Beaufort News

Port Royal to seek event manager for The Shed

With its purchase of The Shed complete, Port Royal will now seek an event manager and operator to transform it into a thriving community center that -- through rental revenue -- will offset some costs of owning the property, officials said during a meeting Thursday.

The town will solicit proposals later this month, officials said during a town Redevelopment Commission meeting.

An operator could be an individual, company, group of nonprofit organizations or some other combination, commission member Ann-Marie Adams said.

The Shed, at 809 Paris Ave., includes two buildings totaling about 13,000 square feet, the larger one between 8,000 and 9,000 square feet.

A group could submit a proposal to operate one or both of the buildings, along with outdoor space, commission members said.

"Anything's open for discussion," Adams said.

Town Council approved the $475,000 purchase in late March. To fund it and to make initial improvements, council issued $525,000 in bonds to be repaid over 12 years from hospitality tax revenues.

Officials envision the site as a community center of sorts, featuring a visitors' welcome area and space that could host artists, theater productions, private events, public festivals and other activities.

An event manager would coordinate events at the Shed in conjunction with the town. The town would probably receive a cut of rental proceeds, Town Manager Van Willis said.

Port Royal lacks the manpower to coordinate the building's use on its own, Willis said.

"We're such a small staff and we don't want to have to manage it," he said.

Redevelopment Commission members plan to meet again in two weeks to finalize the proposal document and will advertise it shortly afterward.

Those interested will have 45 days to respond once the document is finalized and advertised.