Vape Shop in Jedburg, SC | #1 Smoke/Vape Store | Smape Shop

10150 Dorchester Rd Suite 214 Summerville, SC 29485

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Vape Shop in Jedburg, SC

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Your Go-To Vape Shop in Jedburg, SC

Welcome to The Smape Shop, where the worlds of smoking and vaping come together to give you the best buzz in the Lowcountry! As a locally owned smoke shop in Jedburg, we have built our reputation on sourcing the finest smoking accessories and vaping products in the industry. As experts in our trade, our goal is to give you the very best vape and smoke shop experience in South Carolina. That way, you leave feeling happy, informed, and excited about your new purchase. It doesn’t matter if you’re in town for the weekend or we see you regularly. Our customers receive the same personalized, boutique service every time they walk through the front door.

Our loyal customers keep coming back to the Smape Shop because we offer the following services:

  • Free Shipping – Yes, you read that right. Buy a product from the Smape Shop, and shipping is on us!
  • Low Prices – We will beat the price on any listed competitive product in South Carolina.
  • Warranties – All manufacturer warranties are guaranteed when you purchase a product from the Smape Shop.
  • Easy Returns – All Smape Shop products are guaranteed returnable within 30 days of your purchase if you experience a manufacturer defect.
  • Easy Shopping – Our team of friendly, knowledgeable vape and smoke experts makes your life easy and irie. Have a question? We’ve got an answer for you.
  • User Services – We make it a priority to educate all of our customers on how to use our products.

At the end of the day, we know that life is hard. We’re here to make it more bearable, one puff at a time.

What is Vaping?

Thirty years ago, the idea of an electronic cigarette seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie. Enjoy nicotine without having to burn tobacco? That’s nonsense!

Today, vaping is one of the most popular ways to “smoke,” with Euromonitor estimating that 55 million people worldwide enjoy tobacco-free devices. If you’re reading this page, chances are you’re well-versed in the world of vaping. But for those who aren’t, let’s get you caught up.

Typically, adults vape by using battery-operated devices called “vapes” or “e-cigarettes,” which are used to inhale a vapor. This vapor usually contains nicotine and other flavorings. Puffing on the vape engages the battery-powered heating device, which turns the liquid into an aerosol or vapor, which users enjoy in a variety of potencies. Adults vape for many different reasons, most commonly for the wide selection of flavors, their ability to be used inside, and their use in cigarette smoking cessation.

There are a few main components in almost every vaping device. Check out the breakdown below or ask your

What is Vaping?
Battery

Battery

The vape’s battery is its primary energy source and is used to power the atomizer. The battery is the most essential part of any vaporizer product because it provides the power needed to heat the coil. The vape battery generates power, the coil heats liquid, wax, or herb, and vapor is formed. Without the battery, your vaping device won’t work. Not all vaping batteries are the same, so be sure to select one with enough power for your needs. More on that later.

Atomizer

Atomizer

The atomizer’s job is to heat e-liquid, which turns the liquid into vapor.

E-Liquid

E-Liquid

Also known as e-juice, this substance is inserted into a vape and gives the vapor its flavor and nicotine. Today, there several varieties of e-juices to choose from, which give vapers the chance to experiment with various flavors.

Cartridge

Cartridge

The cartridge is a small container that holds vape juice or e-liquids. This container is sealed from the heating coils of your vape and only touches the wick. When you visit the Smape Shop, ask your vape expert about our disposable and reusable vape cartridges!

Wick

Wick

Typically made of cotton fibers, the wick gets saturated with e-juice from the container. The oil moves along the fibers of the cotton until it comes into touches the e-coils. Vapor is produced and inhaled when the heated e-coils and the wick touch.

Geek Vape Aegis X

SUB OHM TANK AND MOD

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mAh¬ and Your Vape Battery

Many e-devices within our vape shop in Jedburg, SC come with a built-in battery. However, these batteries vary in power. You can find out how powerful the battery is by looking at its mAh, or Milliamp Hour. In the world of vaping, mAh refers to how much energy the vaporizer’s battery can store on a single, complete charge. The higher the mAh, the more energy can be stored in the battery. With a higher mAh, you will be able to use your vape or e-cigarette longer without charging. The mAh number is important to look at, especially if you’ll be traveling and won’t have access to a power outlet or charging station. If you’re always out and about, pick a vape with a higher mAh. If you’re only using your e-device at home, you may not need to have a high mAh.

