Museum Foundation pays off $3.4M debt to former development partner

Posted March 14, 2013 7:05 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

After years of public disagreements between local and state elected officials and York County’s Cultural and Heritage Foundation, foundation officials said this week a small land sale has allowed the Foundation to pay its debts to a former development partner.

The Fort Mill School District recently purchased 39 acres of property for a future elementary school, leaving the Foundation with the cash to pay back it’s ex-developer Cherokee Investment Partners.

Cherokee and Foundation, at one time, had plans to build a new York County Museum on the Catawba River.

Those plans fell though when the housing market crashed to a screeching halt.

Carolinas Healthcare System purchased 21 acres of property in 2011 for a future hospital in Fort Mill.

The land, which at one time totaled 400 acres, was gifted to the Foundation in 1998 by Jane Spratt McColl.

Foundation Chairman Bill Easley tells WRHI the group still holds 340 acres of prime land that is still for sale.

Easley says the Foundation will be very selective if and when there is a buyer for the property.

In a letter to supporters, Easley said the foundation still holds more than $500,000 in financial assets.

The public battle between York County Council, State Rep. Ralph Norman and the Foundation ensued after allegations of operational and financial mismanagement surfaced in 2011.

Those allegations were eventually brought to the Secretary of State and state Attorney General and were declared to be unfounded.