Beaufort considers selling property in city 'yard sale'

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMay 30, 2012 

This land, known as Wilson Park, overlooks the Beaufort River and may be put up for sale by its owner -- the city of Beaufort. The city is considering selling or trading numerous parcels they own, including Wilson Park, as part of their city-building master plan.

05302012 ERIN MOODY, THE BEAUFORT GAZETTE

The city of Beaufort is considering holding a literal yard sale, but instead of rummaging through the garage, it's looking into selling or trading under-used city property.

The first step would be hiring a Realtor to determine the properties' value, clarify deed restrictions and do other research. The city is asking for bids for the work.

"We've got, I think, 28 parks today," said Mayor Billy Keyserling. "Are they used? And if they are used, are they an integral part of the neighborhood? And given where we're going, do we need additional parks, and if we do, where do they need to go?"

Keyserling said the goal is to improve the city, not to reduce the amount of park land, and nothing would be sold immediately.

"Do you just keep adding parks or do you shuffle your inventory and see if the money can be used better in the future on other properties?" Keyserling said.

The plan would be to sell or trade the properties and acquire other land identified as future open space in the city's master plan, city manager Scott Dadson said.

Dadson said the areas targeted for open space could be used as greenways, parks and to enhance the Spanish Moss Rail-Trail, a biking and walking path. Work on the trail is expected to begin the fall.

"Since the founders of Beaufort started laying out street grids about 300 years ago, there has been discussion and planning for parks and open spaces for residents," Dadson said. "As the years passed and new opportunities arose, parks such as the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park and Pigeon Point Park were identified and then built. Those efforts continue today."

Six parcels -- ranging from the police storage unit to a park on Ribaut Road that could become the site of a waterfront home -- were identified Wednesday as ones the city might sell.

The city has not released the complete list of potential land in might sell "in an effort to gain the best price for both selling and buying purposes," Dadson said.

Additional parcels may be added in the future, but properties include the following. (Prices are from the county's Property Assessor's website.)

  • 410 Ribaut Rd., assessed at $124,069

  • Wilson Park, 800 block of Ribaut Road, $838,573

  • Lot on Rodgers Street, in area of Basil Green Recreational Complex, $213,750

  • Former pump station, 905 Prince St., $292,370

  • Police storage unit, $500

  • Parking lot at the Federal Courthouse on Bay Street, $348,680

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