Elite Level Fire Damage Restoration in Allen, TX
Fire damage to your home is one of the most traumatizing, frightening tragedies a person can experience. This is especially true in apartment buildings and multifamily homes, where dozens if not hundreds of families are affected by fire and smoke damage. When a fire rips through an apartment building, the property damage can be catastrophic. But the damage caused by fires doesn't end once the flames have been extinguished. Victims are left wondering what happens next now that their belongings are destroyed. When will they have a roof over their again?
In these circumstances, prompt, purpose-driven fire damage restoration is key to reducing victims' financial and emotional strain.
The National Fire Protection Association states that a structure fire is reported every 65 seconds. When the fire alarm sounds, emergency responders answer the call for help with decisive action. But once the smoke clears, Atlas National Renovations' team of fire restoration experts step in to give hope to property managers, apartment tenants, and commercial property owners.
With decades of combined experience in disaster recovery, ANR understands the complexities associated with commercial and apartment building fires. We have helped the top multifamily groups in Texas recover their tenants' homes and belongings with care and compassion. If you're a property manager and you're still reeling from a fire disaster, know that we're here to help you too.
At Atlas National Renovations, our expert project managers and technicians play key roles in complicated fire restoration projects. We specialize in restoring Class A, B, and C properties like apartment complexes, high-rise buildings, multifamily buildings, mixed-use developments, large commercial properties, and more.
- Elite Level Fire Damage Restoration in Allen, TX
- Fire Damage Restoration for Apartment Buildings in Allen, TX
- Our Fire Damage Restoration Process
- Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
- Trustworthy Fire Damage Restoration for Businesses in Allen, TX
- Discover the Atlas DifferenceDiscover the Top Restoration in Allen, TX
If you're looking for a top-tier fire damage restoration company in Allen, look no further than ANR. We're the top pick when it comes to large, detailed fire restoration projects because we:
- Are a Trusted Partner in Restoration and Disaster Recovery
- Adhere to OSHA Standards and State & Federal Regulations
- Use the Latest Equipment & Remediation Techniques
- Offer Innovative Solutions to Detailed Problems
- Provide Seasoned Project Managers for Each Fire Restoration Project
- Give Clients Clear and Consistent Communication
- Work with Insurance Companies
- Have a Knowledgeable & Courteous Leadership Team
Fire Damage Restoration for Apartment Buildings in Allen, TX
Owners and managers of apartment complexes know that the safety of their tenants is a major responsibility. Unfortunately, nobody can completely control when apartment fires occur. Fires in apartments and multifamily buildings may start small, but they spread quickly, often destroying several living spaces. These frightening fires destroy prized heirlooms, important documents, and can even be fatal. However, the work is only beginning once the fire is put out and lives are saved.
In the aftermath of a disaster, figuring out the next steps is hard. During this difficult time, it's important to be prepared. As a property manager or owner, having a fire damage restoration company on your checklist of resources is crucial.
Unlike residential fires, apartment and multifamily building fires add several more layers of complexity and stress. In these situations, you deserve a restoration partner that you can trust without question, and that company is Atlas National Renovations.
With years of experience guiding our technicians and project managers, the ANS team responds quickly to your fire damage emergency. Using advanced protocols and state-of-the-art restoration equipment, we get to work quickly to repair and restore your commercial property to its pre-loss condition. While restoring your property, we always keep your tenant's care and comfort in mind.
Our fire restoration services in Allen are comprehensive and include the following:
- Rapid Mobilization and Response
- Overall Catastrophe Management
- Emergency Board-Up Services
- Debris Removal and Disposal
- Apartment Content Inventory and Cleaning
- Soot and Smoke Removal Services
- Water Extraction
- HVAC Cleaning and Decontamination
- Shoring Installment to Secure Buildings
- Interior & Exterior Renovations
Our Fire Damage Restoration Process
It's imperative to have someone with knowledge and experience on your side during a fire crisis.
When you call ANS, our fire restoration experts can help walk you through the steps you need to take once a fire occurs. This allows us to quickly gain control of the restoration project on your behalf. Once we have inspected your property, we'll provide a detailed report and scope of work for your fire damage restoration project.
