Johns Island produce stand, Rosebank Farms, to re-open later this month
JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - It looks like Rosebank Farms produce stand, a Johns Island staple of nearly 20 years, won't be closing after all.
Late last year, owner Sidi Limehouse found himself looking for a new location after the Town of Kiawah purchased the land he was renting.
Town officials are in the process of building a new municipal complex on the property, which stands at 4475 Betsy Kerrison Parkway.
According to Kiawah Senior Enforcement Officer, Rusty Lameo, three architecture firms are currently bidding on the project, and are expected to present before town officials May 21st.
The complex is expected to cost an estimated $10 million, and will include council chambers, municipal court, and a visitor's bureau.
Limehouse says he was originally asked to be off the property by December 2014, although his lease agreement ended in March.
He agreed, but said two days later, the move-out date was pushed up to November 30th.
"We asked them if we could stay there for six months. They wouldn't hear it," he said.
Residents argued officials handled land negotiations in private, leaving many to join in on social media campaigns and petitions to save the produce stand.
In a statement last year, town officials maintained they acted in accordance with state law, and said those documents were exempt from public disclosure.
Tuesday, Limehouse said he was allowed to finish the original contract, and moved out of the stand in March.
For months, he said he considered closing the produce stand for good, but re-considered after a strong show of support from the community.
"We were concerned that something wasn't ever going to be the same," said longtime customer Judy Keegan.
Seabrook resident Dennis Wall echoed her sentiment, and said of the stand,"It's an icon in the community."
"I don't know what else to say," Limehouse added. "People really appreciate us."
Town officials confirmed giving Limehouse an undisclosed amount of money to help with relocation costs. Limehouse said Tuesday, the amount was $15,000.
Rosebank Farms is expected to re-open by the end of the month. Its new location is 4362 Bohicket Road.
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