CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC — Charleston County Council voted Thursday night to end a lease agreement with Chicora Gardens Holding, LLC, to bring several government offices to The Chicora Life Center, located at 3600 Rivers Avenue. Council member Herbert Sass filed the movement.
Charleston County released this statement Thursday:
“Tonight, the Charleston County Finance Committee voted to terminate the lease with Chicora Life LLC. Staff will work to find a new location for the Charleston Center and to accommodate council’s request to study alternative options for social services in Charleston County. This action will be voted on during full County Council on Tuesday, March 8.”
According to an article published on July 18, 2014 from The City of North Charleston, Chicora Gardens Holdings was set to invest $3 million in renovations to the old Naval hospital. Chicora Gardens Holdings purchased the building from North Charleston in 2014.
The article explains the county planned to bring several services to the building including a SC DHEC office, Fetter Health Care Network, Inc., SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, and other tenants.
The building as it stands has many medical offices and retail space available.
In Thursday’s council meeting, Charleston County council members explained some required renovations had not been made by a deadline set.
Council Member Henry Darby was very outspoken in his opposition to ending the lease, saying only 15 more requirements were needed to be met.
The General Manager of Chicora Life Center, who was a part of paying for renovations to the facility, is also upset.
“How could a county, a government entity decide unilaterally, just on their own, cancel a signed lease that’s not just illegal. That’s immoral, and close to fraud,” said Douglas Durbano, the General Manager said.
Council members also discussed other options to bring a similar center to the area of North Charleston, but more information is expected to come at future council meetings.