ANS repairs all property damage caused by soot, smoke, and fire. Our IICRC-certified fire restoration teams construct the best plan to quickly get your building back to its pre-loss condition.
Because every property is different, each fire restoration project for apartment buildings is too. However, every fire disaster will have a similar process and will often include:
Your fire restoration process begins when you call our headquarters. Our specialist will ask you a series of questions about the fire event that occurred. That way, we can arrive on-site with the proper resources and equipment.
Fire Damage Assessment
Our fire damage restoration team will carefully inspect the entirety of your apartment complex, from building to building and room to room. We do so to determine the extent of your apartment's fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a comprehensive restoration plan.
First responders like firefighters must break windows and cut holes in roofs to slow fire growth and save lives. Once the fire is out, our team can get to work, boarding up holes and constructing temporary fencing around the property.
If there is water damage associated with your apartment fire, we'll remove most of the water immediately. From there, we use air movers and dehumidifiers to help complete the drying process.
Smoke and Soot Removal
Within minutes of a fire, walls, electronics, and other surfaces are covered in soot. Smoke and ash continue to cause damage to every inch of your apartment building. That's why ANS uses specialized equipment to remediate smoke damage and remove odors. This process is often labor-intensive and can take time, especially for large fire damage restoration needs.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Using a variety of restoration and cleaning techniques, our team will help clean restorable items and sanitize units for safety.
Getting your apartment buildings to their pre-fire conditions is our ultimate goal. Depending on the size and scope of the fire restoration job, minor repairs like painting, drywall replacement, and new carpet installation might be needed. You might also need major structural renovations like re-siding, re-roofing, new window installation, floor replacement, and more.
Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
If you're a property manager or own multifamily residential buildings, the thought of an apartment fire is terrifying. What starts as a small fire can quickly turn into a catastrophic event, with your entire complex up in flames. However, one of the best ways of preventing these fires is to know more about them.
Share these tips with tenants to help prevent deadly apartment fires:
Turn Off Heat Sources
Data shows that a large number of apartment fires begin with cooking. Often, these fires are caused by the ignition of common items like rags, curtains, wallpapers, and bags. Encourage tenants to keep their kitchens and cooking areas clear of combustibles. Never leave a stove unattended for long, and don't leave burners on by themselves. Unintentional mishaps like leaving heat sources on are common causes of fires that can be prevented with a little forethought.
Like heat sources, electrical malfunctions are also common causes of fires in apartment complexes. It's hard to prevent all electrical malfunctions, but you can tell tenants to avoid bad habits. Tips include never using extension cords as permanent solutions and never using a cable if the third prong is missing.
Appliances are a part of everyone's lives. They're also standard equipment in most apartment units. But if tenants don't take proper precautions, these useful tools can spark deadly fires.
Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
No matter how large or small, fires are nightmare scenarios for entrepreneurs with commercial properties. Fire damage can completely ruin storefronts and offices, leaving charred remains and burned-up files before firefighters arrive. To make matters worse, soot and smoke damage ruin your businesses' furniture, HVAC system, carpet, walls, and windows.
To eliminate health hazards and restore your business to its pre-fire condition, you need to bring in a team of professionals with years of experience in fire damage remediation. At ANR, we use commercial-grade equipment and cutting-edge tools to clean up the aftermath of your fire and rebuild your property. That way, you can get back to running your business and providing for your family.
Share these tips with tenants to help prevent deadly apartment fires:
Remove Smoke and Fire Damage
One of the most common causes of large commercial loss stems from smoke and fire damage. Of course, these disasters cause injuries and fatalities. But they also generate tremendous amounts of damage, rot, mold, and harm to structures. Not to mention the devastation that fire damage has to the appearance and livability of the facility. Fire damage restoration companies restore - and also prevent - the root cause of the fire. Electrical outlets, wires, and other fire-prone items will all be addressed to prevent a subsequent disaster.
The best fire damage restoration professionals are highly-trained, exceptionally skilled, and properly equipped to deal with every aspect of a commercial fire. From handling major renovations to taking care of the lingering effects of smoke damage, pro fire restoration companies take care of it for you. Hiring ANR means you'll be working with technicians who have the knowledge, tools, and materials to get the job done right the first time.
