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State approves Patriots Point land lease

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The State Fiscal Accountability Authority unanimously approved a 99-year lease between Patriots Point Development Authority and Patriots Annex LLC, clearing the way for the latter to begin development on 60 acres adjacent to the USS Yorktown.

Over the next 15 years, Patriots Annex LLC is expected to invest more than $350 million into the first phase of the mixed-use development, including restaurants, shops, office buildings, an amphitheater and a hotel named the Grand Patriot. The agreement will generate $3.5 million of annual revenue for Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum during this phase, which will be used to fund restoration of ships and piers.

(Click to enlarge photo) Patriots Annex LLC is planning a mixed-use development adjacent to the USS Yorktown, including restaurants, shops, office buildings, an amphitheater and a hotel. (Rendering/Provided)

“This project will allow our museum, a South Carolina government agency, to achieve self-sufficiency in terms of restoration and maintenance of our World War II warships,” said Ray Chandler, chairman of the Patriots Point board. “Over the course of the 99-year lease, we will have the financial resources to spend the $300 million needed to ensure that many generations of families will continue to visit our museum.”

The development is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs and a state tax revenue of over $80 million during the lease. Local taxes and fees are projected to be over $200 million.

The lease includes a two-year due diligence period prior to construction, during which time zoning will be pursued and a conceptual master plan developed. Construction must begin within three years of the end of this period.

The Patriots Point board must approve the conceptual master plan and any changes made to it, as well as a more detailed plan, before construction begins. Development plans are also subject to the land use regulations of the town of Mount Pleasant.

Michael Bennett, owner of Patriots Annex LLC, said he was looking forward to the partnership.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to partner with the state of South Carolina on the redevelopment of Patriots Point,” he said.

The development will also affect the proposed National Medal of Honor Museum, which would be built on the waterfront next to the USS Yorktown. Museum officials are currently working to raise $110 million and plan break ground by 2020.

“The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation is excited about the energy and economic impact of the Bennett development and the effect it may have on the National Medal of Honor Museum and our partners at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum,” foundation CEO Mark Updegrove said.

The process to negotiate and approve the lease began in 2014, when Michael Bennett was selected by Patriots Point from submitted proposals for development. The lease was signed in April 2016 and approved by South Carolina’s Joint Bond Review Committee earlier this month.

Reach Patrick Hoff at 843-849-3144.

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