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					Noisette facing foreclosure lawsuit AH:Su mmey confident redevelopment of former Navy base ultimately
                                             will succeed
                                           By Robert Behre
                                         Tuesday,June 9, 2009

The Navy Yard at Noisette has been hit with a $23.8 million foreclosure lawsuit that could result in a
public sale of about two-thirds of No isette's holdings on the former Charleston Naval Base and threaten the
company's amb itious redevelopment plan.

The suit marks the most serious setback to date for the 8-year-o ld effo rt to convert the base's northern end
into a new A merican city, one touted as a national examp le for balancing economic, environ mental and
social goals.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Su mmey said he expected the suit because he had heard that the Noisette
Co. was having trouble finding new backers.

"They were hoping to still find investors' financing," Su mmey said, "but in this market, right now, it's
almost impossible."

Noisette CEO John Knott said the company continues to talk with Cap mark Finance Inc., which provided
the loan, "and we're confident this will be resolved."

Knott said the company was close to getting financing that would pay off the bridge loan when the
Legislature began pushing for more rail traffic through the Noisette site to serve the new State Ports
Authority terminal being built on the base's southern end.

A state Co mmerce Depart ment-sponsored plan cited a Noisette parcel as a possible site for an intermodal
yard served by trucks and trains, but Summey said the rail route would vio late an agreement the city had
with the State Ports Authority.

This year's legislative session ended without a resolution, and it's unclear whether the issue played into the
lenders' decision to foreclose. The lender's attorney, James Pulliam of Charlotte, did not return calls

Knott said the company's struggles are partly the result of the collapse in the nation's capital and housing
markets last fall but added that "the rail situation did not help matters."

Summey said the suit does nothing to change his opposition to the rail line because he hopes that whoever
ends up with the property will pursue Noisette's vision of a mixed -use development with ho mes, offices and
retail stores. That will be a tougher task with a sharp increase in train traffic.

Summey said the city would work with any new developer that might emerge but isn't eager to change the
zoning plan there.

"That doesn't mean that sections of it can't be changed a little bit. That's something we can work with the
developers on," he said.

"My argument has always been that the Noisette project will be successful whether it's the No isette Co. or
not. That's still the position I hold."
The plaintiffs and the amounts they're owed include: SPG CDE Subfund A LLC ($12.9 million); Urban
Develop ment Fund II ($6.9 million); and Cap mark Finance Inc. ($4 million), according to the suit.

The lenders reached a deal to give No isette a $23.8 million bridge loan in August 2006, with the balance
due two years later. No isette did not repay the amount, and the lenders have been unwilling to extend their

The foreclosure suit involves mortgages on about 240 acres of the 340 acres that Noisette received fro m the
city. The 240 acres mostly includes the large parking areas near Sp ruill Avenue and the rolling hills where
much of the fo rmer base's officers ' housing was built.

It does not include some of the more pro minent build ings along Noisette Boulevard, such as 10 Storehouse
Row, Noisette's offices and the Powerhouse.

News of Noisette's troubles had some nearby residents concerned.

"This is the ninth year, and I don't see anything that really has been done over there in the nine years,"
North Charleston City Councilman Bob King said. "The historical houses are falling down over there.
They've had that property since 2003, and they've let that deteriorate."

Gayle Frampton, president of North East Park Circle Civ ic Club, said No isette had good ideas about energy
conservation and sustainability and benefited by receiving the base property from the city at a low price.

"I've always been concerned that they came to town without the money to do what they said they were
going to do, without having the North Charleston taxpayers underwrite some o f that," she said.

Summey said he has no regrets about the city's handling of the project. "I th ink we've lived up to th e
obligations we've had. It's just one of those things," he said. "It's a mix of the economic downturn and those
kinds of things that we don't have any control over."

In March 2001, Knott, Summey and other officials unveiled their intended public -private partnership to
redo the depressed area. Knott predicted at the time that North Charleston "will be one of the most
significant cit ies in the country."

But there were setbacks, largely out of Knott's or the city's control, including delays in having the base
property transferred through the Charleston Naval Co mp lex Redevelopment Authority, the authority's deal
to sell the shipyard portion to a local industrial concern and the Leg islature's 2002 decision to locate a new
container terminal on the base's southern end.

The project also involved a co mmunity planning effo rt that examined ways to redevelop about 3,000 acres
in the southern end of North Charleston, one that has led to projects as diverse as the North Charleston
Elementary School renovation and the new Mixson development just west of Park Circle.

The Noisette Co. was involved directly in only about 340 acres of the former base site that it bought from
the city for $9.6 million in 2003.

Its special relationship with the city hit a bu mp in March 2005, when city officials learned via The Post and
Courier that the company had taken out more than $3 million in loans without informing the city.

Knott said the company did nothing improper but Su mmey said at the time, "We have grave concerns about
some of the financing that has been done without the city's knowledge." The company and the city later
mended fences, and the city recently approved a mult imillion -dollar deal in which Noisette could begin
infrastructure work and get reimbursed fro m increased property tax collections in the redeveloped area.
That infrastructure plan included a large drainage basin in the current parking areas just east of Spruill
Avenue, as well as other road and utility work.

Knott said that work has been engineered, designed and bid an d is await ing a resolution of the company's
efforts to secure new financing.

"We're ready to break ground," he said.

The suit marks the most serious setback to date for the 8-year-o ld effo rt to convert the base's northern end
into a new A merican city, one touted as a national examp le for balancing economic, environ mental and
social goals.

          $165M for old Navy base AH:N. Charleston OKs bonds for No isette development plans
                                 By James Scott And Warren Wise
                                     Friday,November 30, 2007

In an effort to ju mp-start development on the former Charleston Naval Base, North Charleston City
Council voted 7-2 Thursday to finance up to $165 million in bonds aimed at helping the No isette Co. pay
for new streets, drainage and lakes.

Under the deal that passed the city's Finance Co mmittee on Tuesday, the bonds would be repaid with future
property taxes collected on the base.

The first issuance of bonds, which likely would be around $25 million, could be as early as 2009. Those
bonds would be used to pay off Noisette's construction loans.

Some council members said they hoped the deal would help propel new development at the base, which
some city leaders have publicly comp lained has taken too long to get under way since the project was
announced nearly seven years ago.

"I feel like this contract is as good as my input can make it," said Councilman Bobby Jameson, who often
has been critical of Noisette. "I don't trust Noisette, but

I am hoping that they can rebuild trust in this project and get the development started."

Noisette officials said this week that site preparation work will begin in March and infrastructure in May.
CEO John Knott told council the co mpany has 400 houses and 500,000 square feet of retail, co mmercial
and hotel space already under contract.

Thursday's approval marked the end of a tense couple of months that began when the deal was pulled off
the agenda in September amid speculation that it wouldn't pass.

Since then, No isette has lobbied city leaders behind the scenes, inviting Phoebe Miller, Ed Astle, Bob King
and Jameson to its office fo r private presentations.

During one such meeting, King said a top No isette official told h im that without the city's approval of the
bonds, private lenders would not loan the company the money to begin work.

The high stakes were evident this week as Mayor Keith Su mmey on Tuesday launched into several
impassioned speeches during a three-hour committee meeting, t rying to persuade skeptical council
members to support the deal.
"We can sit back and not do this," Summey said at one point, " and I will be dead before we get any decent
development on the base."

The mayor reiterated his passion for the project Thursday. "There is no liability to the city financially.
What is the question?" Summey said. "Co mmon sense tells me this here is a good deal."

King, a critic of No isette who voted against the deal along with Councilman Steve Ayer, said he felt the
deal was being rammed through before council members had a chance to digest its complex details.

"Their (Noisette's) track record is not good," King said.

The first time council members saw the report that it paid

Maryland-based MuniCap $10,000 to prepare on the deal, King said, was when city leaders sat down
Tuesday to vote during the Finance Co mmittee meeting.

"I think ad ministration is pushing it through as fast as it can," King said. "When the administration gets the
votes, it moves. That is what happened. That is our politics."

Councilman Kurt Tay lor, a longtime No isette supporter whose district includes the old Navy base,
defended the company.

"I'm not the least bit disappointed in Noisette's track record," he said.

Under the deal that passed the city's Finance Co mmittee on Tuesday, the bonds would be repaid with future
property taxes collected on the base.

How they voted

Yes: Ed Astle, Michael Brown, Sam Hart, Bobby Jameson, Phoebe Miller, Keith Su mmey and Kurt Taylor.

No: Steve Ayer and Bob King.

Absent: Rhonda Jerome and Dorothy Williams.

    Noisette borrows $23.8M to go on AH:So me of loan repaid debt, rest will go to Naval Base project
                                 By Warren Wise And James Scott
                                       Friday,August 4, 2006

Three days after settling its debt with North Charleston taxpayers, the Noisette Co. announced Thursday
that it borrowed $23.8 million to move ahead with design and infrastructure studies for the former
Charleston Naval Base project.

Some of the loan fro m Cap mark Finance Inc. paid the $4.2 million debt the company owed to the city for
roughly 300 acres on the base's northern end, Noisette CEO John Knott said.
Plagued by questions about the company's financial health and slow pace of develop ment, Knott declined
to reveal No isette's total debt or discuss finances.

"The company can now focus its primary direct ion on the development of the Navy Yard," he said,
referring to the project's proposed urban core. "We look forward to accelerat ing redevelopment projects."

Noisette entered a city-financed deal for $9.6 million in 2003 with the hopes of transforming the industrial
hub into scores of new homes, offices and shops.

The once-cozy partnership turned icy last year after City Council members questioned the company's lack
of new develop ment and less -than-perfect construction of the city's $6 million Riverfront Park. Those
concerns were fu rther aggravated when city leaders learned that the company's total known debt a year ago
was roughly $26 million.

Knott said Thursday that the company is far fro m tapped out. "We're a development company," he said.
"We're constantly using debt capital to do our work."

Many hope the cash infusion will ju mp-start the project that was first announced more than five years ago,
but so far has redeveloped few build ings on the base.

Knott said the company plans to transform two buildings on the base into residential lofts next year. He
said infrastructure for about 125 acres is expected to start in the third quarter of next year.

By Noisette's own account, $23.8 million is far fro m the total needed. According to a company proposal to
the city last year asking for help, the total tab for reworking the base could top $175 million.

City leaders said Thursday they hoped the new borrowing would propel develop ment and lead to
rehabilitating many of the deteriorating naval-era ho mes.

"The roadblock to financing is out of the way," Councilman Jesse Dove said. "They had some renovations
on the drawing board already. The $23.8 million is probably just a start. They will be able to get more
financing, and the project will take off."

Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Jameson said he was glad the city got its money and was out of the banking

"I hope they get on with whatever they plan to do and show the city what they promised us five years ago
and have not delivered," he said. "That is my hope."

Some of the loan fro m Cap mark Finance Inc. paid the $4.2 million debt the company owed to the city for
roughly 300 acres on the base's northern end, Noisette CEO John Knott said.

Contact Warren Wise at 745-5850 or at m. Contact James Scott at 937-5549 or at m.

N. Chas., Noisette to break ties AH:Deal would end financial relationship between city, developer of base
                                           By Warren Wise
                                         Thursday,July 20, 2006

North Charleston and the Noisette Co. have agreed to sever their financial t ies in a mu lti -part agreement to
be discussed tonight during a special City Council meeting.
The once-cozy relat ionship that soured after questions on the company's finances and less -than-perfect
construction of the city's centerpiece Riverfront Park last year will end the first week of August if the deal
is closed.

"This is a clean break," said Derk Van Raalte, North Charleston deputy city attorney. "It is time for us to
get out of the banking business and have a more trad itional business relationship with Noisette."

Under the agreement:

--Noisette will pay the city the difference between the company's cost to build the park and the debt on a $9
million loan the city made to the company to help it develop about 250 acres on the old Navy base's
northern end.

The city will get a check for $4.2 million, Van Raalte said.

Noisette approached the city in

December about paying off the debt early and it has taken months to hammer out details on several points
of contention.

