Navy base milestones over 20 years
1993: U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings tells a horrified Lowcountry that the Charleston Naval Base and Naval Shipyard are slated to be shut down, tearing an estimated 22,000 jobs out of the local economy.
1996: The base closes.
2001: North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and developer John Knott announce the Noisette Project, a redevelopment of the former Navy base and a plan to rejuvenate other areas in the city.
2002: State lawmakers unveil a deal that splits the base between North Charleston and the State Ports Authority. The city gets the northern property to sell to Noisette, and a new container port is planned for the southern end. The SPA promises there will be no rail traffic through the north end of the base.
2003: Charleston Marine Manufacturing Co., or CMMC, says it will buy the old shipyard portion of the northern end of the base, in a deal consummated two years later. North Charleston and Nosiette unveil “the New American City” master plan for redevelopment.
2005: Noisette and the city open Riverfront Park, at the north end of the base where Noisette Creek meets the Cooper River.
2007: The “Great Recession” begins.
2008: The financial crisis reaches a peak, slowing real estate development projects everywhere.
2009: Noisette’s lenders file a $23.8 million foreclosure action that ultimately will lead to the S.C. Commerce Department owning 240 acres of the former base.
2011: North Charleston and the state sue each other over the state’s plan to create a rail yard north of the new port that would send freight trains through the north end of the base.
2012: The city and state strike a deal. The state gets the northern rail access it insisted upon, the city gets money and land at the north end of the base, generally west of Noisette Boulevard.
2013: The state asks North Charleston to reclassify 20 acres at the far north end of the base as “heavy industrial” to facilitate plans for a Continental Tire distribution and warehousing center. Several property owners on the base sue to block the zoning change.
October: The Commerce Department’s Palmetto Railways Division buys the last of Noisette Company’s land, about 50 acres at a cost of $10 million. The purchase wipes away covenants on the property that were overseen by Noisette, and a related lawsuit.