What are the Different Types of Vaping Devices?

Vapes come in a wide range of models and forms. Some vapes need to be filled with e-liquid, while others require cartridges. There are also more advanced vapes on the market, sometimes referred to as Box Mods or just Mods. These devices often include modifications to battery power or cartridge size. Vape devices are generally categorized into one of three generations. However, some vapers are now adding a fourth generation to account for advances in vaping technology.

Cig-a-Likes (First Generation)

Made to mimic the size and look of traditional cigarettes, this first-gen vape is heavier than a regular cigarette. It will often have an LED light on the end, which illuminates when the user inhales. If you are new to vaping or e-cigarettes, cig-a-likes may be the first thing that comes to mind. These vaping devices are usually inexpensive and easy to use. Some cig-a-likes are considered disposable, meaning you throw them away after the battery dies. Others are rechargeable and have replaceable cartridges.

Mid-Size E-Cigarettes (Second Generation)

Larger than cig-a-likes, mid-size vapes have been said to resemble laser pointers. These devices usually have a button, which users press while inhaling. Mid-size vaporizers often have larger battery capacities and last longer than cig-a-likes. It’s common for the battery of a second-generation e-cigarette to feature a threaded connection which is compatible with several atomizers. For added customization, some mid-size e-cigs allow the user to adjust the voltage for more power.

Advanced Personal Vapes (Third Generation)

These advanced vaporizers are larger and bulkier than second-generation vapes. They are also more complicated from a technical standpoint and can come with modifications. Some mods include longer lasting batteries and have a higher refill capacity. These advancements aren't available on first and second-generation vaporizers. If you’re new to vaping, ask one of our experienced Smape Shop employees for more info on the AVPs we have in stock.

Innovative Regulated Mods (Fourth Generation)

Historically, vaporizers have been classified into three generations. However, new technology has led to the creation of a fourth generation by some vape users. This generation features more powerful and highly advanced mods. Some features include temperature controls, rebuildable tanks, adjustable airflow slots, and dual airflow slots, to name a few.

Vape mods typically come in two forms:

  • Mechanical Vape Mods:

    Regulated mods are complex modifications that involve modifying the vaporizer's voltage or wattage output. They often have features like resistance meters and safety additions like reverse battery polarity protection. These mods are most often used by experienced vapers.

  • Regulated Vape Mods:

    Regulated mods are complex modifications that involve modifying the vaporizer's voltage or wattage output. They often have features like resistance meters and safety additions like reverse battery polarity protection. These mods are most often used by experienced vapers.

Which Vape is Right for Me?

If you’re new to vaping, it can be hard to pick a device. With hundreds of choices available, you may not know where to start. Don’t stress, though: we’ve got a breakdown to help you out.

Cig-a-Likes

  • Who Should Buy Cig-a-Likes:

    These first-gen vapes are great for folks who might be trying to kick traditional cigarettes. They are small, portable, and often are designed to look like tobacco cigarettes. They have a mouth-to-lung inhalation process, allowing the user to puff on the vape like a traditional cigarette without the smell. They are also free of the harsh toxins and chemicals often found in cigarettes, making them a great choice if you’re trying to quit conventional smoking.

  • Who Shouldn’t Buy Cig-a-Likes:

    These first-gen vapes are great for folks who might be trying to kick traditional cigarettes. They are small, portable, and often are designed to look like tobacco cigarettes. They have a mouth-to-lung inhalation process, allowing the user to puff on the vape like a traditional cigarette without the smell. They are also free of the harsh toxins and chemicals often found in cigarettes, making them a great choice if you’re trying to quit conventional smoking.

Advanced Personal Vapes

  • Who Should Buy AVPs:

    AVPs (or box mods) are highly customizable, so if you like to have more control over your vaping experience, an AVP could be the way to go. These devices are great for all vaping styles and often come equipped with a longer battery life with both mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung variants.

