Naval Hospital redevelopment into county-services center slow, turbulent

Chicora Life Center in North Charleston, South Carolina affected by delays and disagreements.

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Once completed, Chicora Life Center in North Charleston, South Carolina will provide a one-stop shop for county services in a first-class office space. The road to that point, however, has been a rocky one.

The $28 million project that will serve as a hub for county services has been affected by delays and disagreements between the county and the developer. Chicora Life Center Manager Doug Durbano has said the discussions with the county have, at times, been adversarial and accused the county of "moving the goal posts."

“There has been some adversarial talk between individuals, but not in terms of county council and the center developer; that has never been the situation,” Councilman Henry Darby recently told Palmetto Business Daily.

Darby said he expects the project to be a success, bringing ease of access to important county services to his constituents. The issues along the way haven’t dimmed his optimism. Darby expects things to go more smoothly once Chicora gets the certifications it needs.

“(The Naval Hospital) has been a blighted area for a number of years, and this would bring business; it would bring people to the locale," Darby said. "It would be a one-stop shop where people can get more done at a central location."

Chicory is centrally located in Charleston County; and by integrating services and, Darby adds, perhaps private businesses, Chicora can become an important part of living and working in Charleston.

“Negotiation and negotiating -- I think that’s where we are now,” Darby said.

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