Charleston County Aviation Authority discusses use of Boeing land sale funds

By Liz Segrist
Published Jan. 9, 2014

The Charleston County Aviation Authority’s staff is working out how to spend the $13.8 million from selling 267 acres of land for the Boeing Co.

The Aviation Authority’s finance committee discussed potential uses for the land sale funds at its meeting Wednesday. The funds must be used for aeronautical-related projects, all of which require approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, Finance Director Judi Olmstead said.

Previous coverage:

The funds could be used for maintenance and operations at the Charleston International Airport. A parking deck would not qualify, Olmstead said. Airports Director Paul Campbell said the airport will need another parking deck eventually to deal with growth and overcrowding.

“That’s a good problem to have,” Campbell said.

The funds must be used within five years. The staff expects to present some recommendations in early spring — in time for the annual budget.

The aviation authority closed on the sale of 267 total acres on Dec. 13 to Palmetto Railways, an economic development agency of the S.C. Commerce Department. Palmetto Railways then sold the land to Boeing. The aviation authority is leasing an additional 241 acres to Boeing through the Palmetto Railways. Boeing has the option to purchase the additional land in 2025.

Boeing plans to use the 508 acres in North Charleston to nearly double its 1.2 million-square-foot 787 Dreamliner final assembly building, which lies just to the south, beginning next year. Plans also call for building up to seven more manufacturing buildings, additional office buildings and a third paint hangar, according to regulatory filings.

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

(Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story mischaracterized Boeing’s option to purchase the land. Boeing has the option to buy 241 additional acres in 2025).

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