Town of Hilton Head buys final building for future USCB campus

dburley@islandpacket.comJuly 16, 2014 

11 Office Park Road is photographed on Wednesday. The Town of Hilton Head Island paid $680,000 for the 5,800-square-foot building and an acre of land. The property will eventually be incorporated in the University of South Carolina Beaufort satellite campus planned for the area. The former post office building is currently used by Time Warner Cable, which will re-locate by next April.

JAY KARR — Jay Karr Buy Photo

The Town of Hilton Head Island has the property it needs for a University of South Carolina Beaufort campus on Office Park Road.

On Tuesday, the town paid $680,000 for a 5,800-square-foot building and one acre on Office Park Road. The building houses Time Warner Cable, which will relocate by next April.

The town had previously spent more than $3 million to put under contract or purchase three buildings and the neighboring Carolina Office Park.

The property will house the future USCB satellite campus, which will include a hospitality-management degree program and a branch for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Town manager Steve Riley said preliminary designs for the campus should be available in 60 days. No timeline for construction has been set, he said.

Town officials have said they hope the campus will revitalize a rundown area marked by vacant office buildings.

Some residents, however, are concerned the campus will increase traffic in an already congested part of the island.

The town plans to pay for the campus, estimated to cost $26 million, with revenue from a tax district in the area. Earlier this year, it extended the tax district for 10 years.

Money from the current district was used to fund Tuesday's purchase.

The town's partners in the tax district -- Beaufort County, the Beaufort County School District and the Hilton Head Public Service District -- have also agreed to the extension, forgoing any tax revenue that results from an increase in property values within the district for the next 10 years.

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