Then-Governor Mark Sanford and the state legislature voted to close the Port Royal Terminal in 2004. Since then, two redevelopment deals have fallen through. But this time, state officials say they have found a buyer willing to redevelop the site for $17 million.
“We’ve been anxious to find a buyer for this property now for six, seven years,” Ports Authority spokesman Byron Miller said, “The deal’s not done, but we’re very excited to be moving to the next step.”
Details are being kept secret right now, as officials are not releasing the name of the company planning to buy the property. Miller did say the developer would go along with the town of Port Royal’s plans for the site. The agreement calls for a multi-use development, with both residential and retail use. It will also include a 10-acre park that Sanford wanted included. The development agreement will expire next year if the deal fails.
It has been a long process for the town to find a buyer, especially since state law requires the land be sold for no less than its appraised value. A previous deal in November 2007 broke apart when the real estate market collapsed, while a second offer from Charleston-based Gramling Brothers Real Estate & Development fell through in January.
The sale would have to be approved by the Budget and Control Board. Ports officials are hoping the sale will be placed on the agenda for the board’s August meeting.
Proceeds from the sale would stay with the Ports Authority for its capital projects. The town of Port Royal will receive either 5 percent of the proceeds or $250,000, whichever is higher.