Graffiti, decaying concrete and rusted buildings are all that’s left of the old Port of Port Royal. The former South Carolina State Ports Authority terminal has been sold to Safe Harbor Marinas. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

At long last

Port of Port Royal sale complete

 From staff reports 

This time, it’s for real. 

Safe Harbor Marinas confirmed its purchase of the Port of Port Royal in a Dec. 7 news release. 

According to the release, the acquisition of the former South Carolina State Ports Authority terminal in downtown Port Royal was completed November 12. 

The Island News’ Lolita Huckaby first reported on Safe Harbor’s plans to buy the port in June. 

“We are very excited to welcome Port Royal to Safe Harbor,” Safe Harbor Marinas Chief Investment Officer Jason Hogg said in the release. “The permitted marina will complement the existing dry stack and surrounding facilities by providing first class dockage in walking distance to the shops and restaurants of Port Royal.”

Safe Harbor Port Royal currently has a 240 unit dry stack facility, a 70,000 square foot shipping terminal and more that 45 acres of developable land in the heart of the charming southern seaport.

“We look forward to working with the town of Port Royal to create a world class boating destination,” Hogg said.

Grey Ghost Properties (GGP) bought the shuttered port facility in 2017 for $9 million from the state.

The town had been working with GGP to develop a comprehensive “marina village” on the banks of Battery Creek – a “village” that includes the current dry-stack storage facility, the former port terminal building, the current Fishcamp restaurant and open space for more than 500 dwelling units.

The planned unit development, or PUD, approved by the town council in 2017 also includes commercial space and a 300-slip marina.

The agreement between Gray Ghost and the town remains intact and is part of the sale, which is reportedly for more than $20 million. Any changes to the agreement remain to be seen.

The Sands Beach and the Port Royal shrimp docks, returned to the town some time ago by Grey Ghost, are not part of the sale.

Safe Harbor Marinas is a national marina operations company which leases Beaufort’s Downtown Marina and owns Port Royal Landings and Skull Creek Marina on Hilton Head Island, as well as more than 100 other marinas. Safe Harbor was purchased in October 2020 by Sun Communities, a real estate investment trust.

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