Johns Island Park expansion seeing changes in plans

VIDEO: Johns Island Park expansion seeing changes in plans

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston’s Johns Island Park could soon expand its recreation space.

Records show an application has been approved for Charleston County to give greenbelt funds to the City of Charleston for the expansion of the public park.

The property that would be annexed is directly adjacent to the 31-acre Johns Island Park and the Hayes Park residential neighborhood.

Originally, the city says they planned to expand the park by an additional 11.25 acres of public land on Johns Island for more public recreation opportunities.

According to the City of Charleston’s Real Estate Committee the owner of the property allows a portion of the property to be used for the Johns Island Farmers Market, and they want to keep that part.

Real Estate Committee meet at the end of November, but the city of Charleston is reevaluating how much space they will have for the park expansion

The Greenbelt Application Summary submitted to Charleston County says the proposed improvements for the park expansion include a walking and biking trail, a small gym, additional tennis and pickle ball courts, and a swimming pool.

This expansion is part of the county’s goal to protect urban Greenbelt land and Lowcountry wetlands.

City of Charleston Communications Coordinator Chloe Field says the owner of the land that is commonly referred to as the Ross Tract, plans to keep a portion of the land for private contract. Field says this is for a possible new business as well as for the Farmers Market.

At the last Real Estate Committee meeting, Field says it was determined that the city of Charleston still wants to purchase a portion of the property, but it may not be as much land as they initially planned.

The city is working to finalize their purchase and sale agreement for what the new acreage of the park expansion will be, Field says.

While the city doesn’t have an exact price due to changes in the amount of property for sale, it was originally going to cost over $1.5 million.

The Real Estate Committee says they expect the price to be lower, because some of the property will no longer be sold to the city for the park expansion.

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