A rural Berkeley County estate dating to the 18th century will be permanently protected as part of the property’s sale this month.
The Lowcountry Land Trust said May 20 it has sold the 604-acre Hyde Park Plantation, which overlooks the east branch of the Cooper River between Huger and Cordesville. The Charleston-based conservation group declined to provide information about the buyer.
Berkeley County land records show the property was sold May 9 for $ 2.65 million to Nuthatch Hyde Park LLC. The purchaser shares the same Carrollton, Ga., Address as several conservation groups, including the nonprofit Green Georgia Foundation and Terrah Conservation Capital, which invests in land conservation projects in the Southeast. Roy Richards Jr., the former CEO of Southwire Co., is an executive with those groups. A spokesperson for the organizations could not be reached for comment.
Terrah previously loaned $ 1 million to the Lowcountry Land Trust to help the group buy the Hyde Park property. It’s not clear whether the sale price was discounted due to Terrah’s previous involvement, but the land trust sold the property for about $ 1 million less than it paid for it.
The historic site, which was a working rice plantation in the 1700s, is among the properties Lowcountry Land Trust purchased with a portion of $ 5 million it received from the State Ports Authority in 2015 to offset the environmental impacts from the Charleston Harbor deepening project. money was put into a revolving fund to buy land for preservation. Proceeds from the Hyde Park sale will be used to finance future acquisitions.
The land trust recorded the legally binding document detailing the terms of the easement, such as limiting the number of residential structures on the property to five and allowing two docks, the same day of the sale.
“The Cooper River corridor’s unique ecological and historic characteristics continue to be under pressure by the growing Charleston region,” said CEO Ashley Demosthenes. “By purchasing this property, placing it under a permanent conservation easement, and selling it, we not only protect Hyde Park, but also we return capital to the revolving fund to allow for more conservation work in the Cooper River corridor. ”
Hyde Park includes more than 100 acres of broken rice fields and nearly 500 acres of upland forest, as well as a historic cottage dating to the 1790s. In recent decades, it has been managed primarily for timber and recreation.
The transaction brings the total number of private, state, and local protected acres in the Cooper River corridor to more than 58,000, which also connect to the 259,000-acre federally owned Francis Marion National Forest. Hyde Park is the 13th property protected in the corridor ..
Barbara Melvin, the ports authority’s chief operations officer, said the maritime agency’s partnership with Lowcountry Land Trust “continues to generate positive impacts to our community by protecting wetlands, wildlife habitats and water quality for future generations.”
Hyde Park was owned for centuries by the Ball family, which at times also owned the adjacent Kensington Plantation to the east, and many other properties in the Cooper River corridor. To its west, Hyde Park is adjacent to the 11,000-acre Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area, managed by the SC Department of Natural Resources.
Lowcountry Land Trust’s revolving fund helped to purchase the 425-acre French Quarter property in Huger and Fort Fair Lawn in Berkeley County.
Locally, Terrah Conservation has made other investments in “Wilson Bugby,” a 400-acre site along the Bohicket River on Wadmalaw Island; the 460-acre Carraway Landing on Mingo Creek in Georgetown County; and the 450-acre Stowe tract along the Intracoastal Waterway near McClellanville.
The group also acquired 326 acres in Dorchester County that will be used for wetlands mitigation for the Walmart import distribution center in Ridgeville and nearly 600 acres in Berkeley County that will be used as wetlands mitigation for the Berlin G. Myers Parkway extension in Summerville.
Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_