Council awards Benson former hospital site, taxpayers are out $400,000, Mayor suggests legal challenge

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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Jim Benson was awarded the former Allen Bennett Hospital site. It sits across from his automobile dealership.

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Jim Benson was awarded the former Allen Bennett Hospital site. It sits across from his automobile dealership.


The former Allen Bennett Hospital site belongs to 313 Memorial Drive, owned by Jim Benson – for now.

Greer City Council approved an amended offer for the approximately 10-acre site at the corner of Wade Hampton Boulevard and Memorial Drive in its second reading of the ordinance Tuesday night.

Council’s decision followed a third nearly two-hour executive session mulling the two offers and being advised by the city attorney of possible legal action that may follow Tuesday’s decision.

The amended offer by Benson was economic and job related presented in the public meeting but council would not disclose the contents when asked by GreerToday.com.

“You will find out at closing,” Mayor Rick Danner.

Attorney Brian Martin, representing Benson, reiterated its Nov. 22 offer for $1.8 million. Martin’s amended offer apparently helped sway council’s vote.

“We accepted an amended offer,” Danner said.

Councilwoman Judy Albert was the lone no vote among council and Danner. “I just thought we should have taken more time to make a decision that big,” Albert said.

JBM Leasing LLC offered $2.2 million, $400,000 more than Benson’s offer, all in cash, and previously announced a state-of-the-art Nissan dealership would be built on site with 60-70 employees.

JBM Leasing LLC, is owned by Mark Escude, of Nissan of Greer, Hyundai of Greer, Kia of Greer and Toyota of Greer.

Council referred back to offers made at the Nov. 22 meeting when the first reading was approved. A subsequent offer of $3.005 million by JBM on Dec. 13 was not included Tuesday night.

While attorney Kris Cato would not say what JBM’s next step would be, if any, sources indicated legal action can be expected.

Which means the gift awarded to the City of Greer by the Greenville Health System in September 2010 keeps on giving City Council headaches.





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