--The city will acquire 1.8 acres that Noisette owns called the meadow next to Riverfront Park.

--The city will acquire the land under the old Navy base powerhouse, an imposing building that the city
hopes to redevelop into a community project, Van Raalte said. SCE&G owns the building, but the city
hopes to acquire it .

--The city also will pay No isette $262,000 fo r utility work it performed o n the proposed Navy Base
Memorial before the city yanked the company off the project amid questions of financial stability last year.
That money is included in the $4.2 million agreement, the attorney said.

"They spent more money than what they are getting paid for, but this is what they have agreed to accept,"
Van Raalte said.

--The city and Noisette agree that when the Hunley submarine is moved to a new site north of No isette
Creek, the company will p rovide the footprint for the museum free of charge if it is built on its land. The
city owns a narrow swath along the riverbank, and some of No isette's property might be used.

--The city agrees to comply with No isette's design standards for the Hunley Museum, powerhouse and
meadow and allo w the co mpany to have input into the powerhouse's design.

--The city agrees that the 40-space parking lot for Riverfront Park could move by 600 feet if Noisette
reconfigures roads. The city will retain 40 spaces.

--Noisette agrees to pay the city $1,000 a day after Dec. 31 if the seawall and boardwalk along Riverfront
Park are not finished. The city will pay No isette no more than $400,000 for the waterfront wo rk along the
base memorial site.

--Both sides agree to release each other fro m legal liability on issues addressed in th e agreement.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Su mmey and No isette CEO John Knott said they are pleased to be moving
"We will get more land fo r the park and have an opportunity to take the powerhouse and do something
special for the co mmunity," Su mmey said. "They have agreed to take what they said the park would cost
instead of what they spent. It frees up Noisette to move forward with their pro ject. When we held the
mortgage, it put them under much more public scrutiny and it has been a detriment to th em."

Knott declined to talk about the agreement's specifics.

"We have come to a mutual agreement, and we hope council is in concurrence with the understandings,"
Knott said. "We are certainly loo king forward to getting the rest of our land transferred and moving
forward with our in frastructure and development plans for the Navy Yard."

Council members agreed there was a lot of give and take.

"There a couple of things I don't care for, but I can live with it," Councilman Bobby Jameson said.

He said he was glad to sever ties with Noisette.

"I don't like the way they do business," he said. "I don't like what they have done. It takes them too long
and they whine and cry about everything."

Councilman Jesse Dove called the orig inal deal with No isette something that developed into a "big
monster," but he is pleased with the final settlement.

"I think it's great ... to settle these issues that put us at a stalemate," Dove said. "It's something we can all
live with."

Councilman Bob King said there are some items in the deal that he dislikes and he might vote against it. "I
don't think it's a good agreement for the city," he said.

The once-cozy relat ionship that soured after questions on the company's finances and less -than-perfect
construction of the city's centerpiece Riverfront Park last year will end the first week of August if the deal
is closed.

Reach Warren Wise at 745-5850 or m.

              Monday,January 23, 2006

John Knott, CEO of the No isette Co., has been named one of 14 design visionaries for u rban planning by
Metropolis magazine, a national trade magazine for architects, designers and urban planners. Knott was
cited for h is company's plan to redevelop the former Navy base in North Charleston.

Summey seeks no review of No isette
By James Scott And Robert Behre
Thursday,July 14, 2005

North Charleston Mayor Keith Su mmey said this week that he's not interested in examining the No isette
Co.'s finances, despite calls fro m at least five council members that the city must verify that the c ompany
has the resources to pull off the massive redevelopment project.

The council members' concern was magnified this month after The Post and Courier revealed that some
earlier develop ments by John L. Knott Jr., ch ief executive of Noisette, ended in foreclosures and tax sales.

North Charleston did not conduct a thorough check of Knott's background before entering the no -bid deal
with Noisette.

"I don't think it will acco mplish anything," Summey said Tuesday in response to the council members'
desire to check Noisette's books.

"They don't have to have a large pot of money," he said of the company. "What they have to have is the
capability of acquiring that money."

The first chance the council might have to discuss the issue is next week, at its monthly Fin ance Co mmittee
meet ing.

Noisette bought 320 acres on the former Charleston Naval Base for $9.6 million in a Ju ly 2003 deal that
required no down payment and no mortgage payment fo r the first five years. In the past two years, the
company, wh ich plans to put thousands of residential ho mes, shops and offices on the base, has incurred
about $23.5 million in debt, including nearly $8 million the company still owes taxpayers for the land.

Under North Charleston's contract with Noisette, the company's audited fin ancial statements can be
reviewed if the city determines its investment is at risk.

Council members first raised concern about the company's financial status in March after The Post and
Courier reported that Noisette had borrowed $3 million on two build ing s on the old Navy base without
telling the city. As a result, council members and the mayor called for an outside auditor to review the
company's records.

Summey later decided not to hire an outside auditor. He said city Finance Director Warren Newton would
review only the company's 2003 and 2004 audited financial statements.

Summey said Newton has reviewed the 2003 audit but had not reviewed the 2004 audit. Su mmey said he
didn't know when the review would be fin ished. He referred questions about the pace o f the review to
Newton, who had no comment.

Some council members said the city also needs to review Noisette's records prior to 2003 to see what
capital the company had prior to taking control of the base and borrowing against it.

Councilman Bobby Jameson accused the mayor of stalling. "Keith doesn't want to see the books, and he
doesn't want us to. I am not trying to cut Noisette's throat. I want the data. Show me the nu mbers."

Councilman Steve Ayer said council failed to check Knott's past. Now, he said, it must follow through with
its responsibility to the public to review the finances.

"I feel like I'm in the dark," Ayer said. "I want to find out if Knott is up to snuff like he says he is. This is a
huge undertaking."
Some on council said the city has no right to review Noisette's books. Councilman Jesse Dove said Noisette
voluntarily showed him its books. He wouldn't disclose any details of what he saw but said he is
comfo rtable the company has the necessary cash.

"I have seen the numbers," Dove said. "I am satisfied that Noisette has enough capital."

"I don't think it will acco mplish anything. (Noisette doesn't) have to have a large pot of money. What they
have to have is the capability of acquiring that money." Keith Su mmey

The council members' concern was magnified this month after The Post and Courier revealed that some
earlier develop ments by John L. Knott Jr., ch ief executive of Noisette, ended in foreclosures and tax sales.

Can the Noisette Co. get the job done?
By James Scott And Robert Behre
Sunday,July 3, 2005

Bulldozers shoved mounds of mud in the driv ing rain last week as workers scrambled to get North
Charleston's new $6 million Riverfront Park ready for its grand opening.

The scene offered little co mfort to former City Councilman A.C. M itchu m.

To Mitchum, the last-minute push to meet a deadline was yet another problem the city has been forced to
deal with since turning redevelopment of the former Charleston Naval Base — the city's dream fo r
revitalizing its urban core — to a developer whose record it never thoroughly examined.

In 2002, on the eve of the city's deal to sell 320 acres of the former base to the Noisette Co., Mitchu m asked
fellow council members and the mayor to hire an outside company to do a background check on Noisette
CEO John L. Knott Jr. and other key p layers.

The city never followed M itchum's advice.

Instead, it relied almost entirely on Knott's national reputation for developing Dewees Island, a resort
getaway north of Charleston lauded for its environ mentally sensitive res trictions. The city's confidence was
bolstered by Knott's resume, which listed scores of national awards and projects ranging from the
restoration of Balt imore's Inner Harbor to environ mental planning for Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner.

Now, a four-month investigation by The Post and Courier, involving more than 70 interviews and a review
of hundreds of pages of records in Maryland and South Carolina, reveals what's missing from Knott's
resume: that companies he created in the late 1980s and early 1990s left a trail of unpaid debts, lawsuits
and unfinished projects.

Records also show that, as a result of one of the failed real estate deals, Knott lost his seven -bedroom,
5,000-square-foot Maryland home to foreclosure.

In shrugging off Mitchum's concerns, the City Council instead opted for a no-bid deal that required no
down payment fro m No isette and no mortgage payments on the land deal for five years.

Beyond his reputation, the city was sold on Knott's vision to transform Noisette's portion of the base into a
community of thousands of homes, offices and shops.
The riverfront park is scheduled to open Monday. But four years after the deal was announced — and two
years since Noisette took title to the land — there has been little other new construction at the bas e. The
Noisette Co. is almost $24 million in debt, including about $8 million it still owes the city in the $9.6
million land sale.

The newspaper's investigation found that, like many developers in the high -stakes real estate market of the
late 1980s, Knott's companies borrowed heavily to finance projects just as the savings and loan debacle
unfolded, costing taxpayers about $125 b illion dollars in a federal bailout.

Knott's deals, like others at the time, saw carefu lly choreographed financing collapse when the S&L
industry suddenly went under.

In a review of Knott's dealings over the years, the newspaper found:

-- One of Knott's companies was a developer of a townhouse community in suburban Washington, D.C.,
that collapsed after it missed a payment to the bank. The mult imillion-dollar develop ment resulted in a
foreclosure and a tangled web of lawsuits between Knott, the bank and property owners.

-- Another Knott company saw the collapse of its single-family ho me development in the same suburban
county around the same time, a pro ject that also resulted in foreclosure. The project triggered more than a
dozen lawsuits fro m vendors, ranging from unpaid concrete workers and roofers to the financiers.

-- In South Caro lina, Knott provided financial backing for a limited partnership that tried to develop 12
condominiu ms on Wild Dunes starting in 1988 but managed to build only four. Failure to pay taxes on
three units caused the county to seize and sell the units through its delinquent tax office in 1993. Banks
initiated fo reclosure proceeding about the same time on two of the project's loans.

Though he said he can't recall so me details of past projects, Knott blames much of h is past difficult ies on
the savings and loan meltdown. He also said he paid off most of his deb ts at great personal expense and
does not believe his past affects his ability to redevelop the part of the base his company bought.

What's more, he said that Noisette so far has met its contractual obligations to North Charleston. He blamed
most of the project's delay on the federal govern ment's tardiness in transferring portions of the land that is
to be redeveloped by Noisette.

"I am proud of all o f my work acco mplished with others over a 40 -year career," he said in a written
statement. "I have been involved in literally thousands of projects, and I am proud of each one."

"My career has been marked by innovation and experimentation, in addition to a strong sense of
community investment," he said. "Along the way, I have experienced both success and failure ."

Attention has focused on Knott's track record in light of growing concerns expressed by some City Council
members over the Noisette Co.'s mounting debt.

North Charleston and most local and state governments rely on a competit ive process when it comes to
picking what co mpanies get mult imillion-dollar pro jects. But when it came to Noisette, North Charleston
Mayor Keith Su mmey said the city felt safe in its choice.


Knott, 58, is the grandson of famed Maryland developer Henry A. Knott and was raised in a construction
dynasty that helped transform Baltimo re's Inner Harbor fro m an industrial hub to a tourism Mecca.
Fro m early ch ildhood, Knott watched and worked in h is family 's business. He polished his education
working with visionary developer James W. Rouse, who in the 1960s created the idyllic city of Co lu mbia,
Md., where residents live in v illages, share vast open spaces and emphasize co mmun ity and nature.

By the mid-1970s, Knott was anxious to go out on his own. He relocated to Washing ton, D.C., where,
according to his resume, he began restoring older buildings, including the Julius Hobson Plaza, the Saxony
Cooperative Apartments and the Albemarle Condominiu ms. Within a few years, builders across the country
began raking in b ig money by constructing new office parks, subdivisions and strip malls. Tax codes at the
time allo wed developers to write off large portions of their debt, creat ing incentives that lured more

In 1986, hoping to profit fro m this construction boom, Knott turned his attention to new development,
teaming up with Charles V. Phillips Jr. to form Ph illips & Knott Co mmun ity Developers Inc. The start -up
company, with about a half-dozen emp loyees, took on new residential develop ment projects in Prince
George's County, an eastern suburb of the capital. Later that year, the company launched two projects
within five months of each other: a single-family home develop ment called Carroll at Maryvale and a
townhouse development called Cap ital Knolls.