  • Who Shouldn’t Buy AVPs:

    If you prefer an all-in-one package with little-to-no assembly, an APV isn’t for you. If you’re a newer vaper, understand that AVPs have a higher learning curve. So, if you just want something easy to vape, a box mod might not be the best fit for your needs.

Mid-Size Vapes and Vape Pens

  • Who Should Buy Vape Pens:

    Pens usually come with a battery, tank, and safety features that shut off the vape after a few seconds. These rechargeable devices offer both mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung options. If you like ease of convenience and portability, a vape pen might be your best bet.

  • Who Shouldn’t Use Vape Pens:

    These vapes have a shorter battery life than AVPs. Many require the user to clean the e-juice tank. If you don’t want to take the time to clean your device, this style of vape isn’t right for you.

Smape Shop Pro Tip

If you’re anything like us, you may prefer to speak with a real-life person about your vaping options. We recommend that all new vape users swing by our vape shop in Jedburg, SC. When you swing by and say hi, you will have the opportunity to see our vapes up close, hold them, and get more information from our team of vaping experts.

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One-Stop Smoke Shop in Jedburg, SC

If “vape life” just isn’t for you, don’t worry – we’ve got a HUGE selection of smoking accessories for you to choose from when you visit the Smape Shop. Whether you’re looking for a brand-new waterpipe to ring in the weekend or need tobacco to roll your own cigarettes, we’ve got you covered.

Some of our most popular smoke shop products include:

Dab Rigs
Dab Straws
Hookas
Classic Tobacco Pipes
Cigarillos
Blunt Wraps
Cones
Cigars
Kratom
CBD

We only carry the best name brands for you to choose from, like White Owl, Dutch Master, Backwoods, Al Capone, and many more. Have questions about a product? Curious where a particular waterpipe was created? Our knowledgeable staff is ready to answer all of your questions. Our goal is to make your time with us easy, so you can focus on having a good time without feeling pressured to purchase until you’re ready. So, go ahead and “roll up” to our store – you’ll be happy you did!

Thank you for your support! Ask about our loyalty program to save $10 on a $20 purchase upon loyalty card completion.
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Latest News in Jedburg

Charleston food-product maker among 3 SC finalists competing to put products in Walmart

Three fledgling South Carolina firms have been selected with 164 other U.S. companies to advance in Walmart’s annual competition for small businesses with American-made products to get on the retailer’s shelves.And one of them is from Charleston.Holy Smoke, a vegan, hickory-smoked extra virgin olive oil, made the cut.“I think it’s amazing,” said Max Blackman, who co-founded the product with Kyle Payne in 2012 after working together at a restaurant. “I’m grateful our product could...

Three fledgling South Carolina firms have been selected with 164 other U.S. companies to advance in Walmart’s annual competition for small businesses with American-made products to get on the retailer’s shelves.

And one of them is from Charleston.

Holy Smoke, a vegan, hickory-smoked extra virgin olive oil, made the cut.

“I think it’s amazing,” said Max Blackman, who co-founded the product with Kyle Payne in 2012 after working together at a restaurant. “I’m grateful our product could be a good fit for their stores.”

If selected to have the product placed on the shelves of the world’s largest retailer, Blackman said, “I’d be over the moon. I guess I would exclaim, ‘Holy smoke.’”

Blackman and Payne make up the workforce for the small Ravenel-based business. The pair started selling their product at the Charleston Farmers Market shortly after the startup, and they still have a booth at the weekly Saturday event.

Their items are available in about 200 gourmet shops and grocery stores across the country, including Whole Foods Market and Harris Teeter as well as about 20 Charleston area stores such as Lowcountry Olive Oil on Meeting Street, Coastal Cupboard in Mount Pleasant and Avondale Wine & Cheese in West Ashley.

The other two finalists are from the Upstate: The Bandanna Co. of Greenville, with its Doggie Dannas pet bandanna items, and Pace LLC of Simpsonville, for its Super Potty Trainer and TidyHook Home products.

The potty item allows small children to sit on the toilet against a backrest and nonslip pad. It fits onto the bowl under the seat and is removable.

