Boeing paying $12.5 mln for 320 acres in South Carolina

Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:00pm GMT

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* Has not disclosed plans for land

* Could quadruple campus by 2025

By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON, South Carolina, March 21 (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Thursday it would pay $12.5 million for about 320 acres of land near its current 787 Dreamliner final assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, as part of its long-term expansion plans.

The price, based on land value appraisals taken over the last several months, was announced at a meeting of the Charleston County Aviation Authority board.

"While Boeing does not have specific plans for the property, the acquisition will provide strategic land for possible future use," a company spokesman said in a statement.

Boeing South Carolina performs final assembly for the planemaker's 787 Dreamliner passenger jet. The facility also makes aft and mid-body sections for the 787.

A deal Boeing signed in December would provide the Chicago-based company the option to buy 750 more acres in several parcels, including the 260 acres it sits on, which is currently leased for $1 a year from Charleston International Airport.

If it exercises the option, by 2025 Boeing could own almost 1,100 acres, a near quadrupling in size of its current campus.

All 50 787s in use worldwide, as well as finished but undelivered airplanes in Everett, Washington and South Carolina, have been grounded since mid-January because of battery problems found in two of the airplanes.

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