By then, however, Congress had begun closing loopholes in the federal tax code that had helped spawn
much of the develop ment boom. Simultaneously, lending institutions nationwide, which had fueled risky
construction loans throughout the 1980s, began to collapse, creating a domino effect that became the
savings and loan crisis. Knott's projects, which involved multimillion -dollar loans, were part of the crash.

Steve Mann, a finance professor at the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business, said
businesses that failed tended to be over-leveraged and risky. Bu ilders who survived, he said, were the ones
who had cash reserves and weren't as heavily dependent on lenders. "The motto of the times was borrow
now, pay back later. Developers were loading up on easy credit," Man n said. "The edgy deals didn't make

Susan Matlick, who served as executive director of Ph illips & Knott Co mmunity Developers until 1989,
said in hindsight, the company should have stopped building about the same year it began its projects to
avoid the looming savings and loan crisis. "They were overextended at a time when everything was coming
to a screeching halt," she said of Phillips and Knott's business. "It was a bad time."

The unraveling of the Cap ital Knolls project began when the partnership missed at least one of its monthly
interest payments in the spring of 1990. That pro mpted the National Bank of Washington to shut off the
project's funds and send a letter urging the company to pay the overdue amount. Within a few months, the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the bank, sending Knott a formal notice of default.

By then, five months had passed and the project had fallen apart, despite Knott's effort's to persuade the
bank to resume its financial support of the development.

Knott said he doesn't remember many of the details, but blamed the project's collapse on the bank for
cutting off his loan. In a letter at the time to a prospective buyer in Capital Knolls, Knott apologized for not
being able to comp lete the project. The letter was inc luded in a court case in wh ich the prospective buyer
sued to recover a $2,000 deposit.

"It is obvious that due to the situation that FDIC has created we will not be able to co mplete these units at
all," Knott wrote in December 1990. "We are sorry that we will be unable to deliver this unit and express
our best wishes as you look for a home elsewhere."

Federal Financial Co., which took over the loan fro m the FDIC and foreclosed on the property, sued Knott
in 1996 to recover up to $5 million in unpaid loans that he had guaranteed unconditionally on behalf of the
Capital Kno lls project.
Knott won that case in federal court, arguing the bank had failed to properly notify him that he had
defaulted on the loan payment before shutting off his credit. That decision was upheld on appeal.

As with many unsuccessful ventures, other lawsuits emerged fro m the failed pro ject, including several
involving the original landowners. One of those was Gladys V. Little, who sued and won a $111,419
judgment against Knott and his company, the docket shows. Little said she never got the money she was

According to court records, the company was hit with a total of $214,866 in judgments to Little and other
landowners. Donald Messenger, an attorney for the landowners, said his clien ts were never paid.
Messenger said he has contacted the court to have records pulled fro m storage to see whether he can seek
payment now for Little and his other clients.

As Capital Knolls collapsed, Phillips & Knott's other project, Carro ll at Maryvale, a lso was besieged with
court actions. Early indications of problems came in the form of liens for unpaid roofing, sid ing, storm
drainage and earth-moving work beginning in 1989. Those early suits graduated into legal actions by the
company's lenders.

Records show that Knott's companies tried to pay off debts, including deeding property to cover expenses.
But with legal actions piling up — at least 13 in state court — Knott admitted his company was financially
strapped. "I did not have the money either to pay the alleged obligation or to assert the significant defense
that I felt existed," Knott testified in an affidavit in one case.

Despite that, Knott said every effort was made to satisfy debts. "We chose to use our resources to fund
solutions versus funding attorneys and litigation expenses," Knott wrote in a statement. "Most legitimate
and performing cred itors were satisfied, in some cases at great personal expense."

Records and interviews show the financial collapse of his companies spared virtually no one or institution

-- Chuck Cross, owner of C.J. Cross and Associates Inc., the mo rtgage company that secured a loan for
Carroll at Maryvale, said the project was foreclosed upon. Court dockets show that C.J. Cross and
Associates and Old Stone Bank of Rhode Island won a $1 million judgment against Carroll at Maryvale in
October 1991. Cross said the money wasn't paid. "We foreclosed," Cross said. "We finished the unbuilt
houses and sold the rest to another developer."

-- Mary land build ing supply firm M SI Inc. also won a judg ment against Carro ll at Maryvale, Phillips &
Knott Co mmunity Developers and Knott in 1990. Six years later, the co mpany persuaded a South Carolina
judge to order Knott to pay $64,284 in outstanding bills and legal fees. MSI officials said the debt remains

-- Abend Brothers won a $59,751 judg ment in 1992 against Carroll at Maryvale and Phillips & Knott
Co mmunity Developers, dockets show, for failing to pay for grading and site-preparation work. Daniel J.
Mellin, the attorney who represented Abend Brothers, said that judgment was not paid. Neither Knott nor
his public relations managers responded to questions about specific debts that were owed fro m Mary land

In 1991, Maryland records show, Phillips & Knott Co mmunity Developers forfeited the company's charter,
followed less than a year later by the Capital Knolls and Carro ll at Maryvale limited partnerships. Phillips
declined to comment. Knott's attorney at the time, Robert O. Johnston, said in an e -mail that Knott deserves
credit for not trying to avoid his debts by filing for bankruptcy.
Knott said that despite the difficulties, he is proud that neither he nor his companies filed for bankruptcy.
He said he did his best to make things right.

"Any debts that were owed were paid. I can tell you that," he said. "We did everything we could to our
clients and our projects. That ended up costing me personally and our family millions of dollars out of our
own pockets."

While Knott avoided bankruptcy, Montgomery County, Md., court records show he lost his 5,000-square-
foot, seven bedroom Potomac home to foreclosure. A lawyer's letter included in the 97-page court file told
the Knotts their house was to be sold May 22, 1991 to the highest bidder.


With his Potomac ho me in foreclosure and his Maryland businesses closing, Knott moved to Charleston. In
the Lowcountry, court records show, Knott provided the financial backing for Linkside III Limited
Partnership to develop 12 condominiu ms — three buildings, each with four units — near the Wild Dunes
resort's golf course.

One of the three build ings was built. Records show the partnership, which borrowed about $1 million
through three mortgages, defaulted on loan payments by the early 1990s. That pro mpted Nat ionsBank, now
Bank o f A merica, to foreclose on one loan, seeking $447,393. The judge in the case ordered some of the
units sold on the courthouse steps in October 1993.

The sale never took place. Other buyers stepped in to buy the properties.

Court records also show that in the same period, the Resolution Trust Corp., the agency created to clean up
the savings and loan mess, began foreclosure proceedings against other Lin kside properties after the
partnership defaulted on a $314,000 loan. The foreclosure was dropped in December 1994. Less than a
month later, records show, the RTC sold Linkside's mortgage to a Delaware investment group.

Banks weren't alone in trying to recover debts stemming fro m the Linkside pro ject. Records show the
partnership failed to pay property taxes in 1990 and 1991 on three of the unbuilt units. In July 1992,
Charleston County sold the properties to the Forfeited Land Co mmission for $933 each. After the
partnership failed to pay the back taxes during the one-year window granted under the law, the county's
seizure of the properties was finalized in 1993. The county then sold the units to other investors.

Around the same time, Knott stopped making payments on $12,673 in furniture he bought in 1991.

The furniture co mpany, Tapestry Interiors, sued to recover either the money or repossess the bed, tables
and other furniture bought by Knott.

The two parties reached a settlement in 1993 in which Knott agreed to pay $10,400 in six monthly
installments. Records show Tapestry Interiors returned to court to compel Kno tt to live up to that deal.
Knott said the issue involved a dispute with an interio r decorator over what was owed. He said it was
settled for an amount that he agreed was owed.

Knott said Lin kside was not his project and he didn't play an active role in it . But records show he
personally guaranteed a $500,000 loan for the project in August 1989.

He said he was certain the project's finances were in order. "I can tell you right now we've never had any
judgments, liens or anything like that on Lin kside," he s aid.
Presented with court filings and property records that contradicted him, Knott responded that a settlement
agreement had been reached that prevented him fro m d iscussing it. "Linkside has no connection with my
business career," he said in a written statement. "I do not think this is a legitimate area of exp loration for an
article describing my projects."


About the same time Linkside was starting up, Knott was hired as the developer of Dewees Island, a
teardrop shaped, low-density development just north of Wild Dunes. The island, accessible only by boat
and featuring dirt paths that residents traverse with golf carts, now has about 54 ho mes and just under 100
vacant lots. Bill Savage, one of the early backers of Dewees, met Knott in Maryland and was instrumental
in bringing him on as the island's developer. He said he knew of Knott's financial difficulties in Maryland
but was confident he could handle the job.

Dewees thrust Knott into the national spotlight of environ mental development, in clud ing the use of
shredded denim for insulation. But one of the island's key environ mental features, its self-contained septic
system, wh ich is the responsibility of Dewees Ut ility Co mpany, was swamped by a heavy rain in 2002,
flushing 200,000 gallons of partially treated waste and rainwater into the surrounding waters. That
triggered a state investigation that found that 23 of 51 septic tanks on the island needed repair. The state
fined the island's utility company $7,000.

Despite that setback, Dewees is widely viewed as a beacon for environ mentally friendly develop ment. That
success brought Knott awards from develop ment and environmental g roups. It also launched him on a
career as a frequently requested speaker on environmental develop ment. With a gro wing reputation, Knott
has been hired as a consultant for projects across the country, including The University of Texas Health
Science Center and locally at Mepkin Abbey, where he helped imp rove the environmental heating and
cooling efficiency of the monastery's buildings.

While working at Dewees, Knott was introduced to North Charleston City Councilman Kurt Taylor, whose
sister is married to Knott's lawyer, Andy Gowder. Tay lor introduced Knott to Mayor Summey. Early
discussions for the Noisette project centered on revitalizing the city's Olde Village area, a several-block
stretch of East Montague Avenue. Eventually, discussions evolved to include a portion of the Navy base.

Knott wanted to apply the Dewees philosophy to the century -old Navy base, converting the largely
industrial wasteland to a new city center. Mayor Su mmey said Knott's vision differed fro m other
developers, who thought the base should continue on as an industrial area.

Caught up in the initial enthusiasm over Knott's proposal, council members never looked beyond his work
at Dewees, disregarding former Councilman M itchum's suggestion to check him out before signing a deal.

"I think this is a bit insulting to John Knott," Councilman Taylor said at the time in response to Mitchum's

Taylor, in a recent written statement, said the city became co mfortable with Knott during four years of
private meetings about developing the area. Although city officials have long described the relationship as
a joint public -private partnership, Taylor recently described it as just a land sale and said the city didn't
have to ask for other bids as long as it got fair market value for the land.

Summey said even if No isette were to run into problems and find itself unable to finish the base
redevelopment, the city is protected. He also said other developers are waiting to move in should Noisette
falter. "We've been a winner out of the No isette deal," Summey said. "Noisette's future is in its own hands."
Yet if Noisette were to pull out or default on its loans, there's no guarantee North Charleston wouldn't be
dragged into potentially costly and lengthy legal procedures to regain title to base property. Noisette has
used some base property as collateral to get bank loans to pay for its operations.

That concerns some city leaders, who question the slow pace of the redevelop ment. "Noisette is mo rtgaged
to the hilt," said Councilman Bob King. "I want to see some co mpleted projects. I want to see some things
get done over there."

While Mitchu m's warning four years ago went unheeded, one expert said the city should have done its due

Charlie Tyer, a Un iversity of South Carolina government professor, said elected officials have a
responsibility to protect municipal assets. That includes checking out potential private-sector partners.

"You would th ink that would be a no-brainer," he said of researching the background of developers. "It is
very important that these decisions be made with as much transparency as possible. So mebody has to play
the role of guardian, watchdog."


Maryland: Failure to make an interest payment derails townhouse development.


Maryland: Knott loses his 5,000- square -foot home at public auction.

1993 : TAX SA LE

South Carolina : Charleston County seizes three Isle of Palms properties for failure to pay taxes in a p roject
financed by Knott.


Maryland: A South Carolina judge orders Knott to pay a $64,000 debt. That debt and others remain unpaid.

In 2003, No rth Charleston signed a deal that put John Knott in the driver's seat of the city's most ambit ious
redevelopment project. Two years later, with his co mpany $23.5 million in debt, the city faces a new

The scene offered little co mfort to former City Councilman A.C. M itchum.

Post and Courier Special Pro jects Editor Douglas Pardue and Librarian Libby Wallace contributed to this
report. Contact reporter James Scott at 937-5549 or jscott@ m. Contact reporter Robert
Behre at 937- 5571 or

Time to put No isette dispute behind
By R. Keith Summey
Sunday,March 27, 2005

Partnerships! We embarked on a unique journey in North Charleston in the late 1990s.

We had a vision to recapture public space on a closed Naval base. We had a vision to re -energize a
slumping section in the south end of our city. We had a vision to improve the quality of life for all our
citizens. How does a government go about accomplishing these visions? Not by a traditional route. It takes
developers that have similar thoughts and ideas . We believe we found that developer in John Knott and the
Noisette Co mpany.

Over the past few years the city and the Noisette Company have forged a unique public/private partnership
to impact 3,000 acres in the south end of North Charleston. Good things have happened and greater things
will happen. We are an xiously await ing the last transfer of the property from the Navy and when this
occurs, within the next few months, the city of North Charleston will be able to fulfill its obligation of
selling appro ximately 300 acres on the north end of the former Naval Base to Noisette. They will have the
pieces of property necessary to create River Center, an exciting b lend of parks, museums, open space,
shops, offices, businesses and homes on the former Naval Base.

I do not know of any relationship that does not have differences of opinion if given sufficient time. That is
what we had. The Post and Courier made us aware of t wo loans. This caught us off guard. The mayor and
City Council take seriously our role of protecting the public trust for public funds and we reacted. Private,
for profit co mpanies are not used to operating in that environment, and we failed to communicate with each
other. We have fixed this.

My opening word in this letter was partnership. The city of North Charleston during my term as mayor has
always had a fond partnership with The Post and Courier. We have always worked with a variety of
reporters on the staff and appreciate their talents in providing info rmation to the commun ity. Ou r trust has
been compro mised with The Post and Courier due to the activities of two reporters at a recent meeting
which involved an executive session.

Executive sessions are permitted under South Caro lina law for the purpose of receiving legal advice.
Security cameras at City Hall p rovided us clear pictures of those reporters with ears pushed into the crack
of the door to hear discussion in the executive session. I have always had a high regard for both of the
reporters, but that is gone.

The news media has the right and the responsibility to report what goes on in our community. Govern ment
must work in the open and transact the people's business where it can be seen. There are a few areas where
legal advice is necessary and an executive session is warranted. The newspaper and the city may d ispute
what the need was over this executive session, and I suspect we will agree to disagree.

I hope the city of North Charleston will be able to regain confidence in The Post and Courier. We have
worked together for many years and, as with Noisette, we are in d isagreement. It is my goal to rebuild the
relationship and I hope The Post and Courier feels the same way.

The citizens of North Charleston are excited about what is happening. Now younger people are moving into
the south end of the city, property values are rising, new interest is occurring everywhere and optimism has

I can't wait to see the Riverfront Park, the reconstruction of buildings on the former Naval Base and new
structures rising out of the ground to take the place of the old industrial sheet metal that exists.

Partnerships. They come in all shapes and sizes. The two I mentioned in this letter are large partnerships.
Let's move on and improve our co mmunity.

Mayor North Charleston       4900 LaCross Road

Noisette chief attempts to heal rift, regain city's trust
By Robert Behre And J ames Scott

Friday,March 25, 2005

Noisette Co. CEO John Knott on Thursday acknowledged he failed to notify North Charleston's mayor or
City Council when his company took out $3 million in loans on the former Charleston Naval Base.

"I should have kept the mayor and the council better informed of our efforts. I take full responsibility fo r
that and I'll work harder to imp rove our commun ication," Knott said.

Both Knott and Mayor Keith Su mmey said their contractual dispute — involving whether No isette owes
taxpayers money — remains unresolved. Summey said the dispute could take several more weeks to sort
out, adding that the company still must provide financial information to the city.

At a news conference at which he was jo ined by the mayor for the first time since Su mmey spoke crit ically
of Knott behind closed doors, Knott promised to work harder to keep the city informed of the co mpany's
actions in redeveloping the former Navy base.

"What we are guilty of, if anything, is insensitivity to the microscopic environment that the mayor and City
Council live under," Knott told reporters. "We're not perfect. Nobody is."

The Noisette Co. is overseeing the redevelopment of some 350 acres on the former base, promising to
develop thousands of homes, shops and offices. The co mpany bought the land fro m the city for $9.6
million through a city-financed deal that required no down payment and no mortgage payment for the first
five years. If the co mpany sells or refinances the property during that time, its contract with the city says it
must give North Charleston up to 35 percent of the proceeds.

The current spat involves what money, if any, the city is owed on $3 million in new loans that Noisette
borrowed on two office buildings. The city has said Noisette could owe $839,000. No isette has asserted it
owes nothing, but has placed $500,000 in a special account as both sides try to work out the
disagreement.As the dispute unfolded last week, a nu mber of city polit icians and residents began to
question the deal and Noisette's ability to perform.

Some questioned whether the city and company could rebuild the mutual trust necessary to make the
project work.

Knott said Thursday that the dispute has presented a serious challenge to the project but that it remains on
track. The co mpany is expected to fin ish most of a new riverfront park by June 9 and have it ready for the
city's Fourth of July celebrat ion.

Knott, who emphasized that Noisette, not the city, called Thursday's news conference, began by reading a

"There are no blueprints for this unique public-private partnership we've developed between the city and
the Noisette Co.," he said. "We're breaking new ground here, and our success depends on trust."

Summey later said contractual disputes are common in any large endeavor.
Still, city lawyers and the mayor reacted strongly last week when the loans were discovered.

Summey said at the time he had "grave concerns" over the loans. City lawyers , in a stern letter, demanded
that Noisette open its books.

"What we had here was a failure to co mmunicate," the mayor said Thursday. "This probably won't be the
last difference we have."

"I should have kept the mayor and the council better informed of our efforts. I take full responsibility fo r
that and I'll work harder to imp rove our commun ication," Knott said.

Closed-door meeting: Save No isette project AH: North Charleston mayor attacks director, pleads with
council to resolve dispute
By Robert Behre And J ames Scott

Friday,March 18, 2005

North Charleston's top two elected officials pleaded with City Council on Thursday in a closed -door
meet ing to mend the city's fractured relationship with the company redeveloping the former Charleston
Naval Base. The S.C. Press Association's lawyer described the meeting as illegal.

The session at City Hall was called to get legal advice on a contract dispute but evolved into an
impassioned attempt by Mayor Keith Su mmey and Mayor Pro Tem Ku rt Taylor to circle the wagons. Post
and Courier reporters overheard the debate from the other side of the doors.

Summey criticized the Noisette Co.'s leadership, specifically CEO John Knott. The mayor also faulted
other developers who he said have done little for h is city and are wait in g in the wings for the project to fail.

Still, the two city leaders told council members the relationship must survive despite the recent controversy
in wh ich North Charleston said Noisette defaulted on its contract by borrowing on the Navy base without
telling the city.

"John Knott is an egotistical (explet ive). He gets on my nerves." Su mmey said. "If I can ride that egotistical
(explet ive) to make my city better, I'm going to saddle him up."

Every City Council member except Dorothy Williams attended the p rivate session. It began with Deputy
City Attorney Derk Van Raalte outlin ing the contractual dispute that started when the newspaper first
reported Noisette's $3 million in loans on two base office build ings.

It was full council's first briefing on the loans, coming a day after Noisette officials met privately with a
handful of city leaders to negotiate a way out of their impasse. Earlier in the week, the city demanded
Noisette pay the city $839,000 on those loans; the Noisette Co. said it d idn't owe a d ime .

Despite both sides issuing a joint statement Wednesday saying that Noisette would place $500,000 in
escrow as the partners hash out the matter, a city lawyer told council Thursday to brace for a possibly
lengthy battle. "The fight is just beginning," Van Raalte said.

Reached after the meeting, Su mmey accused the newspaper of breaking the law. "I think y'all intruded on
an executive session and that what you did was illegal, and if you print some of those comments that were
made, I thin k you will be destroying a relationship that we've had with The Post and Courier for a long
State Press Association Attorney Jay Bender said late Thursday there is no such thing as eavesdropping on
public property, so the newspaper is within its right to publish the news.

Bender also said the council's discussion about the political fallout broke the state's Freedom of In formation
Act, which requires debate to be held in open session.

"Receipt of legal advice is just that, legal advice. Executive session is not to discuss the action you will take
in response to that advice," Bender said. "It is an illegal executive session."

During Thursday's closed meeting, council members expressed varying levels of anger, concern and
frustration about the past week's developments. So me council members asked what they should tell
constituents who are questioning recent events.

Taylor said No isette's reputation and legacy are riding on the project, and the company would look out for
the city's interests. He also urged council members to help sell the Noisette project to the public.

Summey cautioned council members about what they say publicly. He also told them he was hurt that
Noisette didn't inform the city of the loans, but said he still wasn't as angry with it as he was with other
developers who have done little fo r the city. "There are people who don't want to see us be successful,"
Summey said.

Summey, who also crit icized The Post and Courier during the session, said he didn't care about reviewing
Noisette's private financing as long as the project moved forward. He urged council members to support an
upcoming proposal to hire No isette to build a new Navy base memo rial on its new riverfront park.

After the meet ing, Su mmey said the newspaper — not the city — broke the law. "The council members had
questions, and each one expressed their opinion about the legality of what was going on. I don't think
anything was illegal."

The session at City Hall was called to get legal advice on a contract dispute but evolved into an
impassioned attempt by Mayor Keith Su mmey and Mayor Pro Tem Ku rt Taylor to circle the wagons. Post
and Courier reporters overheard the debate from the other side of the doors.

Noisette Project: A rising tide in North Charleston COMM ENTA RY
By John L. Knott Jr.
CEO Noisette Co mpany LLC
Sunday,December 12, 2004

Many have questioned why the Noisette Co mpany would invest millions of dollars and three years in the
3,000-acre Noisette area, when its economic return only co mes fro m the 350-acre Navy Base property.

It is because we believe that a rising tide floats all boats. When considering the ongoing impact of the
Noisette Project in North Charleston, perhaps this statement was never more valid. When the Noisette
Co mpany announced the 3,000-acre urban redevelop ment project with the City of North Charleston in
March 2001, it was clear that Noisette would be pivotally different than conventional real estate projects
that cleared farmlands for cookie -cutter suburbs.
Noisette is based on a burgeoning development philosophy called sus tainability, the core principles of
which are the "triple bottom line" — a concept based on the belief that sustainable cities are socially just,
environmentally responsible, and economically prosperous. The values of sustainable growth champion our
common hu manity, emphasizing health, efficiency, durability and comfort in co mmun ity design.

Never before in the history of urban revitalization in the United States has there been a unique partnership
like the one that exists between the City of No rth Charleston and Noisette Co mpany. With Noisette, the city
is collaborating on a co mprehensive plan to develop a diverse, interconnected network of neighborhoods,
businesses, parks, retail centers, and environmentally-friendly businesses, integrating the redevelopment
with adjacent co mmunit ies. In its initial stages, Noisette has been focused on developing the means to
revitalize and regenerate North Charleston.

Fro m 1998 through 2001, Mayor Keith Su mmey and his staff identified a list of North Charleston's most
blighted areas — the GARCO site, Century Oaks, North Park Village and Calhoun Homes, and the former
Navy Base — which were primary targets for redevelop ment through a community driven master planning
process, represented in Noisette's 15-point Co mmunity Develop ment Scope articulat ing the goals of the

In 2001, roughly 13,000 people were liv ing in the footprint of the No isette redevelopment district, a
number that is 16 percent of the city's total population.