The TidyHook Home device is a hanger with two hooks on the end that allows trash bags to stay open while hanging from various spots such as door knobs, closet rods or inside campers. It can support other items as well, such as bookbags.

All businesses that took part in Walmart’s “Open Call” competition are eligible to sell their shelf-stable products on the company’s websites.

More than 900 businesses from across the U.S. pitched their products to Walmart earlier this summer. The items have to be made, grown or assembled in the U.S. to be considered.

The Arkansas-based retail giant’s contest is part of its renewed commitment to invest $350 billion over the next 10 years in efforts to support home-grown businesses in the United States.

New I-26 ramp should help ease traffic congestion in Berkeley, Dorchester counties

JEDBURG — Newly opened ramps on Interstate 26 should help relieve traffic congestion, especially during the afternoon rush hour.The entrance/exit ramps along the interstate for the I-26 widening and Jedburg Road Interchange Project opened Feb. 26. Traffic patterns changed when the new ramp opened along Jedburg Road as traffic was shifted onto the newly constructed portion of the bridge.The $51.3 million project includes reconstruction and improvements along the existing Jedburg Road Interchange at Exit 194, including ramp...

JEDBURG — Newly opened ramps on Interstate 26 should help relieve traffic congestion, especially during the afternoon rush hour.

The entrance/exit ramps along the interstate for the I-26 widening and Jedburg Road Interchange Project opened Feb. 26. Traffic patterns changed when the new ramp opened along Jedburg Road as traffic was shifted onto the newly constructed portion of the bridge.

The $51.3 million project includes reconstruction and improvements along the existing Jedburg Road Interchange at Exit 194, including ramp tie-ins and embankment and storm drainage construction along Jedburg Road.

Construction crews are in the process of demolishing the old bridge. Due to the work, I-26 will have overnight lane closures (7 p.m.-6 a.m.) nightly through March 5.

For residents of megadevelopments such as Cane Bay and Nexton, the opening of the ramp was welcome news.

“It’s not so bad in the mornings, but the line to get off I-26 in the afternoons can back up a couple of miles at rush hour,” said Sadie Timmins, a Nexton resident. “The new ramp has really helped. It has made it much easier to get off the interstate in the afternoons.”

Additionally, 3 miles of I-26 were widened, starting near mile marker 193 and tying into the newly widened portion of I-26 near the Nexton Parkway Interchange.

“This was a project that was badly needed,” Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb said. “It was becoming a real safety issue on I-26 with cars stacking up miles deep into the emergency lanes. This was not only a safety issue but a quality-of-life project. This will not only get people home faster but, more importantly, it’ll get folks home more safely, too.”

The project was funded in part by federal funds and Berkeley County’s 1-cent sale tax.

The new ramp is the latest in Berkeley County’s efforts to keep up with their exploding population and traffic issues.

Berkeley County has seen a surge in population over the past decade, from 179,000 in 2010 to more than 234,000 in 2020. Most of the growth in the county has been centered around three megadevelopments: Cane Bay, Carnes Crossroads and Nexton.

All together, the developments have more than 27,000 residences planned. The Nexton development alone is as big as the Charleston peninsula and extends across 5,000 acres from I-26 to U.S. Highway 176.

Phase 1 to widen U.S. Highway 176 from U.S. Highway 17A to Nexton Parkway is set to start this summer.

Berkeley County has had a plan in place to widen U.S. 176 for several years. Phase 1 of the project consists of widening the road from two lanes to four lanes with a raised concrete median from U.S. 17A to Nexton Parkway, a distance of approximately 4.2 miles.

The bid process for the $53.3 million project goes out in the next month with hopes of construction beginning early this summer. The project will be funded from county sales tax dollars, approved by voters in 2014.

The anticipated date of completion for the project is June 2022.

SCDOT outlines process for drivers with damage due to I-26 construction to file claim

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Public Transportation says drivers who may have had damage to their vehicles in a construction zone near Summerville can contact them to learn how to file a claim.Drivers can call SCDOT toll-free at 855-467-2368 for more details about the claims process. Spokesperson Brittany Harriot said a contractor will take callers’ information and have them fill out a form.Crews are in the process of resurfacing an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 26 in the Summerville area. Ha...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Public Transportation says drivers who may have had damage to their vehicles in a construction zone near Summerville can contact them to learn how to file a claim.

