Estate Planning Attorney inArcadia, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Arcadia, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Arcadia that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Arcadia. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Arcadia, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law
Difference

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Arcadia, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Arcadia, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Arcadia, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Arcadia, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Arcadia, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Arcadia, SC
2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Arcadia, SC
3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Arcadia, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Arcadia, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Arcadia, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Arcadia, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Arcadia, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Arcadia, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Arcadia, SC
3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Arcadia, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Arcadia, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.

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Latest News in Arcadia, SC

Logistics company to open $70M Dorchester County facility

A specialist in cold storage solutions will establish operations in Dorchester County with a $70 million investment.The project from Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics is expected to create 69 new jobs.Located at Ridgeville Industrial Campus, Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics’ new operation will support high-volume throughput handling services including a variety of value-added services, full pallet handling, case picking and transportation management, according to a news release from the South Carolina governor&rsqu...

A specialist in cold storage solutions will establish operations in Dorchester County with a $70 million investment.

The project from Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics is expected to create 69 new jobs.

Located at Ridgeville Industrial Campus, Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics’ new operation will support high-volume throughput handling services including a variety of value-added services, full pallet handling, case picking and transportation management, according to a news release from the South Carolina governor’s office.

“We are very bullish on the Charleston market — the advantages of the Port of Charleston as a Southeast gateway out of and into the U.S. — and on our ability to provide the specialized and unique handling and storage services that will be required for retailers, frozen and refrigerated food manufacturers, and fruit and produce importers to grow their market share in the region,” Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics CEO Chris Hughes said in the release. “Most importantly, we are proud to bring new jobs to Dorchester County and the surrounding communities.”

The company will use the Port of Charleston to support both import and export trade.

Related content: Work begins on $550M South Carolina Ports projects

Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics is a third-party cold chain services provider that focuses on handling, storage, distribution and value-added services for the food industry. The company works to bridge supply gaps within the cold chain industry through modern cold storage warehouse development and services.

The facility is expected to be operational by early 2024. Individuals interested in joining the Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics team can visit the company’s careers page.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. The council also approved a $250,000 Set-Aside grant to assist with the costs of building improvements.

“South Carolina Ports is thrilled to support Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics’ impressive new cold storage facility at SC Ports’ Ridgeville Industrial Campus,” SC Ports President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Melvin said in the release. “Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics’ investment will bring substantial new cold storage capacity to the Charleston market. SC Ports has expanded on-terminal refrigerated cargo capacity and capabilities to efficiently handle fresh, refrigerated and frozen imports and exports.

“The booming Southeast market and growing population requires more cold storage capacity, and Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics’ new operation will further support retailers’ and grocers’ supply chains.”

Related content:

Dorchester County schedules ceremony to mark construction at Port 95

‘It can take a community down:’ Spartanburg allocates $1 million towards blight demolition

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - This week Spartanburg County Council is taking action to eliminate blight also known as eyesores, empty, condemned or dilapidated properties.There are hundreds in the county and a majority of them are in the Una, Saxon and Arcadia neighborhoods.“For years, we did not have money to actually fix the problem,” said County Councilman, David Britt. He describes blight as cancerous to neighborhoods.“It will take a body down and it can take a community down” he said....

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - This week Spartanburg County Council is taking action to eliminate blight also known as eyesores, empty, condemned or dilapidated properties.

There are hundreds in the county and a majority of them are in the Una, Saxon and Arcadia neighborhoods.

“For years, we did not have money to actually fix the problem,” said County Councilman, David Britt. He describes blight as cancerous to neighborhoods.

“It will take a body down and it can take a community down” he said.

He says it’s taken down Una, Saxon and Arcadia for years. There are dozens of blighted and condemned structures, but soon some will come down.

“We’ve got 100 that we’re going to go after this year in this million dollars” said Britt.

On average, it cost around $10,000 to demolish just one house. So, the million dollars won’t cover the demo of the 340 condemned structures on the county’s list, but it’s a start.

“Out of the 340, if we knock out 100 this year, 100 next year, 100 the following year-- we got it going,” said Britt.

“That’s going to change things in a drastic way,” said Tony Thomas with the Northside Development Group.

Thomas knows all about removing blighted properties and the difference it can make.

“Our community had this reputation that it was like a community non grata. It wasn’t where you wanted to be” said Thomas.

About 12 years ago, he and other community advocates along with the city began to revitalize Northside and fight against gentrification.

