Developers said Monday their plans to buy the Port of Port Royal are on track, but they need to buy 30 more days to complete the deal.
The Port Royal Redevelopment Group is buying the abandoned property from the S.C. State Ports Authority to build a 52-acre residential and commercial area.
Under an agreement with the Ports Authority, the group had until Monday to complete the purchase. Instead, the developers bought a $75,000 extension that allows them another 30 days to close the deal.
The authority keeps the money if the deal falls through. If it goes forward, it is applied to the $17 million purchase price. The agreement also allows the developers to continue to buy 30-day extensions for $75,000 each under the same terms.
"We're getting our ducks in a row," developer Jeff Pinckney said Monday.
He said he was confident the deal would succeed and that his group intends to break ground quickly after the deal closes.
Pinckney said financing for the deal will not be a problem and the group purchased the extension to get legal paperwork in order.
This is the third attempt since 2006 by a developer to purchase the port property. None of the previous attempts advanced this far.
The Ports Authority operated a small port on the land from 1958 through 2004, until the state decided the operation was too expensive to continue. The property was ordered to be sold, but that has proved to be a tall order. Concerns about financing and the amount of park space included in development plans helped sink previous deals.
The town will borrow $4.5 million to improve public infrastructure -- roads, sewers, parks -- related to the port development. The money would be repaid using tax revenue that results from rising property values within the new development.
Town manager Van Willis has said he expected the developers to need more time to complete the purchase and was not surprised by the extension.
"I'm fully confident in this moving forward and closing in the near future," he said.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnPortRoyal.