Kiawah Partners sells Freshfields to NYC group

Kiawah Partners opened Freshfields Village under its previous owners in 2005.

Sarah Jean Shelton

Kiawah Partners has shed another large piece of real estate as it looks to focus on its residential development business.

The company said Friday that it sold the Freshfields Village commercial center at the end of Betsy Kerrison Parkway. The buyer was Northwood Investors LLC.

The price was not disclosed.

The partnership had been negotiating for months to sell the eight-year-old mixed-use property between Kiawah and Seabrook islands.

New York City-based Northwood Investors bought the existing 180,000 square feet of office and retail space between Kiawah and Seabrook islands. The deal included the rights to add another 30,000 square feet to the property.

The Andell Inn, a boutique hotel expected to open next year, was not part of transaction.

Kiawah Partners retained about 17 acres of land in the area for future development.

It also will continue to manage the design and architectural review process for Freshfields.

Northwood, which could not be reached for comment Friday, is a privately held investment firm that oversees about $4 billion of real estate worldwide, including shopping centers and hotels. Its website shows no other holdings in South Carolina.

"Having a true retail operator with the experience and resources of Northwood is going to have a very positive impact on the future of Freshfields Village," Chris Randolph of Kiawah Partners said in a statement.

Kiawah Partners is the master developer of the undeveloped residential areas on the resort island southwest of downtown Charleston. Its longtime previous owners completed Freshfields Village in mid-2005.

The partnership, which splintered amid executive-level infighting in 2012, was sold in June to a group led by Charlotte-based South Street Partners and other investors for about $360 million, including debts the buyers assumed.

The new owners quickly sold its stake in a 2,500-acre luxury marina and resort development on St. Kitts in the West Indies. The buyer was Charles "Buddy" Darby, the cofounder and former CEO of Kiawah Partners, and members of his family. Terms of that sale were not disclosed.