When you start the claim process with your businesses' insurance company, they'll ask whether you've hired a fire damage restoration company. That's because companies like Atlas prevent further damage from occurring and calculate an estimate of your total loss. You can submit this estimate to your insurance company, which may then provide you with resources to complete your company's disaster recovery mt-md-1
Fire damage restoration is a crucial, complex process that professionals must perform. With decades of expertise, unmatched restoration quality, and the scalability for any job, Atlas National Renovations is well-equipped to be your single source for commercial fire damage restoration in Allen, TX. We are specially equipped to make difficult restoration projects easy for owners.
When a fire disaster strikes, you need a timely response from a trustworthy team of experts. Don't settle for a mediocre fire restoration partner. Choose ANR to get the job done right the first time. Contact our office today to learn more about our fire restoration services in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.214-814-4300
Latest News in Allen, TX
Softball players reel in all-state honors
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Softball players from Berkeley, Hanahan and Timberland high schools landed all-state honors by the S.C. Coaches Association of Women’s Sports. All three teams captured region titles this spring. As press time, the Stags held a 1-0 lead in a best-of-three series against Ashley Ridge in the Lower State championship series. The Lower State winner plays the winner of the Upper State series – Fort Mill or Byrnes – for the Class AAAAA title. That series is scheduled for June 1, 3 and 5. The Lower State winner...
Softball players from Berkeley, Hanahan and Timberland high schools landed all-state honors by the S.C. Coaches Association of Women’s Sports.
All three teams captured region titles this spring.
As press time, the Stags held a 1-0 lead in a best-of-three series against Ashley Ridge in the Lower State championship series.
The Lower State winner plays the winner of the Upper State series – Fort Mill or Byrnes – for the Class AAAAA title. That series is scheduled for June 1, 3 and 5. The Lower State winner hosts Game 1 and the Upper State winner hosts Game 2. Game 3 would be at a neutral site.
Berkeley’s Class AAAAA all-state selections are junior P/OF Gracie DeCuir, sophomore P/OF Abby Prince and senior IF Jersey Silver.
Hanahan’s picks in Class AAA are senior IF Brooke Patterson and sophomore IF Brooke Jones. The Hawkettes advanced to a postseason district championship game before ending the season there.
In Class AA, Timberland’s all-state selections are sophomore OF Emily Dawson, junior C Abbi Harrawood and senior IF Hayley Gaskins. The Wolves finished the season in the district tournament.
Berkeley 6, Ashley Ridge 2
Southpaw Abby Prince pitched a three-hitter and drove in two runs at the plate to power Berkeley to a 6-2 victory over visiting Ashley Ridge in the opening game of the Class AAAAA Lower State championship series in softball on May 24.
Prince fanned five batters and allowed one earned run while infielders Jersey Silver and Hayden Richberg each collected two hits and scored twice for Berkeley (28-3).
The Stags trailed 1-0 before scoring three runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Ashley Ridge plated an unearned run in the top of the sixth to pull within 3-2 but Berkeley broke it open in the bottom of the frame.
Silver and Prince knocked in runs with singles and Savannah Ballentine drew a walk with the bases loaded for the Stags.
Former Knight earns academic honor
Former Stratford High School baseball standout Dylan Stewart, now a freshman second baseman for the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, received all-academic honors by the Big South Conference as part of the conference’s annual baseball awards.
Stewart posted a 3.90 grade-point average while majoring in accounting. He saw action in 36 games, drawing 29 starts.
Stewart claimed Big South Freshman of the Week recognition following the Bucs’ early season series win over Longwood after belting out a pair of triples to help CSU secure the win over the Lancers.
He finished tied atop the conference leaderboard in triples with four on the season while hitting his first home run of the year against USC Upstate on April 17.
Stewart finished with a .253 batting average and 12 RBIs.
Several upcoming covid-19 testing and vaccination sites available in Lowcountry region
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — DHEC has announced more upcoming covid-19 clinics and testing opportunities set up for the coming days. Events are planned in Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Allendale, Bamberg, Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. UPCOMING SCHEDULE: Monday June 21, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Goose Creek Health Center, 106 Westview Dr., Goose Creek Monday June 21, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Calhoun County Health and Human, 2837 Old Belleville Road, St. Matthew...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — DHEC has announced more upcoming covid-19 clinics and testing opportunities set up for the coming days.
Events are planned in Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Allendale, Bamberg, Orangeburg and Calhoun counties.
Monday June 21, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Goose Creek Health Center, 106 Westview Dr., Goose Creek
Monday June 21, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Calhoun County Health and Human, 2837 Old Belleville Road, St. Matthews
Tuesday June 22, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Charleston First Assembly, 2957 Savannah Highway, Charleston
Tuesday June 22, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Hampton County Health Department, 531 West Carolina Avenue, Varnville
Wednesday June 23, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Bamberg County Health Department, 370 Log Branch Road, Bamberg
Wednesday June 23, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Brewlab, 2200 Heriot Street, Charleston
Thursday June 24, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Orangeburg County Health Department, 1550 Carolina Avenue, Orangeburg
Friday June 25, 9:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m., Mt. Pleasant Health Clinic, 1189 Sweetgrass Basket Parkway- Suite 100, Mt. Pleasant
Friday June 25, 10:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m., Bluffton Health Clinic, 4819 Bluffton Parkway- Suite 132, Bluffton, SC
Friday June 25, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Cooper River Brewing, 2201 Mechanic Street B, Charleston
Friday June 25, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., Low Tide Brewing, 2863 Maybank Highway, Johns Island
Community Partner Vaccine Clinics
Some non-DHEC vaccine providers may ask for your insurance information or an identification card, but you are not required to provide these in order to receive your vaccine and cannot be turned away. To make your appointment with a non-DHEC clinic, register online with the provider or call the provider directly.
Monday, June 21, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Senior Recreation and Leisure Center, 220 Park Street, Neeses
Monday, June 21, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1785 Amelia Street, Orangeburg
Tuesday, June 22, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Orangeburg City Gym, 410 Broughton Street, Orangeburg
Tuesday, June 22, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 678 Olive Drive, Cordova
Wednesday, June 23, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Denmark Train Depot, 12 Baruch Street, Denmark
Wednesday, June 23, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Holly Hill Depot, 8603 Old State Road, Holly Hill
Thursday, June 24, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Orangeburg County Fairgrounds, 350 Magnolia Street, Orangeburg
Thursday, June 24, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Holly Hill Depot, 8603 Old State Road, Holly Hill
Friday, June 25, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Saint Mark United Methodist Church, 8502 North Road, North
Friday, June 25, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Union Baptist Church, 16494 Ehrhardt Road, Bamberg
Saturday, June 26, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Family Health Centers, Inc., Ness Sports Complex, 381 Rhoad Park Street, Bamberg
Free COVID-19 Testing
DHEC-sponsored testing is free and pain-free (oral or nasal swab). Find a free DHEC testing location near you at: scdhec.gov/gettested. Information for non-DHEC testing opportunities from community partners is available here: scdhec.gov/covid19testing.
There continues to be a high rate of COVID-19 disease transmission in communities across our state, according to DHEC. The CDC currently recommends these individuals to get tested for COVID-19.
People who have symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection.
Most people who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
oFully vaccinated people with no COVID-19 symptoms do not need to be tested following an exposure to someone with COVID-19.
oPeople who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
People who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor settings.
People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their healthcare provider.
Most current vaccine clinic information: scdhec.gov/vaxlocator
Most current testing site information: scdhec.gov/findatest
The Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines are currently available for people 18 and older, and the Pfizer vaccine is for ages 12 and up.
COVID-19 vaccinations are free. You won't pay deductibles, co-insurance, or co-payments. DHEC says walk-ins are welcome at vaccine events. Appointments can also be made by calling 866-365-8110.
Even as threat of COVID-19 lingers, SC residents look to a more relaxed summer
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Tired of COVID-19 dampening life in the 55-and-older community where he lives, Roger Dolida took to his golf cart to find out for himself whether the neighborhood had reached herd immunity. Over three weeks, he surveyed roughly 400 of his neighbors, asking them simply whether they were fully vaccinated against the virus. “I’d catch them washing their car, taking their dog for a walk,” he said. Dolida, who got his first dose in February, said he was careful not to pry about people’s reasons, and said ever...
Tired of COVID-19 dampening life in the 55-and-older community where he lives, Roger Dolida took to his golf cart to find out for himself whether the neighborhood had reached herd immunity. Over three weeks, he surveyed roughly 400 of his neighbors, asking them simply whether they were fully vaccinated against the virus.
“I’d catch them washing their car, taking their dog for a walk,” he said.
Dolida, who got his first dose in February, said he was careful not to pry about people’s reasons, and said everyone in the tight-knit community offered up their status willingly. He announced the results of his survey in a neighborhood Facebook group: 91 percent of residents are vaccinated. Cresswind loosened its restrictions not long after.
So, on an 89-degree day at the community in Summerville, people were floating in the community pool and sitting around card tables, mask-less, to enjoy a game of Hand and Foot.
The residents of Cresswind aren’t the only South Carolinians looking forward to a more relaxed summer than last.
People have good reason to be optimistic. Reports of deaths from COVID-19 have fallen to the lowest points since last spring. About 2,400 cases of the disease were confirmed in the state the week of May 15, compared to a devastatingly high 40,300 one January week. And, in perhaps its biggest shift yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said May 13 that fully vaccinated people can drop their masks almost entirely.
Yet the threat of COVID-19 lingers. Across South Carolina, just 37 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, leaving more than half of the state just as vulnerable as ever to infection.
Masking rules around the state are still varied. And though Gov. Henry McMaster ordered an end to mask mandates May 11, Richland County Council decided to keep its rules in place through at least the first week of June.
McMaster’s order extended to schools, where parents can choose to opt their children out of wearing masks. Dr. Allison Eckard, director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina, said she and her colleagues are “alarmed” by the number of families who have opted out of the requirements in the last weeks of school.
“As summer begins, many of our children will be engaged in summer camps, group events and other high-risk activities,” Eckard said during a May 24 press conference. “We therefore urge parents and event organizers to continue to take appropriate steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
Eckard remains concerned about the threat of MIS-C, an inflammatory disease that can stem from COVID-19 in children. The MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital has seen a slight uptick in the number of cases of the syndrome recently. Children under the age of 12 are the only group not currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Bainie Brunson, a James Island resident and mother of three girls ages 9, 6 and 2, had to cut her own working hours in half when her daughters needed to switch to virtual learning last year.
Brunson said she hated to send them back to in-person schooling before vaccines were widely available, and she was frustrated that some parents opted their children out of masks following the governor’s order. One of Brunson’s daughters has asthma, and the family has been religiously avoiding unnecessary risks. That will continue this summer, even as many adults change their behavior.
“I’m gonna keep them as close as I possibly can,” she said.
Brunson said the family has a pool, and she is considering activities her children can safely do at a distance, like tennis and horseback riding.
Dr. Brannon Traxler, director of public health for DHEC, said she couldn’t offer blanket advice to families with young children. Each family should judge the risks of traveling or attending large gatherings individually, she said, keeping in mind that masks are proven to protect children as young as 2 years old.
Travel isn’t a possibility at all for some South Carolina families. Besides her husband and two adult daughters, Michelle Matters’ family lives in Canada. Matters’ husband took a job at Michelin in 1998. The family now lives in Greenville, though they have made a trip back to their vacation home on Prince Edward Island every year until 2020, when restrictions on international travel began.
Matters said she and her family’s motivation for getting vaccinated was the hope it would be a ticket to safely travel back to Canada. But the border between Canada and the United States remains closed to non-essential travel, even to dual citizens like Matters and her husband.
“Our hearts would love to be seeing family because it’s been two years,” Matters said.
Instead, the family is considering a shorter road trip to North Carolina or Tennessee.
Prone to adventure and eager to break out of the COVID-19 slog, Kristin Miller Burrell and her family went on a wilderness competition show called “Survivalists,” which filmed in November in Moab, Utah, and airs in early July.
