Beaufort Commerce Park in Beaufort, S.C. still looking for first tenant

One year out, Beaufort Commerce Park yet to announce new tenant

Published: April 6, 2013

The Island Packet


One year ago, Beaufort City Council decided to buy a foundering industrial park and launch an effort to fill it with companies that could diversify the local job market.

One year later, no new tenant has set up shop at the Beaufort Commerce Park, despite intimations by several city officials that one would soon arrive.

Mayor Billy Keyserling said that prospective tenant he had hoped to announce by now is still considering the park, as is another company that he believes could wind up there. He is also talking with a local business interested in expanding and moving into the park.

“We’re slower than I anticipated, but we’re still working almost every day on it,” Keyserling said.

He would not name or give details about any of the businesses.

Beaufort Redevelopment Commission Chairman Jon Verity also continues to believe the park will blossom when a new tenant is found.

“I really believe that at some point we’re going to find someone who is the right fit,” he said. “If we don’t try, if we don’t make an effort, if we don’t have a place for them to go, then we’ll never get them.”

The park, which began about four decades ago as a private venture, has a long history of struggling to attract companies. Most of the 209 acres — 167 of which can be built upon — are vacant.

The city bought the park last year for $1.8 million from S.C. Bank & Trust, which had purchased it in a foreclosure auction for $2 million in fall 2011. The previous owner, the Lowcountry Economic Network, the county’s business-recruitment arm at the time, folded after it could no longer afford the mortgage and the county refused to bail it out.

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