The Charleston Branch of the NAACP may be forced to move from the Columbus Street office the civil rights organization has rented for nearly a decade because the landlord is looking for a new tenant.
The first-floor office space at Columbus and Hanover streets went on the rental market Nov. 29, according to a listing posted by Coldwell Bankers Commercial.
“This property is currently under renovation and restoration and should be ready for move in by February 2022,” according to the listing.
The NAACP still occupies the office. NAACP president Dot Scott declined to comment.
In 2000, the City of Charleston sold the property including 81 Columbus St. and 37 ½ Hanover St. for $1 to P.A.S.T.O.R.S Inc., a community development organization, according to Charleston County property records. The next transaction shows the property in 2014 being sold by P.A.S.T.O.R.S to Peninsula Economic Development Consortium Inc. for $585,000, according to county records.
Peninsula Economic Development Consortium was incorporated as a nonprofit in 2013, according to South Carolina Secretary of State records. The Charlotte Street address for the group’s registered agent at that time is currently home to a research firm. A message left on the phone for the group’s agent was not returned as of press time.
The NAACP rents the office at 81 Columbus St., Suite A, from P.A.S.T.O.R.S., which lists the same location as its address, according to a 990 tax report filed with the federal Internal Revenue Service. According to the IRS website, the tax-exempt status for P.A.S.T.O.R.S. was in 2020 automatically revoked “for not filing a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years.” It is unknown if the organization has regained tax-exempt status since then.
Columbia attorney F.A. Johnson was the group’s director of development in 2014 and according to sources, he is the current property manager. When contacted by the Charleston City Paper on Christmas Eve, Johnson said, “The president (of the NAACP) is Dot Scott. Give her a call. Merry Christmas.”