By John Clayton, Editor
Laurens County Development Corporation Executive Director Jonathan Coleman told members of the corporation’s board Tuesday that a new tenant has signed on with Hunter Industrial Park.
“We have a letter of intent from a new company at Hunter,” Coleman said at the LCDC regular board meeting.
Coleman said he could not disclose the name of the company, but said an official announcement is imminent.
“Good news is just around the corner,” he said.
Coleman said the LCDC has also received 34 requests for information on local properties along with nine site visits so far in 2018. After a lull in April and May, Coleman said requests have begun to flow in again.
Construction is also expected to begin Aug. 1 on a spec building for Hunter Industrial Park. The building is designed for 82,700 square feet and expandable to 250,000 square feet.
Coleman also updated board members on the Connexial Center, a new industrial park along I-385 in Gray Court that is being developed through the Laurens County Electric Cooperative and the S.C. Power Team.
The initial phase of the park encompasses about 320 acres, but Laurens County Electric is readying to close on additional acreage that will bring the total to 450. An additional purchase investigated by the cooperative could bring the total to more than 500 acres.
Coleman said the project has received a $3.5 million grant for infrastructure from the S.C. Power Team.
“I think that’s the biggest grant they’ve ever given out,” he said.
Coleman also said the LCDC has sought a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for an interchange justification report from the agency.
If approved, the report could lead to additional exits at mile-marker 22. The study would encompass sections of I-385, starting at exit 19 at Gray Court down to Friendship Church Road.
The Connexial Center is being designed to house more than 2.5 million square feet of industrial development.
In other news:
- The LCDC received an independent audit report from Matt Phillips of the Greenville-based McKinley Cooper accounting firm.
Phillips said the audit, which ran through December of 2017, was clean.
- LCDC Assistant Director Lynn Finley announced two workforce-development events scheduled for this fall. Both of the events are aimed at area youth.
The Business and Industry Showcase is to be organized by Laurens and Newberry counties and held at Piedmont Technical College’s CAM Center. Finley said 1,100-1,200 eighth-graders from both counties are expected to attend the event and expose them to potential careers in business and industry.
The 2018 Manufacturers Day Tours is to be held during the first week of October and will be geared at local high school students.
Also, Finley said ZF Transmissions is preparing for its third “signing day” for local high schools seniors selected for the company’s apprenticeship program.
- New marketing material for the LCDC was unveiled. The new handout touts Laurens County as “Business-Centered in the heart of the southeast’s power triangle.”
LCDC Marketing Manager Whitney Robertson created the four-page handout, which will be used during site visits and other events.
“You may not think this is a big thing, but it is,” Coleman said. “This turned out really well, and it will be a good piece for us.”