County to build industrial spec building

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In Alliance Park

By Stan Welch

Faced with an almost complete lack of available industrial buildings for use in its economic development efforts, the Anderson County Council recently approved the purchase of twenty acres of land in the Alliance Park, and the construction of a speculative industrial building on the site.

The Council has been considering the possibility for more than two years, as the County’s remarkably successful economic development department has found tenants for building after building. The County has seen thousands of jobs come to the County, as well as thousands more being retained by expansions of existing businesses.

Recently, the County has filled several buildings, and found itself with just one smaller facility, containing only thirty thousand square feet. In addition, its location at the Anderson airport restricts its appeal to many industries that ship by truck, and who value proximity to the Interstate.

Faced with virtually no inventory, the Council had little choice but to add to their stock. The proposed site will be a fifty thousand square foot design, capable of expansion to a hundred thousand square feet.

It will be designed as a basic shell by the Greenville architectural firm of McMillan, Pazean and Smith. Minimal water, sewer, and electrical infrastructure will be put in place, to allow for the greatest flexibility to meet a potential client’s needs.

County administrator Rusty Burns said the County has 90 days to conduct its due diligence on the site, which will include soil borings and environmental tests. Burns said the building will be highly visible from nearby Interstate 85.Once that is done, the design phase will begin.

The projected cost for the project is approximately $3million, with $400,000 coming from the private sector, and the remainder in the form of a loan from Santee Cooper, at an interest rate of two per cent. In addition, no payment towards the principal is required for the first three years of the agreement.

The plan is to hopefully sell the first spec building and recoup the entire amount, which would facilitate the buying of another such facility. Burns concedes that in some ways, the County is the victim of its own success, but added that it is a nice problem to have. “Since the County, with the support of the County Council began aggressively pursuing industries several years ago, there has been a remarkable success in attracting industry and creating jobs in the county. The building of this facility is just the next step in maintaining the growth of jobs.”