SC Ports and Berkeley County Finalize Landmark Deal for New 115-Acre Waterfront Park on Daniel Island

Waterfront park blueprint concept

SC Ports and Berkeley Finalize Deal for a New Waterfront Park on Daniel Island

A landmark deal has been finalized between South Carolina’s State Ports Authority (SPA) and Berkeley County, paving the way for a near 115-acre waterfront park on Daniel Island. The sale, worth $4 million, has been a year in the pipeline and was finally clinched on June 28.

Preservation and Green Space

This will be the inaugural project in a greenbelt preservation initiative, promoting the conservation of natural landscapes and the development of public green spaces. The funding for the acquisition will come from the South Carolina Conservation Bank, the Daniel Island Community Fund, and a local sales tax approved by the electorate in 2022 for road improvements and land preservation projects.

The North Island Tract is situated between the Cooper River and the ending point of Seven Farms Drive. Plans to extend this road onto the property aim to provide public access to the forthcoming park. Berkeley County Council and the SPA’s board of directors had given the green light to the purchase agreement back in June 2023.

A Sustainable Future

“This was the result of a good relationship between the port, the county and the Daniel Island Community Fund,” said Councilman Josh Whitley, representative of the Daniel Island district. Whitley hailed the greenbelt initiative as one that would “impact generations.” In his eyes, having the North Island Tract as the first-ever project in this drive was a significant accomplishment, on which he will look back on with great pride.

A Vision for Recreation

While the exact plans for the site have yet to be unveiled, the suggestions from local residents have been promising. Among these include the development of walking trails, boardwalks crisscrossing the wetlands, and a pier. The county is currently welcoming feedback on these park plans and other preservation initiatives via its greenbelt website.

A Potential Environmental Win

The SPA dubbed the initiative an environmental victory for the region but refrained from commenting on the land sale. The organization is also working on a 135-acre project adjacent to the slated site, aiming to establish a saltwater mitigation bank. They have also leased another 40-acre property to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for public use.

SPA’s Real Estate Divestments

The sale is a part of SPA’s ongoing efforts to offload surplus real estate which does not align with its primary operations. Over the years, it has divested various properties including its headquarters in Charleston peninsula, a former marine terminal in Port Royal, and undeveloped lots along Market Street and Morrison Drive. The SPA is currently in negotiations to sell its Union Pier Terminal, currently used as a cruise ship terminal, to an affiliate of entrepreneur Ben Navarro’s Beemok Capital. The deal is yet to be finalized.

SC Ports and Berkeley County Finalize Landmark Deal for New 115-Acre Waterfront Park on Daniel Island

Author: HERE Irmo

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