Developers who agreed to buy a former shopping center and vacant Naval Hospital in North Charleston haven’t sealed the deal yet but appear to be getting closer.
The $9.2 million deal to sell both city-owned properties at Rivers and McMillan avenues — the former Pinehaven/Shipwatch Square shopping center and former Naval Hospital — was announced in December.
Mayor Keith Summey said the hospital property has been the cause of the delay.
“They are still doing due diligence on the hospital, testing some fibers for asbestos,” the mayor said during a city budget meeting. “They (the developers) came in and said they would like to go ahead and close on Shipwatch in the next 30 to 45 days, but I told them they need to close on both.”
Mount Pleasant attorney Rick Brownyard, the local representative for buyer Chicora Gardens LLC, was out of town Monday and could not be reached for comment.
The city has been trying to lure a full-service grocery store to the shopping center site for years. The old Navy hospital was just purchased by the city in October for $2 million after the federal government put the vacant building up for sale.
The 10-story structure is the tallest building in North Charleston. It sits on 24 acres with a 900-car parking lot.
The Navy opened the 175-bed hospital to support the nearby Charleston Naval Base and Shipyard, and employed more than 1,200 health care workers before deciding in the early 1990s to close the installation. The hospital was downsized, and it became a walk-in clinic when it was shut for good in September 2010.