Developers and the S.C. Ports Authority have extended the closing date for the $17-million purchase of the Port of Port Royal by 60 days, according to a news release Saturday from the Port Royal Redevelopment Group.
The extension's announcement came on the heels of Friday's closing due-date. The additional time is "due to the complex financial issues involving not only the purchase of the Port property but the subsequent redevelopment of it," the release said.
Originally, the Ports Authority and development group agreed to close the sale by May 7. The group purchased two 30-day extensions for $75,000 each. The money is non-refundable, but will go toward the sale price if the deal is successful.
Development group representative Jeff Pinckney declined to say Saturday whether there was a cost involved with the latest extension.
Efforts to reach town manager Van Willis were unsuccessful.
The extension will provide "additional time in order to line up resources so work can begin immediately," upon finalization of the sale, the release said.
The development group also said it is looking forward to closing the deal and the "positive end of this long journey."
The Ports Authority agreed to the new extension because of the importance of the 52-acre planned residential and commercial destination to the town of Port Royal, according to the release.Town officials and residents have said the development is needed to spur economic activity in the area.
The developers have partnered with the town on development agreements and plans, and the town has agreed to borrow $4.5 million to improve roads, sewers and parks related to the project. The money would be repaid using tax revenue that results from rising property values within the new development.
This is the third attempt by a developer since 2006 to buy the property and the only proposal to get this far in the purchase process.
The Ports Authority operated a small port on the land from 1958 through 2004 when the state decided it was too expensive to continue. Concerns about financing and the amount of park space included in the other development plans killed previous deals.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnPortRoyal.
Developers buy extension on closing Port of Port Royal deal, May 7, 2012
Developer confident purchase of Port of Port Royal will succeed, March 14, 2012