Approximately 400 acres of the former Navy Bas e will be developed by the Noisette Co mpany, while the
remain ing 2,600 acres remain the responsibility of the city. Overall, Noisette contains most of the original
municipal boundaries for the city's 1972 incorporation.

Of North Charleston's 58-square mile area, Noisette comprises 4.5 square miles. Co mpared to the area
south of the Crosstown in peninsula Charleston, Noisette is two thirds again as large in total land area. The
initial stages of the Noisette Project have contributed to profound change in North Charleston. Just

-- Real Estate Values: According to a survey of the Multiple Listing Service by John Bourne Real Estate,
the average square foot cost for a home in vicinity of the Park Circle neighborhood has increased from $54
in 2001 to $97 in 2004. Demand for ho mes in the No isette District has generated a market turnaround of
less than 30 days fro m the date properties are placed on the market.

-- Co mmun ity Involvement Model: The Noisette Co mmunity Master Plan was delivered to City Council in
December 2003, the final product of a process that witnessed community participation unprecedented in the
Lowcountry. Noisette officials met with nearly 4,000 people in 100-p lus sessions, with public feedback
integrated into the master plan.

The master plan prev iew at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center in November 2003 lured mo re
than 600 attendees. Overall, the master plan process entailed an investment in excess of $2 million by the
Noisette Co mpany, at no cost to the taxpayer.

-- Riverfront Park: South of No isette Creek, Phase One of the Riverfront Park project is underway with
complet ion set for a co mmunity July 4th celebrat ion in 2005.

The $5 million project design has been approved by the city, with a creek-side performance pavilion which
doubles as a covered activity space, a large public green for recreation, and a h iking/biking trail connecting
the community to the Cooper River. In addit ion, the Navy Base Memorial design has been approved, and
pending city financing, it will be constructed at the same time the park is built.
-- East Montague Corridor: The city approved a projected $2.6 million streetscape project for East
Montague Avenue. On the main retail district, new businesses have relocated to East Montague with such
recent additions as Park Circle Grill, Leydic Glass Design Studio, Blooming Id iots garden center, and the
SoCa and Bella Bella day spas.

-- Schools: A majo r co mponent of the master plan is the sustainable redevelopment of schools. Seven of the
14 elementary, middle and high schools have received in excess of $45 million in reinvestment funds by
the Charleston County School District. The new North Charleston Elementary at Noisette is South
Caro lina's first school to register with the U.S. Green Bu ilding Council's Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) program.

The city and Noisette have agreed that 25 percent of the off -base Tax Increment Financing will be
dedicated to the area's 14 public schools, transforming them into more sustainable learning environ ments.

-- Horizon Village: The U.S. Depart ment of Housing and Urban Develop ment Hope VI grant project at
North Park Village hails the construction of a $35 million project with a total of 900 units, including 600
affordable, and 300 market-rate units. About 28 acres of open space will be maintained, including seven
acres of wetlands adjoining No isette Preserve.

-- Century Oaks:Under a contract, Noisette is acting as the City of North Charleston's agent in their
redevelopment of the 55-acre Century Oaks site. The new development will focus on the retention of grand
oak trees in the midst of a new tradit ional neighborhood. The Noisette Quality Ho me Standard will set
standards for this model residential neighborhood. Land development activity at Century Oaks is expecte d
is begin in the second quarter of 2005, with models under construction throughout the summer.

-- Hunley Maritime Museum: The No isette Company design and development team donated $155,000 of
professional services to the City's Hunley Museum proposal in 20 02, help ing the city win approval as the
permanent site for the H.L. Hunley submarine.

Located on the Cooper River, plans for this $40 million facility will be developed by Noisette's world class
design team in 2005, includ ing architects Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann and BNIM, cultural site specialists
Lord Cu ltural Resources, and world renowned museum exhib it designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates.

-- Sustainable Partners: Fisher Recycling recently relocated to Noisette, and is collaborating to develop new
uses for recyclable waste, including a to xic-free, eco-friendly fert ilizer fro m restaurant by-products, and
wood palettes for paneling, flooring, furniture and other wood products.

Last September, the No isette Company announced the opening of the Noisette Urba n Alliance Studio,
which has seen significant use by the community.

Part of the international 15-member Noisette Urban Alliance corporate partnership, the studio is designed
to promote community participation in healthy, sustainable home build ing practices throughout the
Charleston metro area.

-- Base Redevelop ment: Plans for the Noisette River Center will be in full swing in 2005, including the
rehabilitation of current structures into a blend of service, and retail businesses.

Already 375,000 square feet of office and warehouse space have been released. Planning is underway for
the Storehouse Row redevelop ment, including four historic buildings, creating work -live residential lofts,
office, retail, art ist's galleries, and a master artisan's center, along with an outdoor plaza and green roof
The city's approval of the Planned Develop ment District fo r River Center in November enables Phase One
redevelopment to begin.

Phase One will enco mpass one million square feet of retail and co mmercial space, and 2,000 housing units.

At this point, we at the Noisette Co mpany would like to thank the citizens of North Charleston, City
Council, and Mayor Keith Su mmey for engaging in this unparalleled partnership effort, which has
profound imp licat ions for commun ities across the nation.

Indeed, the Noisette Commun ity has a buoyant future.

It is because we believe that a rising tide floats all boats. When considering the ongoing impact of the
Noisette Project in North Charleston, perhaps this statement was never more va lid. When the Noisette
Co mpany announced the 3,000-acre urban redevelop ment project with the City of North Charleston in
March 2001, it was clear that Noisette would be pivotally different than conventional real estate projects
that cleared farmlands for cookie-cutter suburbs.

John L. Knott Jr. is the CEO of the Noisette Co mpany, LLC.

                           Most council members hail Noisette plan as visionary
                                            By James Scott
                                        Tuesday,January 13, 2004

On the heels of the public outcry over proposed changes to Park Circle, most No rth Charleston City
Council members said they were p leased with the final version of the No isette Project master plan.

The 135-page plan, wh ich was viewed by City Council members in individual t wo -hour sessions, will next
go to neighborhood sessions starting the week of Jan. 26.

Most council members interviewed Monday championed the plan as a visionary glimpse for how the city
can reshape 3,000 acres on the southern end of town in the next t wo decades.

While almost all said the plan lived up to expectations , some questions remained for a few, including
exactly when ground will be bro ken and residents can expect to see the plan kick off in fu ll force.

"I have many, many mo re questions, but at the mo ment I am ready to give Noisette a chance," said
Councilwo man Phoebe Miller. " Let's move on now and see what the next step is."

The master plan, wh ich is broken down into 10 chapters, spells out ways the city can revitalize the half-
dozen neighborhoods that surround Park Circle. They include eliminating dead -end streets, adding medians
to corridors, and even integrating the public school bus system with the Charleston Area Regional
Transportation Authority.

While some city leaders in the past have questioned the level of detail that would be included in the plan,
most said Monday that the plan met or exceeded the level of detail needed to get the ball rolling. Other
studies, most agreed, can be conducted later to finalize any details before construction.
"It is a master plan," said Councilman Ku rt Taylor, adding that he hoped to see the proposed riverfront park
get under way as early as this summer. " You take that master plan, and you develop what is necessary to
make it happen. That is where new ordinances, contracts and other instruments will co me into play."

One of the most anticipated chapters focuses on Noisette's plan for the northern tip of the base, which is
home mostly to warehouses, offices and some rotting ho mes that were used by the Navy. Under the
proposed plan, much of the existing build ings will be demo lished to make room for a dense urban
development that will include 3,000 homes and about 1.5 million square feet of commercial space.

In response to criticis ms fro m residents in recent months, commercial develop ment has been removed fro m
Park Circle though the latest plan still calls for the circle to be reduced to about a 300 -foot diameter and for
relocation of the co mmunity center outside the circle, a move that prompted concerned residents to submit
a protest petition with mo re than 500 names to City Coun cil last week.

Noisette and city officials pointed out Monday that recommended changes to Park Circle are not expected
to happen for nearly a decade, giv ing residents and city leaders ample t ime to study and debate the issue if

Noisette CEO John Knott, who showed the plan Monday to The Post and Courier, said a defin ite timeframe
for when development on the base will take off is up in the air because not all o f the necessary land has
been transferred to Noisette. He said the co mpany is reluctant to build homes and stores until the necessary
infrastructure is in p lace to make it desirab le for residents.

While a start date for construction on the base is still up in the air, the plan does set five -, 10- and 15-year
goals for how the city can redevelop neighborhoods using taxpayer money. That development is expected
to be accomplished using tax increment financing districts.

A TIF d istrict works by freezing the amount of property tax collected fro m the district for a set number of

Property owners continue to pay taxes, but as the value of their homes goes up, revenue above the original
set figure goes into a special fund.

"I thought Noisette did a great job," said Councilman Jesse Dove. "The plan had absolutely all the detail I
was looking for."

The 135-page plan, wh ich was viewed by City Council members in individual t wo -hour sessions, will next
go to neighborhood sessions starting the week of Jan. 26.

By Terry Joyce And James Scott

Wednesday,July 16, 2003

AH:Noisette project, North Charleston would be affected by sale of land

A longtime tenant at the former Charleston Naval Shipyard said Tuesday his firm wants to buy a prime
chunk of the shipyard, a move that could affect the financial p lans of North Charlest on City Hall and the
amb itious Noisette redevelopment project.
Dick Gregory, president of Charleston Marine Manufacturing Co., or CMMC, confirmed Tuesday that the
company had exercised a 2002 option-to-buy clause in its lease with the Charleston Naval Co mplex
Redevelopment Authority, better known as the RDA.

News of CMM C's offer to buy, which Gregory said did not include a price, emerged Tuesday during the
authority's meeting. The RDA has managed reuse of the shipyard and the rest of the former base since t he
Navy closed its operations in 1995.

Last year, the Legislature div ided the former base between the city and the State Ports Authority, and North
Charleston has anticipated becoming the landlord on its northern end, collecting rent fro m CMMC and
other tenants.

Gregory said CMMC pays the RDA roughly $1.2 million a year in rent on the property, money that would
have gone to North Charleston and the Noisette Co. after the transfer. If the sale of goes through, the
proceeds would go to the state of South Carolina v ia the RDA, North Charleston and Noisette would get

Tuesday the RDA agreed to negotiate a sale with CMMC once it acquires the property fro m the Navy and
receives an appraisal. No rth Charleston and Noisette immed iately questioned the fairness of such a deal.

Mayor Keith Su mmey said a sale that cuts out North Charleston "intentionally skirts the intent of the

He also said, "They can't do any transfers until we sign off on the plat," a legal requirement that goes with
any real estate sale.

Noisette CEO John Knott Jr. said about 55 percent of the shipyard falls in the roughly 380 acres that the
company is buying fro m North Charleston. Knott also questioned which came first, the lease or the law,
insisting that the legislation giving the land to North Charleston takes precedence.

The Navy still owns the shipyard and much of the surrounding base, but that's changing. The Navy has
handed over portions to the RDA for the last two years. Recently, Navy officials said they expect to
transfer the rest by summer's end.

No one at Tuesday's RDA meeting would estimate how much money is involved.

CMM C was the first private tenant at the base and has leased what was known as the shipyard's controlled
industrial area since the Navy departed. The property consists of roughly 97.6 acres on the west bank of the
Cooper River. It contains three large drydocks, two s mall drydocks, several shops and piers and was the
largest industrial employer in the state as recently as 1993.

In 2002, as the Legislature worked toward div iding the base between the city and the ports authority,
CMM C got lawmakers to add a clause to its 30-year lease. The clause binds the RDA, or any other agency
that acquires the property, to good faith negotiations with CMMC whenever the co mpany decides it wants
to buy.

RDA Executive Director Jack Sp rott said the purchase option was added to CMMC's lease on May 28,
2002, before the state law passed dividing the base between the city and port. The Legislature passed the
bill div iding the base in late May, but then-Gov. Jim Hodges didn't sign it until June.

