Beach Co. president says development to continue without public money

By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published May 6, 2013

The president of The Beach Co., which is planning a 1,428-acre development on Johns Island, said the project will go forward even after a tax-increment financing proposal was rejected Thursday by Charleston County Council’s finance committee.

The Beach Co. sought a TIF district to be used to pay for $82 million in infrastructure costs for Kiawah River Plantation located off Mullet Hall Road.

Some of the proposed work included improvements to wastewater treatment and roads, construction of a water and sewer main, and work on a nearby equestrian center. That work and the development at large are now on hold while the developer seeks other sources of financing, said John Darby, president and CEO of The Beach Co.

Darby said the project will still be built but that the plans could change. He said a civic center could be axed, as could improvements to a park, now that public money will not be contributing to the development.

“We’ve got good zoning on the property,” Darby said. “It is zoned for more than 1,000 units, commercial space, a hotel and workforce housing. The type of homebuyer may change, and those are things we will evaluate over the next couple years.”

Development plans for the site were approved in 2009 and included 1,285 homes, 450 guest rooms, a golf course and 80,000 square feet of retail and office space.

The committee’s vote against the plan was unanimous. County Council is expected to vote on the issue on Tuesday.

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Added: 6 May 2013

My heart bleeds for these guys. Poor, poor Beach Co. The last thing we need is another contractor with their hand in the public's pocket.

Charles Kern