Ports Authority OKs sale of vacant Beaufort warehouse to unnamed buyer

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJune 2, 2014 

The S.C. State Ports Authority has given the green light to a sale of 5 Trask Farm Road for $195,000. The property was part of the Magnolia railroad line and includes this warehouse.

THEOPHIL_SYSLO — Staff photo

A 14,400-square-foot vacant warehouse that was once part of the local rail system will have a new owner soon.

The S.C. State Ports Authority Board has approved the sale of property at 5 Trask Farm Road to an unnamed buyer for $195,000.

Ports Authority spokeswoman Erin Pabst said details cannot be released until the sale is completed and would not say when the deal is expected to close.

The 0.71-acre site is between U.S. 21 and the railroad right of way, where the Spanish Moss Trail walking and biking path is being built. It had been listed for sale by NAI Avant for $251,100.

Dean Moss, executive director of the Friends of the Spanish Moss Trail, said he did not know who was purchasing the property, but said it could be difficult to use. The property is sandwiched between the right of way and the road, with very little land surrounding the building.

John Keith owns Pickpocket Plantation, which bounds the warehouse site to the south. He said he has considered purchasing the property, but the price was too high. Keith declined to say who was attempting to purchase it, but added that the buyer offered to purchase some of his property, as well.

The property is in unincorporated Beaufort County and assessed at $97,200, according to county records. The shed was built in 1966.

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said the real estate broker for the property called him to set up a meeting but never followed through. The shed has been vacant for years, he said.

"Last I remember, it was a packing shed when I was a teenager," he said.

Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce board chairman Stephen Murray said it was once a railroad transfer station, where crops were packed and reloaded for transportation. Murray said he would like to see it become a farmers market or open-air market.

The Magnolia Line ran between Port Royal and Augusta, Ga., for more than 100 years. By 1905, regular service was only once a day; it continued to decline until the final train ran in 2006.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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