Drivers can call SCDOT toll-free at 855-467-2368 for more details about the claims process. Spokesperson Brittany Harriot said a contractor will take callers’ information and have them fill out a form.

Crews are in the process of resurfacing an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 26 in the Summerville area. Harriot said the old asphalt breaking down is causing problems for drivers.

“The contractor is sweeping and vacuuming the milled surface, and unfortunately additional asphalt is being broken down by the traffic that is driving on the milled surface,” she said.

One of those drivers is MiEisha Williams. The North Charleston resident was driving on I-26 on Thursday when a rock chipped her windshield.

“(I was) going to work in Columbia, just forgot something at home so I turned around immediately on the interstate and once we got to (mile) 199 or maybe a little bit before that, just driving in the left two lanes, people were driving fast and all I could see was rocks coming up,” she recalled.

SCDOT would not say how many calls it’s gotten so far, but Williams said the state’s rough roads have damaged her car before.

“When I first got my car, I had a pothole on my left driver’s side kind of bust my tire up, split it up a little bit,” she said.

She wants to see construction crews work more carefully so drivers don’t continue paying the price.

“Come up with a way to shut the part of it down or don’t make it so many lanes, just make it one lane at a time,” she said. “I mean, there’s many ways you can do it, but you guys got two lanes that is making it hazardous.”

The first phase of the project has been completed. SCDOT is now waiting on a contractor to start the next phase.

Work is scheduled to be completed by the fall.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

SC developers scramble to add space to handle surge in e-commerce imports

Online retail sales — which surged during the pandemic and show no signs of letting up as the U.S. economy reopens — are helping to drive a speculative industrial construction boom in the Charleston area as developers look to get ahead of the demand for warehouse and distribution space to store and deliver all of the stuff consumers are buying on the internet.Roughly 10 million square feet of so-called spec space — that is, a building without a tenant committed to move in — is either under way or in the pipelin...

Online retail sales — which surged during the pandemic and show no signs of letting up as the U.S. economy reopens — are helping to drive a speculative industrial construction boom in the Charleston area as developers look to get ahead of the demand for warehouse and distribution space to store and deliver all of the stuff consumers are buying on the internet.

Roughly 10 million square feet of so-called spec space — that is, a building without a tenant committed to move in — is either under way or in the pipeline, mostly along the Interstate 26 corridor from North Charleston to the Summerville area.

That figure doesn’t include custom build-to-suit projects, such as the 3 million-square-foot import distribution center being developed for Walmart in Ridgeville. That massive building will open early next year and deliver goods brought into the Port of Charleston to about 850 stores within a 150-mile radius.

“The Port of Charleston has made a pretty sizable pivot to cater to the larger e-commerce and retail distribution users,” said Matt Pickard, a broker with the Charleston office of Colliers, a commercial real estate firm. “All of the major name-brand retailers are looking for sizable distribution hubs, and Charleston is a great option for them to cater to the Southeast and beyond.”

The port’s growth over the past decade or so had been focused on manufacturing companies such as BMW and Michelin, whose suppliers needed warehouses in the 150,000- to 200,000-square foot range. The expansion into retail cargo has added an entirely new dimension to the speculative construction landscape.

“Just about everything that’s being planned now is 500,000-square-foot or bigger, with cross-dock configurations,” meaning inbound goods go in on one side of the building and out to customers on the other, Pickard said.

First to market

Ladson-based Frampton Construction is building a 1 million-square-foot, cross-dock warehouse — the biggest spec project yet for the Lowcountry — at the Charleston Trade Center in Summerville. The building will feature 50 dock doors, two drive-in doors, parking for 105 trailers and 243 traditional vehicles.

“Developers are so confident in the economy and e-commerce and the need for places to store stuff that they’re confident in their investments” in big-box spec space, said Keaton Green, Frampton’s vice president.

“It’s a game of being first to market,” Green added. “I don’t think they really care who the end user is. They just care about putting roofs over concrete to make sure that they have the buildings in place so when the economy does go, like it is now, they’ll be prepared for it.”

