At least one party that made an unsuccessful offer for the old Aiken County Hospital still would like to acquire the brick structure and its 9.33 acres of property.
“We have a continued interest in the hospital,” Chip Limehouse told the Aiken Standard recently.
Limehouse is a commercial real estate broker and a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.
He said he has been pursuing a deal on the old Aiken County hospital on behalf of a client, Alfred L. “Al” Saad III.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Saad is the director of Foster, Saad & Co. Ltd. and the president of A.L. Saad & Co., which are based in Columbia.
Saad also is a partner in the Great Southern Corporation, a private holding company that is based in Columbia.
Saad is a “very, very successful and well-respected developer of housing, office space and warehouses,” Limehouse said. “He has a keen interest in historic preservation.”
Saad also has been involved in the repurposing of “numerous former mill sites in the upstate of South Carolina into housing,” Limehouse said.
The old Aiken County Hospital, which was built prior to World War II, is on Richland Avenue West in Aiken.
Aiken County owns the property, which also once was the home of the county government’s headquarters.
The county had a deal to sell the old Aiken County Hospital to the Marian Group for $1.1 million, but that Kentucky firm pulled out early in 2019.
Then the county entered into an agreement with WTC Investments LLC, which made a $1.1 million offer, but WTC withdrew from the contract earlier this month.
Since then, “I have communicated with several folks from the county,” Limehouse said. “I’m waiting to see what happens. The county might just say, ‘We’re throwing everything out and starting over again’ or they could tell us that we still have an offer on the table. We’re just going to let the county be the driver, and we’re going to play the cards they deal us.”
Until Limehouse hears otherwise, he said he believes “our offer is still on the table.”
But “we need to sit down with the county (officially) and figure out where we are,” he added.
Limehouse did not disclose the amount of Saad’s offer.
“It’s very important to get it right, when that property is developed, no matter who gets selected (as the buyer),” Limehouse said. “That will help determine the future success of the City of Aiken. It (the land) is more or less the gateway coming from Augusta, from the west. What goes there will dictate the future of the neighborhood.”
Limehouse, 57, is a native of Charleston. He was a Republican state representative from District 110.
“I’m a ninth generation Charlestonian, so I’m never going to say I’m not a Charlestonian, but I love Aiken,” Limehouse said.
He played polo here for many years before taking an extended break.
“I may be fully retired from polo now, or maybe I’m just taking a sabbatical,” Limehouse said. “I’m not sure.”
Limehouse owns a farm between Aiken and Wagener. He has horses and grows hemp and hay.
“Aiken is the best small town in the country,” Limehouse said. “There are so many opportunities in front of us now in Aiken County. Aiken has a very bright future. What we need to do is support Dr. Sandra Jordan (the chancellor of USC Aiken), our governor and others in what they are doing is to collaborate with Fort Gordon and basically build on the success of cybersecurity. Cyber is the future, and Aiken can be a key player in the United States with cyber if we get it right.”