technology, improvements in the distribution model and the ability to service all clients successfully out of the headquarters in Atlanta.”

By: Tim Rausch on October 13, 2008 - 10:39am - Add new comment

When Wachovia announced its quarterly earnings a few months ago and its was billions in the wrong direction, it was an eye-opener and produced some concerns in the community.
It is, after all, one of the nameplate companies here - though we wonder whether that nameplate on the side of the tall, black Broad Street tower will soon bear the name of Wells Fargo instead.
If you want to tell people about Augusta’s manufacturing base, the nameplate companies are the ones you bring up in that conversation to lift their eyebrows.


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