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Land Swap

LAKE WYLIE --York County leaders have approved plans for a land swap with Crescent Resources that could mean more land for the county and Clover schools --but district officials haven's sealed the deal.

The York County Council last week approved plans for a land swap arrangement with Crescent Resources that could mean 16 more acres of property for the county and 74 more acres for Clover schools -- or a total of 80 acres -- in the Crowders Creek area.

That 80 acres would be in addition to 100 acres involved in the previous development agreement. Under that agreement, the county would receive 50 acres and Clover school district would be able to purchase 50 acres as part of a two-parcel plan totaling almost 2,000 acres.

"This sets out the two properties for that, but they still have to meet to close on the property," said county manager Jim Baker.

The previous agreement also rezoned the property to remove higher-density development away from the lake, doubled the buffer from 50 to 100 feet from the lake and changed where residential, commercial and industrial properties could be built.

By swapping land owned by Clover schools and the county near the Daimler Trucks North America site off S.C. 274, the council was able to secure land closer to the lake for itself and the schools.

However, the Clover school board hasn't agreed to the deal.

"No finalization and no progress has been made," district spokesman Greg Reid said. "That is something we don't quite have all the information on right now."

Reid and Kathy Cantrell, a school board member from Lake Wylie, declined to elaborate on the board's reasons for not moving forward. Cantrell said the land issue was discussed in executive session June 8, the same night county council passed its amendment.

"It looks like we're not going to be proceeding right now," Cantrell said. "For the time being, that's on hold."

Land owner Crescent Resources, known for luxury waterfront communities, declared bankruptcy Wednesday. The company declined to comment on how the bankruptcy might impact specific Lake Wylie properties. New CEO Andrew Hede has said he doesn't expect any significant changes in Crescent's operations.

"We believe this process will lead to a stronger financial foundation for the company and its stakeholders and that it will better position us to serve our customers and partners over the longer term," Hede said in a statement.

York County Councilman Tom Smith has said throughout the planned development rezoning process that he expects Crescent Resources would sell the Crowders Creek property to one or more developers.

Under the new land agreement, the county would acquire a 52-acre lakefront tract and a smaller, almost 15-acre lakefront tract on either side of the existing York County pump station on Crowders Creek. That property could be used for, in addition to recreation, county office facilities or even in the more distant future, a possible municipal hub for Lake Wylie.

"That could someday be a Lake Wylie town hall," Smith said.

The Clover school district could purchase up to 124 acres, located inland from the larger, lakefront county site.

How big a player is Crescent Resources?

With properties like the one being rezoned at Crowders Creek, along with areas like Waterside Market Place and Mill Creek Commons, a York County Geographic Information Systems search shows Crescent owns 63 county properties totaling 2,780 acres valued at close to $46,884,200. The Charlotte-based entity holds interests in 10 southeastern and southwestern states, with significant properties in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties also surrounding Lake Wylie.

"Despite the unprecedented challenges facing the real estate industry, we believe Crescent's underlying business model is solid, and our assets remain very attractive," said CEO Andrew Hede. "We intend to reach an agreement on our new capital structure and emerge from bankruptcy quickly."

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