The Buzz

July 11, 2014

What SC owns: Building space for 30 Empire States

The state of South Carolina owns a mansion, several stadiums and arenas, enough forested land to cover about half of Rhode Island and a bunch of buildings to store stuff, train workers and hold prisoners. But until recently, South Carolina did not have a complete list of state-owned buildings and property.

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

The state of South Carolina owns a mansion, several stadiums and arenas, enough forested land to cover about half of Rhode Island and a bunch of buildings to store stuff, train workers and hold prisoners.

But until recently, South Carolina did not have a complete list of state-owned buildings and property. The list of 7,815 buildings and 2,525 parcels was finished this month and posted online by the State Budget and Control Board at the urging of Gov. Nikki Haley.

The state owns enough building square footage to fill 30 Empire State Buildings and enough land to easily cover Richland County, according to analysis of the property data.

Haley issued an executive order in October requesting the state’s 107 agencies report what they held to see if they could find any excess property to sell.

“It's time to simplify the books, it's time to clean it up,” Haley said after signing the order.

South Carolina sold three properties over the past year and currently has another 47 listed for sale, including some that have been on the market for a decade, according to the Budget and Control Board.

The state will seek bids soon for a contractor to develop tools for agencies to determine property needs, Budget and Control Board director Marcia Adams said. The contractor also could help manage South Carolina’s real estate portfolio. The complete assessment of state-owned property could take about two years, she said.

“We’re looking at, ‘Do we need all this space?’ ” Adams said. “We want to make sure we’re all looking at real estate the same way.”

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