If the city were to acquire the property, it would presumably sell to No isette that portion that falls inside its
380-acre footprint. Noisette would be obliged to negotiate with CMM C. The city would be involved in
separate negotiations since nearly half of the shipyard falls outside Noisette's footprint but inside the city's
share of the base.

CMM C's Gregory said he believes his company's purchase of the shipyard would benefit both the city a nd
Noisette in the long run.

"Certainly North Charleston gains, with improved business opportunities, an increase in the size of the
workforce and capital imp rovements," he said.

The city also would gain once the property is placed on its tax rolls. Noiset te would gain as the company
expands its workforce, meaning there would be mo re people who could afford to buy homes in Noisette,
Gregory said.

Asked why he wants to buy the shipyard now, he said, "The capital market always opens up to you
whenever you own."

Low interest rates are another factor.

City Councilman Ku rt Taylor, whose district includes the base, said the RDA rarely has supported the city's
plans on the Navy base.

"We need to explo re what we can do and what it really means to our plans," said Ta ylor. "The die was cast
on this a year ago."

A longtime tenant at the former Charleston Naval Shipyard said Tuesday his firm wants to buy a prime
chunk of the shipyard, a move that could affect the financial p lans of North Charleston City Hall and the
amb itious Noisette redevelopment project.

Dick Gregory, president of Charleston Marine Manufacturing Co., or CMMC, confirmed Tuesday that the
company had exercised a 2002 option-to-buy clause in its lease with the Charleston Naval Co mplex
Redevelopment Authority, better known as the RDA.

                    Agency's demands may stall Noisette
                     By James Scott And Terry Joyce
                       Wednesday,February 5, 2003

In the game to control the former Charleston Naval Base, an obscure federal agency — the U.S. Economic
Develop ment Administration — suddenly seems to be holding all the aces.

Over the last few days, the agency has told the local players that the game may be heading for a timeout, a
move that could stall No rth Charleston's ambitious Noisette redevelopment project.

The reason is money — federal money that wasn't intended to subsidize a for-profit enterprise. Since the
Navy left the base, the EDA has chipped in $34 million to rebuild sewers and utilities, money the agency
says must be accounted for if a private interest, like the No isette Co., gets much of the base property.

Because Noisette stands to receive the property through a complex deal with the city, the EDA wants
assurances, in the form of resolutions and agreements, before it will sign off on the deal. That puts the
Charleston Naval Co mp lex Redevelop ment Authority, known as the RDA, in a holding pattern.
The first thing to be affected will be Friday's scheduled handoff of deeds to nearly 250 acres at the northern
edge of the base. The RDA had planned to transfer a deed to the city, which in turn would hand it to
Noisette, if an appraisal had been received. That hasn't happened.

"The city is doing everything within its power to get this transfer ready for Friday. It's long overdue," said
North Charleston Mayor Keith Su mmey. "It seems like every time we take t wo steps forward, so mebody
tries to help us slide back one. We have come too far to back away."

The RDA did its share Tuesday, board Chairman James Bryan said, when it passed a resolution authorizing
a handoff once the EDA agrees.

"We're ready to go," Bryan said, "but we're not going to move until the EDA gives us an OK."

Jerry Foster, a regional lawyer fo r the EDA, declined to co mment Tuesday.

But in a Jan. 31 letter obtained by The Post and Courier, Foster told local officials that the city would have
to reimburse the EDA for its investment in the base or agree to spend a similar amount on other base reuse

The letter also outlined several items the city must address before the issue is resolved, including furnishing
an appraisal of the property and how much Noisette will pay for it.

Summey, in the meantime, has asked U.S. Sen. Fritz Ho llings, D -S.C., for help.

"Yes, he has contacted the EDA," Ho llings spokesman Andy Davis said. "Hollings says it doesn't make any
sense to fix it (the base) so a developer would be interested, and then ask for the money back. If you're
going to do that, why make the investment in the first place?"

One factor that could affect the city's ability to reimburse the federal funds is the price of the base property.
No one knows what it's worth, and all part ies are waiting on an appraisal by Michael Robinson of
Charleston Appraisal Services. His report is expected any time, but Rob inson declined to comment

As part of the November sales agreement between the city and Noisette, the company will pay fair market
value based on Robinson's appraisal or $3 million, wh ichever is greater.

Summey said City Attorney Brady Hair recently traveled to Atlanta to meet with EDA officials to discuss
any problems with the transfer. After that meeting, Su mmey said the city took all o f the property with
EDA-funded improvements out of the deed transfer.

The exceptions were imp rovements to water and sewer lines, Su mmey said, adding that North Charleston
has no problem paying the federal govern ment for those improvements.

Arriv ing at a figure for reimbursing the federal agency could be difficu lt. Bryan said he believed the RDA
had spent about $4 million in EDA grants for improvements on the land the city wants. But that figure was
"soft," he added.

Despite the possible hang-up, City Council is expected to meet Thursday for a special session to approve
the transfer of property to the Noisette Co. The council voted to sell the land to Noisette in November.

If all goes as most city leaders hope, the deed transfers will happen Friday at 11 a.m. at the RDA office,
with the RDA g iving the city the deeds and the city then signing them over to Noisette. But that's not likely
to happen, according to a Jan. 31 e-mail fro m an EDA staff lawyer to his RDA counterpart. "Nothing will
happen by Feb. 6," Foster wrote.

The lack of a set price has been a sticking point for one City Council member who argues that the city can't
sell land if it doesn't know the price.

"This is a bad business move," Councilman Bob King said. "All the documents need to be in place first.
The price needs to be set so everyone knows exactly what we are paying with. We owe it to the citizens of
North Charleston to make sure this is right."

Spearheaded by Dewees Island developer John Knott, Noisette is a public-private venture aimed at
revitalizing 300 acres on the northern tip of the base and then working with homeowners to breathe new
life into 2,700 acres of surrounding neighborhoods.

Knott said he has spent $6 million on the project and he didn't understand the holdup. He pointed out that
the state Legislature, former Gov. Jim Hodges and the state Budget and Control Board have signed off on
the deal.

"I am optimistic as I always am and hope that people do the right thing," said Knott, who declined to
comment on what options he might pursue if it the deal doesn't take place Friday.

Mayor Pro Temp Kurt Taylo r, one of Noisette's biggest supporters and the councilman whose district
includes the base, said he was optimistic things would work out Friday.

"I believe everybody is putting forth as much effort as they can to make sure the closing happens on
Friday," he said. "I am hoping we will get there."

Over the last few days, the agency has told the local players that the game may be heading for a timeout, a
move that could stall No rth Charleston's ambitious Noisette redevelopment project.

                           North Charleston to sell 350-acre tract to Noisette Co.
                                             By James Scott
                                        Friday,November 1, 2002

With the simple stroke of a pen, North Charleston agreed to sell roughly 350 acres of warehouses, historic
homes and office buildings to the Noisette Co. for a yet-to-be determined price.

Following a half-hour meeting Thursday with sometimes heated arguments, City Council voted 6-1 in favor
of the sale, with the majority saying they hoped the deal would be a catalyst for renewed economic
development in the city's long-stagnated southern end.

"When we look back and are writing the history of North Charleston, this last week of October 2002 will
go down as an important week in our co mmunity," said Mayor Keith Su mmey.

Noisette, led by Dewees Island developer John Knott, is working with the city on a roughly 20-year, $1
billion redevelopment of the northern end of the base and 2,700 surrounding a cres.

The two sides still await an appraisal to determine the value of the property, but the 15-page deal mandates
that Noisette pay the fair market value and no less than $3 million.

Alpha Street resident Kenneth Poe, who owns a number of rental p roperties in the area, said he wanted to
make sure the city got a good deal.
"It would be a breach of public trust by this council if we do not have a full independent appraisal of this
property," Poe said. "Three million seems a good price for an acre or two on t he waterfront, but not for
more than 350 acres."

Councilman A.C. M itchum, the lone dissenter, said the city should hire an additional appraiser. "I don't
believe the project will ever be fin ished," Mitchum said. "I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it."

Mitchum's co mments drew fire fro m Su mmey, who accused the council member of skipping the majority
of meetings city officials had with Noisette that could have cleared up any questions he might have
had."We have never seen you at a meet ing on the Noisette Project," Su mmey said. "No w you want to come
in here at the 12th hour and question us? Don't hand me that."

Despite the brief exchange, Knott said Thursday that the company plans to push ahead with complet ing the
project's master plan. He said he hoped ground would be broken on the riverfront park in March as well as
the work to fix up some o f the build ings to lease.

The real question that now remains is just how much Noisette will pay for the land. To determine what that
is the city has hired Michael Robinson of Charleston Appraisal Serv ices. The city also has fronted the cash
for the appraisal with Noisette set to reimburse the city.

That appraisal, wh ich Su mmey has estimated could cost several hundred thousand dollars, is expected to be
ready sometime in the next 30 to 45 days.

The contract stipulates that Noisette will pay no less than $3 million even if the value, once any demolit ion
or cleanup is carried out, falls short of that figure.

Knott, who said he has not had the land previously appraised, said he and his staff picked apart two
appraisals done in recent years of the entire base by the Navy. The first appraisal, he said, had a negative
value of $100 million wh ile the second valued it at $29 million.

"I have told our investors what I think the best case value scenario would be and the worst case," Knott
said. "Is there a lot of risk? You're dadgum right. There is a huge amount of risk."

Noisette will finance the sale through the city with a closing date set for Nov. 15 regardless of whether a
value has been decided. The company will not begin paying its mortgage for five years, but interest will
start accumulating immediately.

"I may not be here for the project's co mpletion," said Councilwo man Phoebe Miller, "but I'm g lad I was
here to see it start.

Following a half-hour meeting Thursday with sometimes heated arguments, City Council voted 6-1 in favor
of the sale, with the majority saying they hoped the deal would be a catalyst for renewed economic
development in the city's long-stagnated southern end.

James Scott covers North Charleston. Contact him at 745-5855 or m.

Deal splits Navy base between SPA, city
By James Scott And Ron Menchaca
Saturday,October 26, 2002
Almost a decade after word came down that the Charleston Navy Base would close, the 1,600-acre
compound of shipyards, docking space and industrial bu ild ings has been formally d ivided between the city
of North Charleston and the State Ports Authority.

The two sides, which reached a verbal agreement in Ju ly after weeks of closed-door and sometimes
contentious meetings, hammered out a written 15-page deal that specifies who gets what.

For the city, the deal is a green-light for the Noisette Project, a jo int public-private redevelop ment of
roughly 3,000 acres near the city's southern border. For the port, it means expansion plans are now focused
on the base.

The SPA board unanimously approved the deal early Friday and authorized Chairman Whit Smith and
President and CEO Bernard Groseclose to sign the deal at a Friday afternoon press conference on the base.

"We have really massaged this thing and could probably recite it in our sleep," Smith said at the special
board meeting. "I think we feel very co mfortable."

The SPA meet ing was followed about two hours later by a specially called North Charleston City Council
meet ing where the members voted 8-1 in favor of the deal.

"It was not easy," Mayor Keith Su mmey said. "It was a challenge. But I believe we have done the best for
North Charleston."

Under the deal, the div iding line fo llo ws Viaduct Road fro m the gate that enters the base on Spruill
Avenue. Fro m there it turns north along Hobson Avenue, then east on Supply Street and runs to the Cooper
River. North Charleston will take the roughly 800 acres north of the line, leaving everything south for the
port, including about 12,000 feet of waterfront land and 600 acres of high ground.

Groseclose said the authority's next step is to ask the General Assembly — which steered port expansion to
the base after the controversial Global Gateway p lan on Daniel Island — for support in getting permits to
build port facilities.

State Sen. Arthur Ravenel used Friday's announcement to make a p itch for the authority to sell off its
roughly 1,300 acres on Dan iel Island, wh ich he described as the "most valuab le property" on the East

Groseclose later responded that the port has no plans to sell the property now. "It would be a mistake to sell
it outright," he said.

Acting on the legislative mandate, the authority recently evaluated possible expansion sit es on the west
bank of the Cooper River, concluding that expansion at the base would pose the least number of hurdles.