The whole family, who live in Greenville, was also eager to get vaccines, so much so that they drove to Atlanta in February to try to take part in a Moderna trial for adolescents. But on the day they got to Atlanta, the trial froze. They waited five hours before turning back.
Looking to this summer, Burrell said she and her husband had hoped they could travel internationally.
“We always want to expose our kids to the rest of the world,” Burrell said. “This summer, that’s not going to happen, because we couldn’t really plan anything due to the pandemic.”
They opted instead to rent a beach house, and are allowing each of their teenage daughters to invite friends. She remains worried about the variants of the virus.
Meanwhile, some summer programs have had to re-configure to accommodate the partial lifting of restrictions.
Camps at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry always sell out, and this year was no different. The waitlist is almost as long as there are spaces at its camps, said Nichole Myles, executive director of the museum.
“Families know that we are fully invested in their children,” Myles said.
But it has been a difficult year for the museum. The downtown attraction lost 57 percent of its operating budget and 40 percent of its staff. Because of space constraints, the museum is cutting back its hours and only offering camps during the week, while general admission is open on the weekends. Everyone will still have to wear masks, keeping to CDC guidance which recommends that schools and other places where kids gather indoors continue to implement universal masking, Myles said.
Myles said not all parents have taken to the continued masking requirement happily; the museum gets its fair share of angry emails, she said. But she added the museum has remained committed to giving kids early childhood learning experiences. Last summer, 450 children attended the summer camps, without a single incident, a track record Myles is proud of.
“We don’t have to give up everything,” she said. “Camp is still an amazing experience for young children.”
For some families, there is no need to limit themselves at all. Simpsonville residents Karen Callis, her husband and 16-year-old son are renting an RV in early June and taking U.S. Route 66, planning to hit national parks, major cities and see the West. Callis’ husband has been considering the trip ever since their son’s childhood obsession with the movie “Cars.” They had to postpone the plans last year due to COVID-19.
“We’re trying to be spontaneous as much as we can,” Callis said.
Settlement on the horizon for challenges to Long Savannah's wetland permits in Charleston
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Administrative challenges to the sprawling Long Savannah development have been dropped, and the builders and three environmental groups who opposed them seem to be headed toward a resolution. Long Savannah is a yearslong effort to place a mix of homes, businesses and conserved land at the edge of the city of Charleston in West Ashley. It comprises 3,000 acres with rights to construct 4,500 homes, and was ...
Administrative challenges to the sprawling Long Savannah development have been dropped, and the builders and three environmental groups who opposed them seem to be headed toward a resolution.
Long Savannah is a yearslong effort to place a mix of homes, businesses and conserved land at the edge of the city of Charleston in West Ashley. It comprises 3,000 acres with rights to construct 4,500 homes, and was originally held up as a “green” development, in part because roughly half the acreage is parkland.
Last year, state regulators at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control approved a permit that would have let developers destroy 200 acres of wetlands in the process. That was the permit that three groups, represented by two environmental law firms, had challenged.
The groups said then that developers needed to make more of an effort to avoid these sensitive areas, which provide valuable wildlife habitat and help soak up floodwaters. Opponents also pointed out the flooding problems that already exist in the area, which is drained by narrow Church Creek.
But now, challenges to the permits in the state’s Administrative Law Court, which reviews the decisions of state agencies, have been withdrawn, and a settlement is under discussion, said Mary Shahid, an attorney for the developers.
Early details were not available.
“We’re working with everybody on a settlement, but it’s not finalized yet, and we want to present it as a group, not individually,” Shahid said.
Lorraine Chow, a spokeswoman for the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, said in an email, “the parties are continuing to work towards a resolution.” SCELP is representing two of the challengers, Sierra Club and the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.
Catherine Wannamaker, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, said it’s likely the settlement would end not only challenges to state-approved permits, but also to a still-pending permit application to the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps manages a federal wetland protection program. SELC is representing Charleston Waterkeeper, the last group challenging the development.
It’s unclear exactly when a final agreement will be struck, but the case had been scheduled for trial in the ALC next week, before it was withdrawn.
