South Carolina’s former port site at Port Royal has been transferred to auction after five failed attempts in the last decade to sell the property.
The Beaufort Gazette reports the 317-acre tract was transferred April 22 to the General Services division of the state Department of Administration. The move is in compliance with a 2014 law passed by the legislature which gave the State Ports Authority until 2015 to sell the land in Beaufort County. The Department of Administration now has a month to hire an appraiser.
State law also requires the property to be listed for public auction once the appraisal is finished. The winning bid must be for at least 80 percent of its value.
South Carolina lawmakers closed the small port in 2004, but the Ports Authority has since been unable to sell the land. The latest effort fell through in December, when the Palmetto Alliance group’s attempted purchase was held up by disagreements on the site’s value and insurance issues.
A spokeswoman with the Department of Administration said she could not comment on how long the appraisal will take.