Micah Mallace, senior vice president for sales and marketing at the State Ports Authority, said readily available space “is critical to our success and our growth,” adding it’s one of the top questions potential port customers ask.

“It’s one of the levers of capacity in any port market — do you have enough port capacity, do you have enough truck drivers, enough labor and buildings that can accommodate our business quickly,” he said.

Charleston’s port set its third consecutive monthly record in May for the number of cargo containers moving through its terminals, with nearly 60 percent of loaded boxes filled with imported merchandise, much of it consumer goods. With the new Leatherman Terminal opening in April and a harbor deepening program that will give South Carolina the deepest channel on the East Coast, growth is expected to continue outpacing the national port average.

“By and large, it’s consumer-driven,” Mallace said. “You certainly see it in kind of the crazy buying spree that Americans have been on.”

The burgeoning electric vehicle market is also driving some of the demand for spec space.

Pickard said the Charleston area “is in good position to land some of the battery plants and some of the ancillary suppliers” for Mercedes-Benz Vans, once it starts production of the e-Sprinter in North Charleston.

The Volvo Cars plant in Ridgeville is another potential source of new business. The Swedish carmaker has committed to an all-electric vehicle lineup by 2030 and will add the XC90 SUV to a production line that already builds S60 sedans within the next couple of years.

“Once that second line goes into production, that’s when a majority of those tier one and tier two suppliers will commit to the market,” Pickard, the Colliers broker, said.

When they do, developers hope to have a place for them to land. Despite all of the industrial construction taking place, the vacancy rate at area warehouses and distribution centers has fallen — from 6.4 percent a year ago to 3.55 percent during the first quarter of 2021, according to a report by the commercial real estate giant CBRE Inc.

“As the Port of Charleston continues its expansion and corporates continue to choose Charleston over markets with higher-taxes, higher costs of doing business and higher-costs of living, the Charleston market needs more industrial development,” said Peter Fennelly, president of Bridge Commercial, a Charleston real estate firm marketing a newly announced 125,000-square-foot spec building at North Pointe Commerce Park in Hanahan.

As the spec building market heats up, so have the prices.

For example, land in the Jedburg area that could be purchased for $70,000 an acre at the end of last year has now doubled, according to commercial real estate agents. A spot at Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston, home to Mercedes-Benz Vans and a Boeing Co. engine plant, now costs upward of $200,000 an acre. That eventually will push development up I-26 and farther inland to the Orangeburg area, where land prices are cheaper.

The biggest constraint developers are facing now is construction materials. Steel prices are up more than 60 percent since the first of the year, while lumber costs have climbed by 90 percent. Much of the increase is driven by sharp increases in demand coupled with supply chain disruptions and the hangover from pandemic shutdowns. Some developers have started pre-ordering steel before the permitting and site work have been completed so it will be on site when construction starts. Even things like overhead doors are in short supply, Green said.

Those higher costs are expected to be passed along in annual rental rates, which are already up 28 percent since 2019 to a Charleston-area average of $6.69 per square foot, according to Colliers.

“Over the past several weeks, the major challenge facing the U.S. non-residential construction industry has shifted from COVID-19-induced disruptions to the ongoing surge in materials prices,” Anirban Basu, chief economist with Associated Builders and Contractors, said in written statement. “Non-residential input prices have surged, and much of that increase has occurred since the start of 2021.”

Along with higher prices, builders are having to wait longer for materials.

“If you order steel today, it’s eight or nine months out before you’re getting it delivered,” Pickard said “So a lot of developers who were hoping to break ground in the next three to six months are kind of stuck in the same boat as everybody else waiting on building materials to be delivered.”

Labor also is in short supply.

The number of South Carolina workers in construction fields stood at 108,500 in April — just 2,000 more workers, or a 1.8 percent increase, over two years ago, according to the state Department of Employment and Workforce. Statewide, building permits have risen nearly 40 percent during that same period, according to the Census Bureau.

“The first question we get from any developer that’s looking in this market and the first question we get from any company looking to position themselves in this market is labor,” Pickard said. “The labor force, and ensuring that we have enough capable folks to fill these jobs, is certainly something to keep an eye on and try and get ahead of.”

