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RDA 2000

A Management Review of the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority
September 2000


As requested by members of the General Assembly, we conducted a management review of the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority (RDA). Since 1994, the RDA has been responsible for the redevelopment and reuse of federal property at the former naval base in North Charleston, which was closed in 1996. Because the U.S. Navy still owns the naval complex, the RDA has entered into master leases with the Navy and has subleased the properties to businesses, governments, and other organizations.

The audit requesters were primarily concerned about the methods by which the RDA leases out land, buildings, and equipment at the naval complex. We were also asked to review the RDA’s relationship with another state agency, the S.C. State Ports Authority (SPA), as well as the RDA’s compliance with the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.

One of the primary goals of the RDA has been to replace jobs lost by the closing of the Charleston naval base. When the base closed, 6,272 civilian and 8,722 military jobs were lost. As of May 2000, a total of 4,089 workers were employed at the complex. The RDA has also made progress toward renovating the infrastructure at the complex.

According to RDA officials, maximizing rent from subleases has not been a goal. The agency, however, has not adequately marketed available properties at the naval complex. Therefore, the RDA may have limited the pool of qualified businesses seeking to bring new jobs and economic development to the area.