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SCRA moving out to make way for Boeing expansion

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SCRA moving out to make way for Boeing expansion

The S.C. Research Authority will move out of its longtime offices on International Boulevard to make way for Boeing Co.'s expansion.

The days are numbered for the buildings housing the South Carolina Research Authority and its tenants near Charleston International Airport and the Boeing Co. 787 campus.

The SCRA will move out of its longtime North Charleston offices on International Boulevard after 5 p.m. Friday to its new 78,000-square-foot digs at 315 Sigma Drive in the Nexton development in Summerville. It will reopen for business the following Monday. The SCRA plans to dedicate its new Lowcountry home Nov. 20.

The last two remaining tenants - the Transportation Security Administration and Boeing - should vacate the complex by the end of the month, said SCRA spokeswoman Micki MacNaughton.

The TSA is moving its local offices to Faber Place off Leeds Avenue near I-526.

Boeing South Carolina houses site services employees and some of its construction partners in the SCRA building, said spokeswoman Candy Eslinger.

The tenants are relocating because the SCRA complex eventually will be demolished to make way for Boeing's expansion. Eslinger couldn't say when the wrecking ball will start swinging.

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The aircraft manufacturer is starting construction on a 230,000-square-foot, dual-bay paint hangar next to the SCRA site. It needs the space where the existing buildings are for a new taxiway when completed 787 Dreamliners start rolling out of that facility in mid-2016.

Currently, Dreamliners that are assembled in North Charleston must be flown to California, Louisiana or Texas to be painted and flagged in airlines' colors - or livery, in aviation lingo - before being flown back to North Charleston for delivery to customers.

The expansion site at the SCRA is part of the 466 acres the Chicago-based company leased in December from the state for future expansion between International Boulevard and Dorchester Road near Michaux Parkway. Boeing has not announced its specific intentions for the huge swath.

A rezoning plan approved by North Charleston City Council in August says 80 acres will be set aside for aircraft manufacturing and 182 acres will be used for car parking and a tree-lined perimeter buffer.

Aircraft parking and movement as well as parts housing will comprise 126 acres, while the rest of the land will be used for stormwater ponds and office space. Boeing said the acreage numbers are subject to change, which would require approval from North Charleston.

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