While the coronavirus has taught developers that market conditions can change almost overnight, many say spec warehouse development for e-commerce firms is as close to a sure thing as real estate gets.

“We’re very bullish on it,” Pickard said of himself and his Colliers co-workers. “Pretty much everything we do in our daily lives is pivoting to an online method in some fashion. That, coupled with all the infrastructure and capital improvements the port is putting forth. They’re going to ensure more companies choose Charleston as a place to bring their products. I don’t think it’s going to slow down any time soon.”

SC plant closed in pandemic’s early days to be revived

The seemingly unquenchable demand for building supplies is helping revive a shuttered South Carolina factory, giving it a third lease on life.James Hardie Industries decided to close its 60-worker Summerville siding plant slightly more than a year ago, as COVID-19 was coursing its way, in near-random fashion, through the global economy.It was among the first manufacturing sites in the state to go dark permanently because of the virus-induced downturn.“The move will realign supply and demand in the North American ma...

The seemingly unquenchable demand for building supplies is helping revive a shuttered South Carolina factory, giving it a third lease on life.

James Hardie Industries decided to close its 60-worker Summerville siding plant slightly more than a year ago, as COVID-19 was coursing its way, in near-random fashion, through the global economy.

It was among the first manufacturing sites in the state to go dark permanently because of the virus-induced downturn.

“The move will realign supply and demand in the North American market following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said in April 2020.

At the time, Hardie made no reassurances the plant between Highway 78 and I-26 would ever reopen.

“These decisions are always extremely difficult, and our leadership team took this action with considerable thoughtfulness, and the strategic objective of preserving and enhancing the global organization’s competitiveness over the long term,” CEO Jack Truong said last year.

Times have changed, in short order.

Truong informed investors during his last quarterly earnings call that Hardie has changed its mind and “made the decision to reconfigure and restart” the Summerville site. It’s part a companywide plan to boost siding output over the next three years, he said.

“We will, No. 1, expand on North American ... capacity by 800 million standard feet,” Truong told analysts.

Hardie was among the earliest to use cement fiber to make siding and other durable exterior cladding materials for the building industry. HardiePlank is among its best-known consumer brands.

Now headquartered in Ireland, the company was started by its Scottish namesake in 1888, when he started an importing business in Australia. The company later diversified into construction materials and started making cement siding in the mid-1980s. Hardie now employs about 4,800 workers with operations in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

The South Carolina plant dates back to the late 1990s, courtesy of a rival. Belgian-Swiss startup Cemplank built the 150,000-square-foot factory to crank out its own competing line of siding and cash in on the Southeast construction boom. It picked the Summerville area because it’s near the big cement plants just up the interstate.

Hardie eventually acquired Cemplank, and by 2003, it was running the Dorchester County plant 24/7 to keep up with demand.

It hit the wall as the global financial system and real estate market collapsed in 2008. Hardie mothballed the Lowcountry site a decade ago, saying it would remain offline until “market demand returns to acceptable levels.”

It kept its promise after a lengthy hiatus. Hardie invested about $19 million to reboot the Belgian Drive factory in 2017.

But just a few months into 2020, all bets were off again as economic uncertainty reigned. The Jedburg-area plant was idled for the second time.

In hindsight, Hardie Industries probably wishes it had waited before turning the lights off. The company’s North American sales from April through December last year increased a respectable 11 percent to $1.84 billion compared to the same period of 2019, before the virus was a factor. Revenue growth accelerated in the last three months of 2020, jumping 20 percent to $518 million.

“It’s really a strong housing market we see at James Hardie,” Truong told Bloomberg TV hosts during an appearance on March 17.

Sales from locked-down homeowners taking on exterior remodeling projects have been a surprising bright spot during the pandemic, he added.

“That has really been a big change in consumer behavior we have picked up in the past year,” Truong said.

The Hardie CEO will provide his next financial update this week. He’ll discuss the latest batch of quarterly results — and perhaps more details about the third Summerville revival — on May 18.

For now, all the company had to share was that the plant off of Highway 78 will reopen “as early as March 2022 to meet our customers’ needs and further support our organic growth strategy.”

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