Politics & Government

Hilton Head gov. buys north-end land for $3.6M. Here’s what they’re doing with it

Hilton Head’s newest civic sculpture goes up in Stoney

Artist Jeff Boshart talks about the meaning of the name of his sculpture "THEB: Tally" as it is put together March 11, 2016, on town-owned land in Stoney on the north end of the Hilton Head near the William Hilton Parkway and Squire Pope Road inte
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Artist Jeff Boshart talks about the meaning of the name of his sculpture "THEB: Tally" as it is put together March 11, 2016, on town-owned land in Stoney on the north end of the Hilton Head near the William Hilton Parkway and Squire Pope Road inte

Town of Hilton Head Island leaders announced their $3.65 million purchase of a plot of land off U.S. 278 and Main Street in the island’s Northridge area on Tuesday night.

What is the town’s plan for this land?

Nothing.

“Acquiring this property gives us the ability to reduce curb cuts along — and beautify a portion of — William Hilton Parkway,” Town Manager Steve Riley said of the purchase.

The town’s plan is to close access to the 4.57 acre site from U.S. 278 and create “additional green space” in the area.

But it won’t be set aside specifically for conservation and it won’t be permanent green space, according to assistant Town Manager Josh Gruber.

“The entirety of (the site) is not going to be conserved,” he said Wednesday. “It is certainly the intent that it will be put back on the market.”

The site was once home to the Modern Classic Motors car dealership, which started its migration off Hilton Head Island and into Bluffton around 2011, according to previous reporting by The Island Packet.

Gruber said the town’s purchase of the property from the estate of Gordon Faulkner gives the town more control of who buys it in the future and what they develop on the site, which was used as a staging area for Hurricane Matthew cleanup in 2016.

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Town of Hilton Head Island Released

Riley said Tuesday that the town used proceeds from “prior land sales” to purchase the property, which has been vacant for many years.

Town Council members have only been discussing the purchase since April 2, according to council agendas. Land acquisitions can sometimes take several months of closed-door discussions in executive session.

The move comes as members of the public are putting pressure on council to slow development on the island and preserve its natural beauty in places such as the south end and the old Planter’s Row golf course area.

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A town-owned plot of land next to the leisure trail on the west side of North Forest Beach Drive.


The town now owns 145 parcels of land across the island totaling 1,301.99 acres, a news release said.

In total, that land cost the town $175.45 million.

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Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.
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