PORT ROYAL, SC (WTOC) - It's a process that's been in the works since 2003, but a high price tag kept bidders away from purchasing the Port of Port Royal.
In 2016, the property was transferred from the SC Ports Authority with the stipulation of hiring an appraiser. Now that that is done, the town is ready to get the ball rolling.
So far the town is confident in being able to get this property sold.
Past appraisals have been a turn off for potential buyers who thought the original asking price was too high. In fact, there were four failed attempts to sell the property in previous years. After a $15 million deal on the table fell through in December 2014 with a developer from Greenville, the property had to be transferred which is where we are now.
The town has plans to use the land as mixed use, featuring residential properties as well as shops and restaurants on the 300 plus acres of land. Both the town and state officials say the sale of the deepest natural harbor on the southeast coast presents tremendous opportunities for growth in northern Beaufort County.
"For the town, they need that property back on their tax roles. So a number of that gorgeous waterfront property can be on the tax role and help out the citizens and lower the tax rate.
We're also going to see hopefully a mixed use if we follow the vignettes the town has had so I'm hoping we'll see different businesses and living situations," said District 124 Rep. Shannon Erickson.
The auction period started January 1 and will run until March 31.
After a final offer is accepted, the buyer will be required to come in with 80 percent of the almost $7 million appraisal price.
The town is expecting to have the purchase finalized by August.