Expect an industry announcement soon - Hunter Park
There is increased interest in Laurens County from industrial prospects. There are hundreds of acres ready to be developed. Building is set to begin on two spec buildings — one near Laurens and one near Clinton. All that’s missing is someone to sign on the dotted line and commit to bring new jobs to the county.
Laurens County Development Corporation Executive Director Jonathan Coleman told the LCDC board last week that expects an industrial announcement for the Hunter Industrial Park, located near the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, within weeks.
He said a company has signed a letter of intent to locate in Hunter, which is where LCDC is set to begin construction the first week in August on a 83,000-sq-ft spec building. “Good news is just around the corner,” Coleman said at the semi-monthly LCDC meeting.
Coleman said the organization has received 34 Requests for Information so far this year with nine actual site visits made — numbers above last year at this time, he said.
Collie Lehn, chairman of the Clinton Economic Development Corporation and CEDC’s representative on the LCDC board, said construction contracts have been signed on CEDC’s new 60,000-sq-ft spec building in the Clinton I—26 Commerce Park.
“We’ve had fairly substantial interest in (the building) already,” Lehn said. CEDC sold its first spec building before construction had been completed.
Laurens Electric Cooperative is finalizing plans on an industrial park on I-385, Exit 22 all the way to Friendship Church Road in Owings. A master plan on the 415-acre Connexial Center is done and final infrastructure plans are almost complete, Coleman said. The park will receive a $3.5 million infrastructure enhancement grant from the SC Power Team, Coleman said.
He said the Exit 22 interchange will require millions in changes to ease entry into the park. Coleman said he hopes to get federal money for those road enhancements.
Addressing the spec buildings in Laurens and Clinton and plans by Laurens Electric, LCDC Board Chairman Jeff Field said, “We appreciate all the investment in Laurens County. It’s paying off bit by bit.”
LCDC Assistant Director Lynn Finley said the agency is planning several industry showcases for the fall.
LCDC with partner with Newberry County to host a Business and Industry Showcase at the CAM for all eighth graders in the two counties. With 16-20 companies highlighting their businesses and products, “we want to expose younger children to what they do,” Finley said.
She said the 2018 Manufacturers Day will be held the first week in October, geared toward high school students. “We are working on getting our manufacturers to host tours,” Finley said.
The third annual ZF Signing Day, for the latest class of 10 apprentices, will be held in early August, she said.
McKinley Cooper CPA Matt Phillips present the 2017 audit to the board. LCDC received a clean audit, he said.
The audit shows LCDC’s cash assets have increased by about $500,000, but upon questioning for Board Member Dr. David Pitts, Phillips and Coleman both said the temporary assets are received by LCDC for certain projects and can be used for only those projects.
“So we’re not sitting on an extra $500,000 in cash,” Pitts said.
In a financial report, Finley said LCDC revenue is $1,371 above budget six months into the current fiscal year, while expenditures are $16,748 below budget.
LCDC Marketing Manager Whitney Robertson presented the board with a new marketing piece that will be given to industrial prospects.