SC approves Santee Cooper land sales and donation for possible VA cemetery
By Jodi Shafto firstname.lastname@example.org
State legislators have approved Santee Cooper’s planned $18.3 million sale of commercial real estate and the donation of property near its headquarters to be considered for a veterans cemetery.
The Joint Bond Review Committee that oversees state agency financial commitments before they can be finalized said it had no objection to the sale by the power and water utility for $18.1 million of four industrial parcels totaling about 104 acres at its Camp Hall business park in Berkeley County.
The utility also will take on between $8 million and $9 million in short-term debt to pay for the infrastructure needed to support the lots being sold at the 6,800-acre property, which is home to the Volvo car plant.
About 2,800 acres was given to the Swedish automaker, with the rest set aside for a mixed-use development that would combine space for industrial users, commercial businesses and recreational purposes.
Pamela Williams, chief public affairs officer and general counsel at Santee Cooper, said at the May 24 committee meeting that the infrastructure investments are necessary for the utility to “sell every developable acre in Camp Hall.”
Santee Cooper will recoup in excess what it spends and make the parcels more valuable, said Sen. Thomas Alexander, committee member and president of the state Senate.
Indianapolis-based Pure Development is buying two lots for a 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse near Jedburg. It also plans to build a 427,000 square-foot building on 27.66 acres site across from the Volvo Cars campus.
Other Camp Hall sites are being sold to Magnus Development of Columbia, which plans to build a 150,000-square-foot warehouse on 10.5 acres, and Fresh Continents of Greensboro, N.C., which plans to build a cold-storage facility on 64.5 acres.
Another property sale will mark the launch of Avian Commons — a “village center” with services catering to employees of Camp Hall businesses. Mount Pleasant-based Refuel Operating Co. is purchasing 1.65 acres for $1.25 million for a gas station and convenience store.
In Horry County, Santee Cooper was cleared to sell off its last three lots totaling 22 acres at the 220-acre Ascott Valley Industrial Park off S.C. Highway 22 in Conway for $194,850.
Freeman Bisi Investors LLC bought 13.3 acres and S&H Investments Group bought 4.56 acres to expand their operations. The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp., which is in charge of attracting industry to the Grand Strand county, acquired 3.74 acres to double the size of an existing building to 100,000 square feet.
Legislators also had no objection to a separate real estate proposal by the Santee Cooper to donate 90 acres next to its Moncks Corner headquarters to the S.C. Department of Veterans Affairs. It is one of three South Carolina sites under consideration for two proposed state cemeteries for military members. The others are in Bamberg and Union counties.
The utility must turn the property over by July 1 for submission and review by the federal VA’s National Cemetery Administration, which will pick the two sites between next September and August 2023.
If the Santee Cooper property is selected, design and construction will begin either in 2024 or 2029. Otherwise, the land will be returned.
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