The massive plan to redevelop up to 50 acres of land at Patriots Point is gaining some momentum.
The Patriots Point Development Committee met Thursday for its first discussion about putting together a request for proposals from tenants interested in developing land at Patriots Point.
It was the first move in a long and complex process for bringing new developments to the property. Executive Director Mac Burdette said it would likely take at least six months until the request is made public.
The upcoming lease is part of Patriots Point's goal to increase its property revenue from $1.6 million per year to $5 million, which will help the tourist attraction afford the restoration of the aging aircraft Yorktown, which could cost up to $100 million.
How much property will be included in the request for proposal is to be determined. Burdette said it could include all seven of Patriots Point's vacant plots of about 40 to 50 acres, or it may only list one plot.
The committee agreed that the right tenants must be financially sound, cohesive with Patriots Point's concepts, and they must also be willing to develop the property as soon as possible.
"The RFP requires a lot of financial data. It's not just about submitting pretty pictures to us," Burdette said.
He said a plan for immediate development is critical to the lease agreement. The last lease was negotiated nearly 10 years ago with Ginn Corp., which went bankrupt, and the financier who inherited its lease has yet to take action on the 11-acre property overlooking the Charleston Harbor. The tenant has until 2016 to develop the land.
"We will make sure there is language in the leases in the future that requires an expedited development. We can't afford to let land sit idly and only collect minimum rent," Burdette said.
Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail