SC Ports Board Approves Agreement with Lowe

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

South Carolina Ports Authority Board of Directors approved a professional services agreement with Lowe, the owner of the Wild Dunes Resort and developer of the new Cooper Hotel on Charleston Harbor, to entitle and sell the non-maritime portion of Union Pier for redevelopment.

The entitlement process entails master planning, design and community collaboration. The process is estimated to last between 30-36 months. Once finalized, Lowe will work on behalf of South Carolina Ports Authority to sell the non-maritime portion of Union Pier.

Lowe will receive a monthly stipend of $20,000 during the entitlement phase, plus a reimbursement for direct staff employed on the project, which is estimated to be an additional $30,000 per month. Once the property is entitled, the monthly stipend is reduced to $10,000 per month until the property is sold.

South Carolina Ports Authority retains control of all major decisions in the process.

“We are convinced through our interactions with Lowe in the sale of 176 Concord, and their collaborative efforts with the City of Charleston on the new hotel, that Lowe is uniquely positioned to handle this important project, maximize the value of the property, and assure a thorough and collaborative process with the city,” said Bill Stern, chairman of S.C. Ports Authority. “Lowe has a national platform, and a strong and experienced local presence led by Dan Battista. The outcome of this should be a win-win for both the SCPA and the City of Charleston.”

“This is an exciting endeavor for S.C. Ports, and we look forward to working with Lowe in an extensive collaboration with the City of Charleston and the many stakeholders to deliver the best outcome for all involved,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of S.C. Ports Authority. “Our experience with Lowe for more than three years gives us every confidence that this is the correct choice.”

“After extensive negotiations with SCPA Chairman of the Board Bill Stern, Lowe is pleased to have reached an agreement to oversee the Union Pier entitlement process, and we look forward to collaborating with the city, community and other relevant stakeholders to ensure this property along Charleston’s waterfront is planned and developed responsibly,” said Dan Battista, Lowe’s senior vice president and Charleston regional leader.

SCPA’s board unanimously approved a resolution today authorizing its President and CEO, Jim Newsome, to finalize the agreement with Lowe in consultation with Board Chairman Bill Stern, who is an experienced commercial real estate developer in Columbia.