Coming out of winter doldrums and on the verge of spring, many businesses have been preparing for changes. Here's the latest in new construction, mergers, renovations, relocations, planned projects, commercial transactions, grand openings and closings.
• BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Banks approved an agreement in early February to combine companies in an all-stock merger of equals valued at $66 billion. The combined company will be the sixth largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits, totaling $442 billion in assets, $324 billion in deposits and $301 billion in loans.
The new company will be rebranded, renamed and based in Charlotte, N.C., while maintaining operations and investment services in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Atlanta. It will serve more than 10 million households in some of the most high-growth markets in the country.
BB&T has single branch locations in Bluffton and Hilton Head, and SunTrust has two branches at each location.
The combined company's board of directors and executive management team will be evenly split between the two institutions. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.
"This is a true merger of equals, combining the best of both companies to create the premier financial institution of the future," sid Kelly S. King, BB&T chairman and CEO, in a statement. "It's an extraordinarily attractive financial proposition that provides the scale needed to compete and win in the rapidly evolving world of financial services."
BB&T shareholders will own approximately 57 percent, and SunTrust shareholders will own approximately 43 percent of the combined company.
• Sprenger Health Care Systems announced Feb. 22 the opening of a new skilled nursing and assisted living community at 60 Okatie Village Drive in Okatie. The facility will include 60 private rooms and 45 private assisted living apartments.
A ribbon cutting will be held at 5 p.m. March 21. The community is scheduled to open this spring.
Included in the amenities is a 3,000-square-foot therapy gym, featuring state-of-the-art technology. Multiple eateries will be available, with chef-designed cuisine, as well as a pub and lounge, outdoor fireplace and onsite chapel.
The family-owned company, based in Ohio, was established in 1959 by Grace Sprenger, and the third generation now owns and operates the business. It owns 13 nursing homes, 12 assisted living facilities, and eight independent living communities in Ohio, Indiana and South Carolina.
• Target, 1050 Fording Island Rd., Bluffton. This venerable retailer is undergoing a remodeling and modernization storewide but remains open for business. It is one of 300 Targets nationwide that is being updated this year.
• Sun City Hilton Head, U.S. 278, Bluffton, March 23. The Community Association here is sponsoring a volunteer fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring area nonprofit organizations. This community event serves to connect willing and able individuals who are seeking volunteer opportunities with fitting non-profits in the area who are in need of help.
Grand openings, ribbon cuttings and closings:
• Scotts Meat Market, 1230 May River Road, Bluffton. This iconic, multi-generation family business owned by Bluffton native Adam Simoneaux closed in January, and its space is for sale. His grandfather, George Scott, first opened the store in 1970, and his uncle Jeff Scott stepped in as owner in 2004. The market closed in 2011, and Simoneaux reopened it in 2012.
• Century 21 Diamond Realty, 101 Commerce Place West, Suite C, Okatie, Jan. 29. The new Sun City-Okatie office features closed circuit televisions, conference rooms, private cubicles, a training center and a coffee bar. More than 50 professionals now serve the expanding local market.
• Starbucks, Shelter Cove Towne Centre, Hilton Head. This nationwide coffee cafe planned to open its third island location on March 1, offering 2,500 square feet of comfort and a convenient drive-thru. It also has sets its sights on doing business in Okatie Crossing in the future. There's been no action at its Sea Turtle Marketplace location since it burned down early last year. It also closed its Tanger 2 site in Bluffton in February.
• Re/Max Island Realty, 10 Bruin Road, Bluffton, Jan. 23. A team of 60 agents now work in the new office, on Hilton Head and in Sun City.
• Bacon Diner, 4 Oliver Ct., Bluffton, Feb. 26. Patrons of this establishment for breakfast and lunch experience a blast from the past in the 1950s-themed interior that opened in January and had a ribbon-cutting late last month. The cash-only menu highlights timeless American food.
Have Bluffton or Hilton Head business news (new construction relocations, expansions, openings, ownership changes, etc.) to share? Send information to Dean Rowland at email@example.com. Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer.