March 17, 2021 — The Aiken Municipal Development Commission has identified and recruited a well-capitalized and successful real estate investor interested in partnering to explore one or more potential commercial development projects within the City of Aiken.

The Commission voted March 17, 2021 to authorize Chairman Keith Wood and Executive Director Tim O’Briant to negotiate and execute a predevelopment cost-sharing agreement regarding a potential project code-named Pascalis. The agreement commits the commission to reimburse as much as 50 percent of the cost for feasibility, market analysis, design, engineering and other professional services related to the evaluation of possible development on a site or sites within the City. In no case will the actual and verified expenses reimbursed by the Commission exceed $150,000.

This action is in direct keeping with the Commission’s mission statement:

The Commission shall combine technical assistance, financial assistance, and other incentives to leverage and facilitate development in the City of Aiken.  Activities may include, but not be limited to, fostering both public and private investments intended to reduce physical and economic blight, encouraging new business startups and expansions, increasing the availability of well-paying jobs, and providing for a diverse range of housing that meets the needs of current and future residents of the community.

The name Project Pascalis harkens back to the storied team of railroad engineers and surveyors, Alfred Dexter and C.O. Pascalis, who first designed and laid out Aiken’s iconic grid of central streets and parkways in 1832. The Commission’s desire is to approach the next phases of development in Aiken with the same diligence, care and planning exercised by that thoughtful team of experts.