Developer confident purchase of Port of Port Royal will succeed

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 14, 2012 

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Developer Jeff Pinckney said Wednesday he's not worried the deal to buy the Port of Port Royal will fall through.

The Port Royal Redevelopment Group has until the beginning of May to finalize the $17-million purchase of the land from the state Ports Authority under the terms of a recently negotiated extension agreement.

The developers can also win an additional 30-day extension for a non-refundable, $75,000 fee, Port Royal Town Manager Van Willis said after Wednesday night's council meeting.

The town also has agreements with the development group. Council voted 4-1 Wednesday to change the start dates of two of them to match the extended purchase deadline of May. Councilman Vernon DeLoach voted against the changes.

Council expects to take a final vote on the project in April.

The town is in the process of getting $1.25 million of a $4.5 million loan for public infrastructure -- parks, roads, sewers -- around the port. Willis expects that loan will be in hand by next week.

The developers have 45 days from when the town either gets the loan or March 23, whichever is sooner, to finish buying the land, Willis said

"What we've discovered is, in order for these folks to get the financing they need, their investors needed assurance that (Port Royal's loan) was actually in place," he said.

The development group intends to build a residential and commercial destination on 52 acres along the water.

"This seems like all the onerous is on us, and that doesn't seem fair to me," Councilman Joe Lee said.

"Well," Willis replied, "we're not the ones borrowing $17 million, either."

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Related content: Purchase of Port of Port Royal pushed back two months, March 7, 2012 Port of Port Royal development plan clears two hurdles, Feb. 8, 2012

Port Royal considers $4.5 million loan for public works around port property

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