Challenges ahead for Harry Lightsey, SC's commerce secretary nominee
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COLUMBIA — Gov. Henry McMaster’s pick to become the state’s next commerce secretary would lead an agency grappling with issues such as broadband-related disparities in economic development while facing increasing scrutiny over how it spends tax dollars. At a June 17 news conference at the Statehouse, McMaster introduced former telecom executive Harry Lightsey III as his nominee for the cabinet position responsible for attracting jobs and industry to the Palmetto State. Lightsey, whose nomination still needs to...
COLUMBIA — Gov. Henry McMaster’s pick to become the state’s next commerce secretary would lead an agency grappling with issues such as broadband-related disparities in economic development while facing increasing scrutiny over how it spends tax dollars.
At a June 17 news conference at the Statehouse, McMaster introduced former telecom executive Harry Lightsey III as his nominee for the cabinet position responsible for attracting jobs and industry to the Palmetto State.
Lightsey, whose nomination still needs to be confirmed by the Senate, would succeed Bobby Hitt, the longest-serving head of the S.C. Commerce Department who’s helped recruit $43 billion in business investment and 150,000 jobs during his decade-long tenure.
The governor touted Lightsey as the right pick to continue building on Hitt’s legacy, noting his extensive experience in the state, which includes stints as South Carolina president at BellSouth Telecommunications and Southeast president of AT&T. Most recently, he was a principal with Washington, D.C., business consulting group Hawksbill Advisers.
“Harry Lightsey has been a fixture in the South Carolina’s business community for many years, and I am confident that as our next secretary of commerce, he will keep South Carolina winning,” McMaster said.
In his opening remarks, Lightsey alluded to the long-running debate over transparency at the agency, casting it as a balance between public accountability and maintaining the state’s competitive edge.
“We must maintain the public’s trust in how their tax dollars and our state assets are used to incentivize economic development and we must do so without losing our state’s competitive position,” Harry M. Lightsey III said.
Some of the legislators who will be voting on Lightsey’s confirmation, especially state Sens. Dick Harpootlian, D-Columbia, and Wes Climer, R-Rock Hill, have pressed the agency to reveal more details about the deals they strike with companies to incentivize them to come to South Carolina and how well the companies live up to their commitments.
Asked whether he believed the agency should be more forthcoming about the incentive deals, Lightsey noted he is new to the job.
“You have my commitment to be as transparent as I can without sacrificing the definitive interests of the state and its citizens,” Lightsey said.
With a telecommunications background, Lightsey could also be well-positioned to build upon one of Hitt’s priorities by expanding high-speed internet service to rural areas. South Carolina ranks 31st nationally for access to broadband, according to federal data, and about half a million residents do not have access to high-speed, affordable internet. Hitt has said the lack of broadband access is one of the biggest hindrances to economic development in rural areas.
“I can tell you that getting broadband infrastructure into our state and throughout the rural areas of the state should be a top priority for all of us as we go forward, and I look forward to exploring the opportunities to do that with all of the stakeholders,” Lightsey said.
In addition to his work in telecommunications, Lightsey was a former member of the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Va., and was director of emerging technologies policy for General Motors. Lightsey’s father, Harry Lightsey Jr., was the former president of the College of Charleston, where the younger Lightsey has served as a trustee.
McMaster said Hitt’s “imprint on our state’s economy and progress has been immeasurable,” adding the former newspaper editor and BMW executive who will be retiring this fall has “solidified Team South Carolina’s global brand for automotive, aerospace and tire manufacturing and their international exports to name a few.”
Under Hitt’s leadership, Commerce has landed major investments from some of South Carolina’s best-known industries, including tiremakers Michelin and Bridgestone, commercial vehicle manufacturer Mercedes-Benz Vans, appliance industry leader Samsung and the $1.2 billion Volvo Cars campus in Berkeley County.
South Carolina’s automotive sector has grown to a $27 billion-a-year industry during Hitt’s tenure, and aerospace firms now contribute $28 billion annually to the state’s economy.
Hitt said he has known Lightsey for several decades and would remain available to help him as he takes on the new job at no expense to the state.
“This is not easy work, it’s not traditional work, but it’s work I know that Harry will fit into very well,” Hitt said.