Monday, October 9, 2017

City officials set to decide the fate of Charleston’s Low Line park this week

High time for the Low Line

Posted by Dustin Waters on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 11:40 AM

click to enlarge The Low Line park project would create a greenway along an unused rail line on the peninsula - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • The Low Line park project would create a greenway along an unused rail line on the peninsula
After years of negotiations, the future of Charleston’s Low Line park will come before city officials this week.

Set for discussion during Monday’s meeting of the Charleston’s Real Estate Committee is a proposed plan that would see the city enter into a purchase agreement with the nonprofit organization dedicated to making the Low Line a reality. In 2015, the Friends of the Lowcountry Low Line obtained an offer to purchase the tract of unused rail line from Norfolk Southern. As a part of that deal, the group had two years to secure $17.5 million needed to buy the entire corridor.

The City Paper spoke with Winslow Hastie, president of the Friends of the Lowcountry Low Line board of directors, in June to discuss how the proposed linear park could fit into improving overall mobility along the peninsula. At that time, Hastie said the nonprofit had negotiated the sale of two parcels of land on Line Street that were included in the deal with Norfolk Southern, leaving $5-7 million between them and their fundraising goal.

Now, set to go before Charleston City Council on Tuesday following discussion by the Real Estate and Ways and Means committees is a $4.84 million deal between the city, Norfolk Southern, and the Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline. As a part of the agreement, the city would purchase approximately 11 acres of former railroad property between Mt. Pleasant Street and Woolfe Street to use for the public park. Also folded into the $4.84 million figure is the purchase of a tract of land off F Street and a 1.85-acre tract on Mt. Pleasant Street for a combined price of around $2.3 million.

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