While North Charleston would take control of much of the land for use with the Noisette Project, the SPA
would have to wait until infrastructure is in p lace to protect area neighborhoods from truck and rail traffic
before its operation could begin.

To accomplish that, the state is expected to spend more than $200 million to build an overpass to take
trucks directly to Interstate 26.

As part of that, the state also plans to build three rail overpasses — two along Rivers Avenue and one on
North Rhett Avenue — to prevent trains from b locking the city's major arteries.
Ravenel, R-Mount Pleasant, said the state would look to many sources for the needed cash, ranging fro m
the State Infrastructure Bank to the Depart ment of Co mmerce and the Depart ment of Transportation.

"We cannot commit the General Assembly, but we have pledged our support to the ports authority and the
city to put a financial package together," he said. "It is not a Charleston project, it is a statewide project
with statewide connections."

Groseclose called the agreement "fair and equitable," and said it provides for the port's short and long -term
needs. But he cautioned that some issues remain, such as making sure that the Navy upholds its obligation
to clean up contaminated land and encouraging existing federal tenants at the base to find new ho mes.

North Charleston Councilman Bob King, the lone dissenter on City Council, said he felt North Charleston
could not turn its back on the wishes of the citizens, many of who m packed City Hall earlier this year to
protest the port coming to the base.

"The people of No rth Charleston are not in favor of this deal," King said, citing a feared increase in truck
and rail traffic spilling into surrounding communit ies. "It has been rammed down our throat."

Council member Kurt Taylor and Su mmey were quick to challenge King's objection by pointing out that
the city could have waged a long and expensive battle in the courts but without the promise of any different

This way, they argued, the city could dictate infrastructure measures to guarantee that surrounding areas
would be protected.

"We could mire ourselves in litigation and spend lots of time and money and accomplish nothing," Taylor
said. "We could get our backs up and show we're tough, but that's not what we are elected to do."

One of the biggest beneficiaries of Friday's deal is the No isette Co.

Led by Dewees Island Developer John Knott, the company is wo rking with the city on a 20-year, $1 billion
redevelopment of roughly 3,000 acres, including mo re than 300 on the base.

Knott, who was on hand for Friday morning's council meet ing and for the afternoon press conference, said
the company has spent more than $4 million and is a year behind schedule because of the hang -ups.

In a separate but related deal, City Council is expected to approve the sale of roughly 350 acres on the base
next week to No isette.

Under that deal, which calls for the city to close by Nov. 15, Noisette has agreed to pay no less than $3
million for the land. The city, wh ich is wait ing for an appraiser to value the land, could charge more.

Much of the land, which is now controlled by the Charleston Naval Co mplex Redevelop ment Authority,
will not be eligible for transfer until the state agency gets the deeds from the federal govern ment. City
leaders say that's not a problem.

"This is a big day. Our whole team is now ready to move forward and get to work," Knott said. This is not
just a development. This is build ing and integrating an entire city."

Almost a decade after word came down that the Charleston Navy Base would close, the 1,600 -acre
compound of shipyards, docking space and industrial bu ild ings has been formally d ivid ed between the city
of North Charleston and the State Ports Authority.
The two sides, which reached a verbal agreement in Ju ly after weeks of closed -door and sometimes
contentious meetings, hammered out a written 15-page deal that specifies who gets what.

Backg round checks urged for Noisette Project
By James Scott
Thursday,May 30, 2002

North Charleston should conduct a background check on the Noisette Co. and its chief officers before
moving forward with the $1 billion redevelopment project, accord ing to one City Council member.

In a May 20, t wo-page letter to Mayor Keith Su mmey — copied to council members and the city attorney
— Councilman A.C. Mitchu m said the city should do the search to protect itself before entering into the
joint venture.

“I’m still skeptical about the Noisette Project, and I know there are many obstacles that could pop up and
prevent the project from being successful,” Mitchum said Wednesday. “My interest and motivation is
simp ly to get all of the protection we can for the taxpayers and the city of North Charleston.”

Summey, who said he does not plan to act on Mitchum’s reco mmendation unless the council votes for it,
said he has total confidence in the Noisette Co., which is led by Dewees Island developer John Knott.

Summey also pointed to the company’s board of directors and principal investors, announced last month,
who include a nu mber of Fortune 500 executives fro m co mpanies such as Corning Inc. and Eastman Kodak

“These people are world-class individuals that any board would love to have,” he said. “They have bought
into the Noisette package not only with their name but with their finances.”

Knott on Wednesday referred to his track record with Dewees Island as well as the corporate backgrounds
of the board of directors as evidence the project will succeed.

Pointing out that the city has already entered into a memo randum of agreement for the project, Knott said
the company has spent millions of dollars lay ing the groundwork for the project.

“We have shown our capacity and our ability to stay and play and invest even if there are problems,
because of our long-term co mmit ment to the city, the mayor, the council and the co mmunity,” he said.
“Asking questions like this after a jo int venture of understanding has been entered into is h ighly

Announced last year after being planned at length in secret, the Noisette Project aims to redevelop roughly
3,000 acres in the southern end of the city, including the northern end of the old Navy base.

The project, wh ich calls for increasing co mmercial, residential and park space, is expected to take more
than 20 years and cost up to $1 billion. Much of that, city leaders say, will be paid for by private investors
and cash generated through a special tax district.

While the project remains in the planning phase, many of the properties of the former base are expected to
be transferred to North Charleston later this summer. The city then will sell them to Noisette Co. Noisette
plans to use the buildings as collateral to begin the project, starting with a three-quarter-mile waterfront
park at the base.
Mitchum, who said the city should use its legal depart ment or hire an outside firm to conduct the search, is
not alone in his thoughts.

“We need to do some checking into the company and what their financial stability is and past
performance,” said Councilman Bob King. “Th is is a business decision.”

While King and Mitchum maintain the check makes good business sense, some city leaders said they
question their motives.

“I have noticed that some people only write letters when they want to create a problem,” said Councilman
Kurt Taylor, who pointed out that city leaders have had a number of meetings about the project. “I think
this is a bit insulting to John Knott.”

North Charleston should conduct a background check on the Noisette Co. and its chief officers before
moving forward with the $1 billion redevelopment project, accord ing to one City Council member.
In a May 20, t wo-page letter to Mayor Keith Su mmey — copied to council members and the city attorney
— Councilman A.C. Mitchu m said the city should do the search to protect itself before entering into the
joint venture.

Noisette developers to seek more input fro m residents, businesses
By John P. Mcdermott
Sunday,March 24, 2002

A year after making its splashy debut, officials behind the massive North Charleston redevelopment known
simp ly as Noisette are set to step back in the spotlight for a fresh round of public feedback.

The locally based Noisette Co., wh ich is spearheading the revitalization of 3,000 acres on and around the
old Navy base, is in the final stages of cataloging all ho mes, parks, schools and other “inventory” in the
city’s oldest area, said Art Titus, vice president.

Next is a fo llo w-up to the scores of public foru ms that the company held with residents, businesses and
civic clubs over the past year. It’s called “the treasurer’s process,” Titus said.

“We’ll go out and get involved with neighborhood groups again to make sure we appropriately prioritize
the retention of those assets that are important to everyone,” he said.

The checklist likely would include parks, schools, businesses, significant homes and historic structures.

“Something that means a lot to the people who are part of the co mmunity,” Titus said. “Memory kind of

Ult imately, that public input will help dictate how the master plan will be crafted over the next year, he
said, noting that residents should expect the document to change somewhat as Noisette progresses.

“We’re looking at essentially a one- to 15-year horizon so we have to build in some flexib ility to allow for
what will be changing uses that may be appropriate as time goes by,” Titus said.

Another key goal for No isette this year will be the acquisition of 350 acres at the northern end of the former
Naval Base. Hav ing resolved a squabble over the purchase with the Charleston Naval Co mp lex
Redevelopment Authority, an appraisal of the property and assessment of more than 100 build ings are
under way. The land transfer is deemed crucial because the property is expected to ju mp-start the rest of the
development. Officials hope to break ground on an important anchor project on the base — a waterfront
park — in early 2003.

Meanwhile, the company said it continues to work with the city and private backers to lin e up the financing
they will need to launch the first wave of new construction and redevelopment. Despite the national
recession and Sept. 11 fallout, “We’re pretty encouraged at this point,” Titus said.

“There appears to be a revitalization of investor interest in the marketplace fro m what we can see,” he said.

The city brought in the Noisette Co., which is led by Dewees Island developer John Knott, to help it
redevelop and rejuvenate a densely populated urban area bordered by the Cooper River fro m roughly Filing
Creek to Cosgrove Avenue.

The company has, in turn, assembled an imp ressive team of international experts to convert the area into
what it calls a “sustainable” development. North Charleston Mayor Keith Su mmey has described Noisette
as an environmentally conscious remedy for suburban sprawl, seeking to mix businesses, homes, schools
and transportation in one area so residents can stay out of their automobiles.

The concept, which previously guided Knott’s development of Dewees Island, rejects cookie -cutter
solutions, emphasizing instead an area’s history, climate and culture. One key goal is to elevate North
Charleston’s home-ownership rate to 60 percent fro m 40 percent.

The amb itious and complex urban revitalizat ion project — named after famed local botanist Phillip
Noisette — has been in the works behind the scenes since 1997. It was unveiled in March 2001 when
officials projected it would require at least 15 years to complete and $1 billion in public and private money.

“The Noisette project will serve as a national benchmark for s mart gro wth,” Su mmey said.

As initially proposed, the long-range plan includes: a three-quarter-mile waterfront park at the former Navy
base that would join a 200-acre park surrounding Noisette Creek; up to 10,000 new and rehabilitated
housing units; up to 8 million square feet of co mmercial space; revitalizat ion of the city’s Olde Village;
improvements to 13 public schools; the restoration of Noisette Creek; and the creation of several museums,
possibly including the hotly contested H.L. Hunley submarine exh ibit.

Indeed, Titus and other Noisette officials are crossing their fingers that the Hunley Co mmission will pick
the old Navy base as the permanent home of the Civil War maritime museum, wh ich is expected to be a
major tourist draw. Charleston and Mount Pleasant also are vying for the Hunley.

“It would tru ly be the absolute crown jewel ... of the redevelopment of this area,” Titus said.

John P. McDermott covers business. He can be reached at m.

Noisette project remains at standstill
By James Scott

Wednesday,November 28, 2001

Territorial d ispute with RDA cited as company, city officials meet
With a Dec. 4 deadline weighing down upon them, North Charleston city leaders met with the Noisette
Co. officials Tuesday to try to get concrete details about when their $1 billion redevelopment project will
get off the ground.

What they got was remin iscent of the news delivered a week ago: The project can’t get under way until
the city sorts out its territori- al d ispute with the Charleston Naval Co mp lex Redevelopment _Authority.

The RDA, a state agency de- signed to shepherd the former base back to civ ilian control, expressed
concern last week whether No isette could handle the 3,000- acre pro ject, wh ich includes rede- veloping
about 300 acres of former Navy land.

“Without the issue being resolved, the project is at a standstill,” said Mayor Keith Su mmey. “We can’t
ask Noisette to put out the money in the planning phase without some guarantee that the project is going
to move where it needs to _go.”

The RDA board, wh ich directed its staff to draw up more detailed maps and boundaries for what North
Charleston can and can’t have, will meet with the city again next week.

City leaders want to acquire the former naval land and then sell it to the Noisette Co. to develop as part of
the ambit ious project that ranges fro m building a waterfront park to adding new residential and
commercial develop ment.

Without knowing the buildings and properties it will have to work with, the Noisette Co. can’t get fi-
nancing to get the project going.

Tuesday’s meeting, wh ich was held by the city’s Capital Imp rove- _ ments Committee, was aimed at
discussing design details and time- lines for the development of a three-quarter-mile park along the
Cooper River. Planners hope the park, wh ich would beco me the on- ly public water access for North
Charleston on either the Cooper or Ashley rivers, will be the catalyst for the rest of the project.

