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Warehouse standoff throws wrench in inland port progress

Published on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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Nordic Cold Storage, background, has reportedly 11 years remaining on its 30-year lease with the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA).  The Authority is threatening to use the power of eminent domain to end a lease.

Jim Fair

Nordic Cold Storage, background, has reportedly 11 years remaining on its 30-year lease with the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA).  The Authority is threatening to use the power of eminent domain to end a lease.



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This warehouse, owned by the South Carolina State Ports Authority, was demolished last week.

Jim Fair

This warehouse, owned by the South Carolina State Ports Authority, was demolished last week.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) is threatening to use the power of eminent domain to end a lease with a storage company that is refusing to leave on property planned for a $35 million inland port in Greer.

The Charleston Post and Courier reported the SPA needs property leased by Nordic Cold Storage, headquartered in Atlanta, a warehouse that operates on three acres of property near the middle of the planned inland port. 

Nordic has 11 years remaining on its 30-year lease.  An appraisal determined the value at about $900,000, according to the newspaper.

Greer Mayor Rick Danner said the issue is between the port authority and Nordic.  SPA updated city leaders before Tuesday night’s council meeting. Council went into executive session to discuss two economic developments on its agenda, but Mayor Danner did not comment afterward.

SPA board members met by telephone Tuesday and agreed to use the power of eminent domain and then condemn and demolish the building. The newspaper reported board members agreed that the inland port is in the public’s interest and “condemnation” is required for the benefit of the citizens of South Carolina.”

Don Schoenl, CEO of Nordic, did not comment Tuesday, saying he was unaware of the decision.

The ports authority maintains it wants the inland port to open by Labor Day, Sept. 2. Jim Newcome, CEO of the Port Authority, said the rail yard at the port cannot operate unless the Nordic warehouse is removed.  The inland port project was announced in July and its groundbreaking was held March 1.

A warehouse owned by the ports authority was demolished last week.

The newspaper reported ports authority officials would not speculate on how long the condemnation process might take but said an out-of-court settlement is possible.

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