Port Royal deal extended
The State Ports Authority has been trying to sell its Port Royal Terminal property for about eight years now, so what's a few more months?
The deadline to close a $17 million deal for the 51 acres of high ground on deep water has been extended again, potentially until May 7. The land deal between the SPA and Port Royal Development Group was first announced in July.
"During the course of the past month, the buyer expressed that they needed additional time to get their financing," said SPA spokeswoman Allison Skipper.
Part of the financing for the plan, to build homes and businesses on the port property, involves the Town of Port Royal borrowing money for infrastructure improvements. The Beaufort Gazette reported Thursday that the town is in the process of arranging for a $1.25 million loan for roads, parks and drainage improvements.
The expectation is that the money would be repaid with property taxes generated by the new development.
"We agreed to allow the buyer an additional 45 days (to close the land sale) from the date the town gets the loan, or 45 days from March 23, whichever comes sooner," Skipper said.
That would set the latest deadline no later than May 7. Previously, today was the deadline to close the deal.
A down-payment would be retained by the SPA if the deal falls through.
The authority has been trying to sell the property since 2004, when then-Gov. Mark Sanford ordered the money-losing break-bulk terminal closed. Two previous agreements to sell the property fell through, most recently in January 2011.
The SPA would not disclose how much Port Royal Development Group put down or the names of the company's organizers are. The business was incorporated last year. The S.C. Secretary of State's website shows it was registered by Sam Thurman Jr. at 1115 Paris Ave. in Port Royal, which is the address of a local real estate office.
South Carolina's Freedom of Information law allows, but does not require, governments to withhold information about real estate deals until a deed has been executed.