“At the very beginning of this process, about 47% of the houses in the Northside community Cleveland Heights area, which is the most historic part of the community, were boarded up” said Thomas.

There are not many homes boarded up anymore, but there are some under construction. Now that they’ve helped revitalize the neighborhood, the Northside Development Group is focused on creating more affordable housing opportunities.

“People are now starting to return back and to make this community what it should be as a community” said Thomas.

Councilman Britt says from this point forward, the county will continue investing in blight demolition. To learn more about the Northside Community’s transformation, click here.

Copyright 2022 WHNS. All rights reserved.

West Shore Acquires Eighth Luxury Apartment Community in South Carolina

West Shore, a multifamily real estate investment firm, announces its acquisition of Solis Nexton, a new luxury apartment community located in the award-winning Nexton master-planned community in Summerville, South Carolina. This marks the Boston-based company’s eighth acquisition in the state. The company’s other properties in South Carolina include ...

West Shore, a multifamily real estate investment firm, announces its acquisition of Solis Nexton, a new luxury apartment community located in the award-winning Nexton master-planned community in Summerville, South Carolina. This marks the Boston-based company’s eighth acquisition in the state. The company’s other properties in South Carolina include Vantage at Wildewood, Town Center at Lake Carolina, and Arcadia’s Edge, all in Columbia, Sweetwater Apartments and 17 South Apartments, both in Charleston, Riverwalk Apartments in Rock Hill, and Reserve at Mill Landing in Lexington. West Shore now owns and operates 45 properties with over 14,000 units in seven states.

“We are pleased to have acquired Solis Nexton, our third property in the Charleston market,” said Steven P. Rosenthal, Chairman of West Shore. “This property is in a sought-after location surrounded by world-class businesses, retail, and dining options, providing a terrific living experience for our residents.”

Located in the heart of Nexton Square, the 320 spacious apartment homes sit on 11 sprawling acres and offer a resort-style pool, dog park, pet spa, entertainment lounge, state-of-the-art fitness center, private yoga and spin studio, and electric charging stations.

“Solis Nexton offers residents modern apartment homes in an ideal location with access to all-inclusive amenities,” said West Shore President, Lee Rosenthal. “The community is near several other West Shore properties, allowing us to leverage our knowledge of the area.”

Solis Nexton Apartments is located at 6000 Front Street in Summerville, South Carolina and is now leasing. To learn more, visit www.solisnexton.com.

Colliers announced today that a team led by Jeffrey Donnelly and Dmitry Levkov has closed the financing for the $68.8 million, 272-unit, luxury multifamily development in Palm Bay, Florida – an adjacent municipality of Melbourne.

The project, Eastshore Apartments, is comprised of an 18 acre site, with approximately 320,000 gross building area. The 272-unit apartment complex is scheduled to be completed in March 2025 and will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 824 to 1,250 Square Feet. Individual unit features will include Stainless Steel Appliances, Granite Countertops, Eat-In Kitchen, Under-Mounted Sinks, Balcony, Walk-In Closets, Tub/Shower, Range, Washer/Dryer, LED Lighting, Ceiling Fans, Custom Cabinetry, and 5G Capable Fiberoptic Infrastructure. Community amenities will include a 24-Hour State-of-the-Art Fitness Center and a Clubhouse Designed by Award-Winning Interior Designers including Resort-Style Swimming Pool, Conference Rooms, Business Center, Outdoor Grilling Area, Gaming Center, Dog Park, Elevators and Electric Car Charging Stations.

This project will break ground as its sister project, Westshore Apartments (https://westshorepalmbay.com/) with 248 units, has just begun lease-up and is situated to be the premier project in the Bayfront Region. Eastshore Apartments will be the third mixed-use residential project in Palm Bay for Northshore Development. The Project is strategically located near the city’s largest employers and major defense contractors such as Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Intersil, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin and more. “Robust employment growth among highly skilled and high-wage jobs paired with resilient market dynamics has led to sustained success in our first two projects here. We couldn’t be more excited to continue creating value in this market for the City of Palm Bay, our residents, and partners,” said Adam Frocione, Vice President of Development at Northshore Development.

“Northshore Development is surpassing a milestone with the financing of Eastshore Apartments that solidifies a portfolio of more than 1,000+ apartments built or under construction in the State of Florida since our founding,” said Andrew Steel, Founding Partner at Northshore Development.

