The Boeing Co. has options in South Carolina

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner taxied under its own power from the Boeing flight line in Everett, Wash., in this 2009 photo. (Photo/Boeing)
The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner taxied under its own power from the Boeing flight line in Everett, Wash., in this 2009 photo. (Photo/Boeing)
By Matt Tomsic
mtomsic@scbiznews.com
Published April 23, 2012

In Ladson, a chain link fence marks the edge of the Boeing Co.’s footprint. Beyond that fence, lies the empty field that represents the company’s potential.

The fence is the boundary between the aerospace giant’s Interiors Responsibility Center and 94 acres of undeveloped land that Boeing has tagged with an option to buy and right of first refusal, according to filings with the Charleston County Register of Mesne Conveyance.

The land filing shows one of the company’s options in the Lowcountry. But Boeing might also be targeting land owned by the Charleston County Aviation Authority, according to comments during the authority’s March board meeting.

The Boeing Co.’s final assembly plant is seen from the air (center) along with the company’s two facilities to form part of the company’s global supply chain near Charleston International Airport. (Photo/Boeing Co.)
The Boeing Co.’s final assembly plant is seen from the air (center) along with the company’s two facilities to form part of the company’s global supply chain near Charleston International Airport. (Photo/Boeing Co.)
The Boeing Co. has an option to purchase and right of first refusal agreement on Tract 10 in Ladson. The

The Boeing Co. has an option to purchase and right of first refusal agreement on Tract 10 in Ladson. The
tract sits next to Tract 9, where Boeing’s Interiors Responsibility Center is located. (Illustration/Jean Piot)

Boeing does not comment on “potential, pending or future real estate transactions, nor do we comment on speculation of such,” said Candy Eslinger, a spokeswoman for the company in an emailed response to questions.

“Boeing continually reviews its real estate portfolio as part of our due diligence to ensure proper stewardship of company assets and maintain Boeing competitiveness,” Eslinger said. “As a result, we regularly develop scenarios and evaluate options for real property to ensure we maintain the right mix of office and manufacturing space to meet the needs of our commercial and military businesses.”

Palmetto Commerce Parkway
Boeing signed the option with Stone Mountain Industrial Park, which owns the plot of land behind the Interiors Responsibility Center. The company makes the 787 Dreamliner interiors at the center, including stow bins, closets, partitions, overhead flight crew rests and video control stations.

The filing refers to the plot as “Tract 10,” and Stone Mountain Industrial Park bought the land in June 2006 for roughly $2 million. Boeing paid $10 for the option agreement.

The Register of Mesne Conveyence recorded the agreement on Aug. 26, 2010, weeks after recording paperwork to begin construction on the Interiors Responsibility Center.

The agreement gives Boeing an option on Tract 10 until Jan. 30, 2013. Starting Jan. 31, 2013, Boeing has a right of first refusal until July 30, 2014.

Charleston County Aviation Authority
A Charleston County Aviation Authority board meeting also highlighted Boeing’s expansion interest in the Lowcountry and another location where expansion could happen.

“Boeing has come to us and asked for a large portion of our land,” said state Rep. Chip Limehouse, who is the chairman of the aviation authority board, during the meeting.

Limehouse’s comments came after aviation authority director Sue Stevens presented a development plan for portions of the authority’s land.

“If you pass this, this is going to take off the table a considerable amount of what they’re asking for,” Limehouse said. “I do want to work with them on what they’ve asked.”

Stevens responded, saying she had met with Boeing officials the day before and had planned on sharing the plans with Boeing once they became public.

The board voted to defer action on Stevens’ proposed plan.

Boeing’s final assembly and delivery center sits near the airport where Micheaux Parkway hits International Boulevard.

Reached after the meeting, Limehouse said he couldn’t talk much about potential land deals.

“Basically, we’re trying to plan the future of the airport,” Limehouse said. “Everything’s in play and everything’s an option.”

Reach Matt Tomsic at 843-849-3144.

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