Anybody who has been following the travails of the Port Royal, SC real estate market knows investors and residents have been waiting for years for something -- anything -- to happen with the redevelopment of the old South Carolina Ports Authority property. Most everybody in agreement agrees that converting a fenced-off, under-utilized 50 +/- acre swath of property into a publicly-accessible residential and commercial destination is a good thing. And, when the intent to close the port was signed by Gov. Mark Sanford several years ago, it set off a flurry of real estate buying and selling that had to be seen to be appreciated.
But, then, everything stopped....
To put things in perspective, I just dug up an old article from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal entitled "Port Royal bracing for a fresh start on prime land when terminal closes." That was dated Feb. 16, 2004, so we have been bracing for quite some time.
When things grind to a halt, we look for any signs of progress. And there have been some of late.
As of a few weeks ago, an unnamed developer signed a letter of intent on the property, located along Battery Creek, which has long been considered one of the best natural ports on the East Coast. I spoke this morning with Town of Port Royal Planning Administrator Linda Bridges, and she said a minimum of 6 months of due diligence by the developer is to be expected, so there could potentially (there's that word "potential" again) be a buyer in place by year's end.
Bridges also said OCRM, the South Carolina agency which permits docks and marinas, has issued a permit for the marina. The master plan allows for a 225-slip facility. OCRM also has approved a dry stock facility.
Port Royal is one of the great unknown communities in the Southeast. Of course, it has gained prominence in recent years with all the news swirling around the port, and more attention will come when the land is redeveloped. It still remains, however, in the shadows of it's sister city of Beaufort, just a few miles down the Intracoastal Waterway.
For more information on the Port Royal real estate market, feel free to call me at 843.263.6886. Also feel free to visit www.ExploreBeaufortRealEstate.com.