Colliers’ client, Northshore Development, based in Orlando, Florida, is a mid-market, mixed use and apartment development firm that focuses on Florida’s growing apartment rental market. The Northshore team has built over 20,000 units in their combined career and financed over $5 billion of real estate assets. They currently maintain a pipeline of approximately 1,800 units in pre-development.

The $39,750,000 construction loan was provided by a American Momentum Bank. The $16,200,000 in preferred equity was provided by Parse Capital.

Colliers’ Executive Vice President, Jeffrey Donnelly, commented, “This is an exceptionally well-conceived project that caters to the defense and aerospace multinational corporations in this stretch of Florida’s ‘Space Coast.’ The project is immediately proximate (less than a mile) to the headquarters of LS Harris Technologies in Palm Bay. Northrup Grumman, Collins Aerospace, and Intersil Corporation are also super close, and will feed demand for the new project. This is our third financing of similar scale multifamily projects in Palm Bay for Northshore Development within the last 5 years. They know this submarket cold.”

Colliers’ Executive Vice President, Dmitry Levkov, commented further, “We were arranging this financing in an environment of steadily increasing construction costs, and increasing interest rates. Both the senior lender, American Momentum Bank, and the Preferred Equity Investor, Parse Capital, demonstrated outstanding focus, patience, flexibility, and creativity in navigating the changing environment with us. It was a pleasure to work with both, and we look forward to many other financings with both capital providers.”

The Donnelly/Levkov Team is focused on debt and equity solutions for real estate properties and projects across all asset classes – throughout the entire United States, as well as internationally. The Donnelly/Levkov Team is currently financing projects in New York City, Miami, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

*Many of Donnelly/Levkov financing assignments are for the solution of the debt, LP equity and co-GP equity required for large-scale development projects. The team’s core competency is increasingly in providing their clients a holistic financing structure – one that requires very little sponsorship equity for qualified developers.

Arcadia Publishing Buys The History Press

Arcadia Publishing has acquired The History Press Inc., the U.S subsidiary of the U.K. based The History Press Ltd. Terms of the deal, which closed earlier this month, were not disclosed.The purchase unites the two largest publishers of books based on local or regional content. Arcadia has a backlist of 9,000 titles that draws on pictures and other archival material to tell the story of particular communities. The History Press has a more text-based approach, with some 3,000 titles on regional topics and events.Arcadia CEO Rich...

Arcadia Publishing has acquired The History Press Inc., the U.S subsidiary of the U.K. based The History Press Ltd. Terms of the deal, which closed earlier this month, were not disclosed.

The purchase unites the two largest publishers of books based on local or regional content. Arcadia has a backlist of 9,000 titles that draws on pictures and other archival material to tell the story of particular communities. The History Press has a more text-based approach, with some 3,000 titles on regional topics and events.

Arcadia CEO Richard Joseph said History Press compliments his company’s list, noting that in a number of accounts their books are often sold side-by-side. He stressed however, that the editorial operations of the two companies, which are both based in Charleston, S.C., will remain separate, and that titles will continue to be released under The History Press imprint. Details of how the sales and marketing operations will be integrated are still being worked out, although Joseph said there are opportunities to create operating efficiencies.

In a note to the employees of both companies, Joseph wrote: "We are committed to the pursuit of new growth opportunities and to increasing the availability, depth, and breadth of local books."

He told PW that Arcadia has had a solid start to 2014 and that the company is on track to release about 615 new books. Since Arcadia’s titles are heavily illustrated, it has been cautious in moving them into digital format and, at the present time, only about 4,000 of its titles are available as e-books.

PJ Norlander, marketing director, said that as the technology improves, Arcadia will continue to make more titles available as e-books. Alternatively, nearly all of History Press’ titles are already sold as e-books.

The sale of the U.S. arm of The History Press Ltd. will have no impact on its U.K. business. "We are enormously proud of the fine company we have built together in just a few short years," said Stuart Biles, chief executive of The History Press Ltd., speaking about the company's U.S. division. "We're extremely sad to see the business leave our group, but have to recognize the significant benefits which will be achieved by joining History Press Inc. with Arcadia, both creatively and operationally."

Move over Google. Travel publishers are teaming up for grittier city intel

At the beginning of the decade, the travel guidebook seemed destined to become another casualty from the one-two punch of the Internet Age and the Great Recession. From 2005 to 2011, U.S. guidebook sales dropped a funereal 40%. Many reliable institutions, such as Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet, bounced around the marketplace in that tumultuous time.Such setbacks didn’t bode well for the romantic travel guide, but none of that discouraged Taylor Bruce, a former travel editor for Southern Living who’d just ...

At the beginning of the decade, the travel guidebook seemed destined to become another casualty from the one-two punch of the Internet Age and the Great Recession. From 2005 to 2011, U.S. guidebook sales dropped a funereal 40%. Many reliable institutions, such as Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet, bounced around the marketplace in that tumultuous time.

Such setbacks didn’t bode well for the romantic travel guide, but none of that discouraged Taylor Bruce, a former travel editor for Southern Living who’d just finished his MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College in 2012.

Neck-deep in a novel, he wanted a break. So he started Wildsam, a line of field guides. The slim volumes are inspired by John Steinbeck, particularly this line from “East of Eden”: “The world was peopled with wonders.”

Now, seven years and 14 field guides later, Wildsam has joined forces with Arcadia Publishing, best known for its hyper-local dives into place and the “Images of America” series stocked with photos from outside the public domain.

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Arcadia, which publishes 500 new titles annually, with a back catalog of 15,000 titles, is hoping that Arcadia’s formidable sales and marketing muscle can jump its new acquisition to the next level.

This fall will not only see the release of Wildsam guides to Portland, Hawaii and Atlanta, but, in one giant leap for all futurists, the moon. Wildsam published a Los Angeles guide last year, following its magazine-influenced formula: short, entertaining tidbits up front and longer thoughtful essays in back.

Arcadia President and Chief Executive David Steinberger first stumbled on a Wildsam guide at a hotel in Charleston, S.C., where Arcadia is based. He marvels at how well Wildsam has done with no official sales force. According to Wildsam’s internal numbers, the guides have sold more than 140,000 copies since 2012. Those numbers, Steinberger posits, are due to the guides’ tidy design, insider tone and imaginative, literary approach.

Steinberger says, “There’s a depth to what’s being communicated in Wildsam guides. It gets to the feeling of a place.” Wildsam is also tapping into a larger cultural craving. “There’s something going on right now that has to do with people looking for authentic experience. Especially an authentic experience connected to place.” That authenticity is especially embraced by millennials, a core customer for Wildsam. They’re tired of being immersed in the superficiality of the digital world, Steinberger notes, and want to connect to a place on a meaningful, personal level.

Wildsam contributor (and millennial) Ann Friedman puts it this way: “Wildsam leans on stories about a place as a way of showing visitors how to understand and enjoy it. Which is a much deeper travel experience than just checking restaurants and museums off your list.”

Maybe geography and its inspired but haphazard connections is one of the last vestiges of wild, real-life experience that can’t be organized by algorithm. Or, as founder Bruce says: “Wildsam has a soul.”

Each book is written and edited by residents, and with extensive interviews from the people who create the character of the city. The Los Angeles guide features interviews with chef Nancy Silverton, the late Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold, punk musician Alice Bag and traffic expert Ed Yu, among others.

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Wildsam leans into a city’s “messiness.” The Los Angeles guide includes a partial transcript of a phone call between LAPD Det. Tom Lange and O.J. Simpson during the infamous Bronco chase in 1994 and a brief timeline of the city’s gang history.

“We’re not afraid to talk about what’s complicated or broken about a place,” Bruce said. “If anything, you’re going to gain credibility in the reader’s mind.”

That transparency also goes for reclaiming a city’s so-called flaws. Friedman’s essay, “Sprawl,” is a necessary corrective to the old “19 suburbs in search of a city” saw or whatever Dorothy Parker or some other writer parachuting in from New York said. “Sprawl,” Friedman writes, “is dynamic. It is a moving, changing thing …. Los Angeles refuses to agree on its core. The center is wherever you decide it is.”

Both Friedman and Los Angeles guide editor Jesse Katz say Bruce allowed them to embrace unusual experiences, the kind of intangibles that define what it means to really live somewhere. Friedman spun around the city on a helicopter tour and Katz wrote about the car crashes that occurred outside his window on Wilshire Boulevard in MacArthur Park. His essay, Katz said, “was an opportunity for me to stretch as a writer: to excavate some bigger meaning about life here from an unusually dark and peculiar experience. I can’t think of too many travel guides that would feature an essay about car crashes.”

As for the future, Wildsam and Arcadia are talking about approaching food on a deeper level, and launching guides to America’s National Parks next year. Whatever might be next, Wildsam will continue to mine the travel experience: “There’s a hunger and an itch to understand where we are,” Bruce says, for tourists and residents alike.

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