While city leaders did hear some conceptual ideas about what such a park might include, they were
unable to get more concrete de- tails, including exact acreage, be- cause designers say they don’t know
exactly what land they will be able to use.

While city leaders and Noisette officials wait for information on _the boundaries, the project’s leader,
John Knott, said work con- tinues. His staff has conducted meetings with more than 50 neigh- borhood
groups — totaling more than 2,000 part icipants — to gauge what the public wants to see hap- pen. The
Noisette Co. has already spent more than $2 million.

The project, wh ich is expected to take 15 years to complete and at least $1 billion of public and pri- vate
money, is to be financed through a combination of private investment and bonds issued through special
tax districts in North Charleston.

Noisette plan draws skeptical enthusiasm
By Ben Brazil Of The Post And Courier Staff
Wednesday,April 11, 2001

Toward the end of a two-hour co mmunity meet ing about North Charleston's 3,000-acre redevelop ment
plan, lead developer John L. Knott Jr. made one of his boldest statements to date.
"In five to 10 years, North Charleston - believe it or not - will be one of the most significant cities in the
country," Knott said. Fro m the back of a packed East Montague Avenue restaurant came the voice of Mary
Dellucci, a Park Circle resident who weighed her words carefu lly : "That's a big statement."

"It's a big statement, and it will happen," Knott replied.

The exchange captured the mood of the roughly 40 people gathered in Aunt Bea's restaurant Tuesday night
for the second in a series of community meet ings meant to explain what is billed as the large st urban
redevelopment project in U.S. history.

The meet ing, held in the East Montague Avenue restaurant co -owned by Mayor Keith Su mmey's wife
Debbie, saw enthusiastic but skeptical residents pepper Knott with nearly an hour's worth of questions on
the environmentally-geared pro ject.

No one directly crit icized the plan, wh ich includes a waterfront park, two nature preserves, four to five
museums and a slew of energy-efficient homes and businesses.

"The redevelopment, the return to public lands, the use of the Navy Base and the ecological and economic
impact ... is exactly what the city needs," Dellucci said. " Do I thin k they can do it? I sure hope so."

Knott pledged to ask for and listen to community input as his Noisette Co. creates a development blueprint,
expected to take 18-24 months. Construction on a Cooper River park will begin after that.

"I'm not going to ask you to trust me, because I haven't earned that," Knott said. "I am going to ask you to
accept me at my word and test that at all times."

Knott called the meeting " marginally" easier than a similar meeting Monday, when he fielded questions on
plans to buy or condemn property, among others. Knott said he knew of no houses, but some mobile
homes, that would have to be moved to create a nature preserve on Noisette Creek.

City Councilman Ku rt Taylor was more emphatic.

"Nobody's going to be run out of their home that doesn't want to be run out of their ho me," he said. "And
nobody's house is going to be knocked out from under them."

Several questions centered on whether such a huge undertaking could work in a densely populated area that
includes run-down rental properties.

"You're not dealing with people on Dewees Island up here," said Olde North Charleston resident Deana
Nash, referring to Knott's upscale, enviro mentally-friendly creation north of Isle of Palms. Nash questioned
whether all residents would take care o f improvements.

Knott said he was confident people would accept an offer to clean up their ho mes and save money through
energy efficiency at the same time. The pro ject also aims to boost homeownership in the area fro m 40
percent to 60 percent, he said.

Other questions and answers included:

What will happen to industrial sites on the Cooper River? Knott said they will stay, but planners will ask
plant managers to make their operations mo re environ mentally and commun ity friendly.
How will the plan be financed? Financing for public imp rovements come through a special tax district that
does not raise taxes.

Will Noisette Co. sell private homes on the waterfront, where it could co mmand high prices? No, Knott
said. All project land on the river will be part of a public park project.

North Charleston plans renewal Navy Base waterfront development is first phase of massive 3,000-acre
community revitalization
By John P. Mcdermott
Thursday,March 22, 2001

An urban revitalization pro ject described as the largest in U.S. history is about to wash up on the old Navy
base and spill over into North Charleston.

The first wave rolls in today, when city officials are expected to sign a preliminary agreement to buy 350
acres fro m the Charleston Naval Base Redevelop ment Authority on the northern tip of the former military

With that waterfront site as the catalyst, the city's long-range goal is to redevelop and rejuvenate a densely
populated 3,000-acre area bordered by the Cooper River fro m roughly Filbin Creek to Cosgrove Avenue.

As now envisioned, the plan, which is being crafted with a nationally known, Charleston -based developer,
includes: a three-quarter-mile riverfront park at the old Navy base that would join a 200-acre park
surrounding Noisette Creek, up to 10,000 new and rehabilitated housing units, 6 million to 8 million square
feet of co mmercial space and revitalizat ion of the city's Old Village, imp rovements to 13 public schools,
the restoration of Noisette Creek, and the creation of several museums.

The amb itious and complex undertaking - dubbed Noisette after famed local botanist Phillip Noisette - has
been in the works behind the scenes since 1997.

"The Noisette project will serve as a national benchmark for smart growth," said North Charleston Mayor
Keith Su mmey at a briefing with Post and Courier reporters and editors. "We will offer an intelligent
alternative to urban sprawl."

Summey said residents will be closely involved.

"Unless the community buys into it, it isn't going to be," he said. "We want the community's comp lete input
on what we do."

Noisette is expected to require at least 15 years to comp lete and at least $1 b illion of public and private
money. The venture will be financed by private investment and bonds issued through special tax districts in
North Charleston.

"This project is huge," said John Knott Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Noisette Co., which
is the lead developer.

Knott said a major object ive for North Charleston is to reclaim the waterfront for public use and integrate
the former Navy base into the city.

He said a "sustainable development" like Noisette ideally should include a t ight -knit mix of basic
community amen ities, such as affordable housing, schools, churches, businesses, shopping destinations,
cultural venues and recreational outlets.
"Downtown Charleston is the mother of preservation in the United States," he said. "North Charleston will
be the father of sustainable development and urban revitalizat ion."

Knott added: "It's about connecting everything, connecting the dots. Here we're going to take $2 and make
it act like $4 instead of $1.50 like we do today."

Education also will p lay a key role in the plan. A portion of money collected fro m a special tax d istrict in
the city would be set aside for imp rovements to 13 public schools in the area.

In addition, Knott and the city hope their efforts will raise the home -ownership rate in North Charleston to
60 percent. The current figure of 40 percent is "a real problem," Knott said.

After today's signing, the first phase in the Noisette project is for the city to buy the 350 -acre Navy base
property. The sale price will be set after two appraisals are co mpleted.

Once the land changes hand, Knott's firm will buy it under special terms and get to work on the waterfront

The init ial task for Knott's group is to draw up a comprehensive master plan for the entire 3,000 acres,
which is expected to take up to two years. It will be based on North Charleston's 1996 plan and include
sustainable development guidelines for parks, zoning, density, roads, sidewalks, bike paths, parking,
energy-efficient utilities, ecological restoration, landscaping and stormwater manag ement.

Knott has drawn national attention for imp lementing such environmentally friendly building standards at
Dewees Island, a residential develop ment north of the Isle of Palms that is accessible only by boat.

"That's what we call this," he said. "Dewees in the city."

As of now, Knott said, the actual location of future ho mes, shopping centers and other development has not
been determined.

"I don't know where it's going and I'm not embarrassed by that," he said. "The process will tell us where it

Summey said City Council supports Knott's approach, as does the base redevelopment authority.

One major concern among all involved is gentrificat ion, or the displacement of longtime residents who get
forced out of their neighborhoods as property values rise.

Knott pledged that his master plan will include a "zero -tolerance policy" toward the trend. One way is to
come up with creat ive ways to encourage home ownership among lo w-income renters. "There are
economic strategies that could be put in place to counter that reality," Knott said.

That's not to say everyone will be pleased with Noisette.

In a move to beat land speculators to the punch, the city already has acquired options on properties near
Noisette Creek, which is lined with mobile ho mes, so that it can be restored. And the city insists it will play
hardball with any uncooperative property owners who cross its path.

"That means if we have to do condemnation, we'll do it," Su mmey said. "Are we going to upset a few
people in the process? Well, yeah. But we've got to look to do what's in the public good."
John P. McDermott covers business. He can be reached at 937-5572.

Casual conversation sowed the seeds of massive development
By Ben Brazil
Thursday,March 22, 2001

The tightly orchestrated, long-planned proposal to redevelop 3,000 acres in the heart of North Charleston
began, ironically, with a casual conversation between a set of in -laws.

In 1997, city Councilman Kurt Taylor was chatting with his brother-in- law, Andy Go wder. Gowder, a
local attorney, told him about the plans a client had for an environ mentally sensitive project, Taylo r

The client was John L. Knott Jr., the developer of the Dewees Island community, a development considered
a national model for environmentally friendly, socially conscious development. Knott said he knew Dewees
was considered a "rich man's place," and he wanted to provide those same benefits to an urban area. At the
time, he was considering a site in the city of Charleston, without much luck, he said. Gowder asked T aylor
- recently elected to represent a district including the Navy base - if he thought the same kind of concepts
would work in h is district. Taylor, an attorney who had moved back into his grandfather's home in the Olde
North Charleston district, was interested, and Gowder introduced him to Knott.

That introduction spawned a plan to be announced today, a proposal that aims to turn 3,000 acres of North
Charleston into an international model for an anti-sprawl, environ mentally friendly co mmun ity.

The project aims to bring together 65 environ mental engineers, federal agencies, arch itectural firms,
economic consultants and other development-related groups.

The negotiations have been kept under wraps for the past four years to keep "scalpers" fro m buying up lan d
slated for redevelopment, Knott said.

After his init ial conversation with Knott, Taylor took h im on a d rive around the older developed sections of
North Charleston. What Knott saw convinced him that North Charleston was perfect for the kind of
completely planned commun ity he wanted to start, Knott said.

The Park Circle area was orig inally laid out as a "garden community," planned by the same architects who
designed New York's Central Park. The area had well-defined "cellular co mmunit ies" and a small business

Knott met with Mayor Keith Su mmey and took a look at the city's 1996 co mprehensive development plan
and found it in sync with what he felt were the co mmunity's needs.

In large part, the plan grew out of the debate about what to do with the Navy Base after it closed in 1996.

Knott said he looked at the report produced by the BEST co mmittee, the group formed in 1993 to draw up a
re-use plan for the base. It called for the base to be reintegrated into the surrounding area, something that
Knott noted hadn't happened.

The situation also got more co mp licated in 1997 and 1998, when North Charleston fought - and eventually
won - a battle to keep the State Ports Authority fro m establishing a noncontainer shipping terminal on the
base's northern end.
During that debate, Summey unveiled his alternate vision for the base's north end: a waterfront park
complete with a boat ramp, condominiu ms and riverfront shopping areas, among other things. By 1999, the
city had won official approval for that plan fro m the Navy and the Charleston Naval Co mp lex
Redevelopment Authority, the state agency that controls leases on the base.

But quietly, behind closed doors, the plan had already started to grow larger. Early on, city and Noisette
Co. officials expanded the proposal to include redevelopment of the East Montague Avenue small-business
district, just north of the base. From there, it grew further, eventually includ ing 3,000 acres.

"We just ended up with a very large area, but it all is interconnected," Summey said.

There was a snag: Law requires cit ies to let any company bid on most large projects, and North
Charleston's plans were only with the Noisette Co., Su mmey said.

Two years ago, city and company lawyers found a legal way to work the project, one that involves the sale
and resale of base property, as well as bonds and special tax d istricts.

Since then, the city has quietly analyzed what land it must buy - or condemn - fo r the two proposed nature
preserves, park and private develop ments the project will include.

Knott said developers already have options on some properties, including some in the declining Century
Oaks area.

Now, developers and the city will begin acquiring property on and off the Navy Base. Knott and the 65
companies, think tanks and other groups involved in the project will now begin to draw up a master plan.

That plan will include environ mentally friendly, energy-saving building guidelines, as well as zoning laws.
The master planning process will take 18-24 months and will involve extensive meetings with area
residents, whose input the project needs, Knott said.

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