State looking to save millions by selling real estate, consolidating offices

Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday discusses the planned sale of state-owned property that could save the state $30.4 million in maintenance costs.

South Carolina could save $30.4 million in capital expenses if it sells state-owned buildings or land that has been deemed “surplus property,” Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday.

The state Department of Administration and the CBRE real estate firm identified eight properties that could be sold immediately, including buildings housing the state Department of Education, the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The state estimates making $5.3 million from the sale of those three buildings.

“If you look at these facilities, we are spending so much money to stay in them that it would cost us a lot less, the quality would be a lot better if we went with something more efficient,” Haley said.

Haley presented a three-part plan that combined would save the state $30.4 million worth of repairs, $35.3 million annually in operating expenses and $32.4 million over 30 years through reducing the square footage used for offices.

Five of the state-owned buildings identified Wednesday are in Columbia. None are in the tri-county area.

No determination has been made where the departments would go if the building are sold. However, officials said there are state-owned buildings that currently are under-utilized and could have space for more employees. Renting office space also is an option.

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CBRE so far has visited 222 properties, out of 7,800 owned by the state.

Haley issued an executive order in 2013 that asked state agencies to list and assess all state-owned property.

The state owns 2,500 parcels of land totaling half million acres and 7,800 buildings which needed 81 million square feet of improvements.

Reach Maya T. Prabhu at 843-509-8933.