New SC industrial park aims to create places for work and play
June 4, 2018 – As new industrial parks sprout in the Charleston region and the competition for workers heightens, Santee Cooper is hoping its unique commerce center plan combining nature, work and play will be a draw for businesses looking to give employees more than a 9-to-5 job.
The state-owned electric utility will break ground this week on Camp Hall — a roughly 4,000-acre business park adjacent to the Volvo Cars manufacturing campus nearing completion near Ridgeville in Berkeley County.
A village center at the heart of the industrial park will provide workers with the types of businesses they typically need on a regular basis — a gas station, day care, banks, grocery store, restaurants and fitness center — so they can run errands on lunch breaks, work out before clocking in or grab a bite to eat with co-workers at the end of the day.
All of the trails and amenities will be open to the public, not just those working at the site.
“Commerce parks typically have a lot of acreage, but everything is designed around getting people to and from work,” Santee Cooper spokeswoman Mollie Gore said. “You usually have to drive somewhere else for lunch or to do all of your errands. Hopefully this will make it easier and more appealing for employees and easier for industries to fill those jobs.”
The industrial park, which will cost about $50 million to develop, is located off Interstate 26 at a new interchange being built for Volvo at mile marker 189. It will include more than a half-dozen sites for industries ranging from 7 acres to more than 600 acres, with subdividing possible.
The development costs are on top of about $40 million that Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper and the electric cooperatives providing power to the site have already spent on land and infrastructure. The utility plans to recover its investment by selling parcels to businesses and through electricity sales.
Santee Cooper has already signed up one industry for the project — a logistics and warehouse facility on a 75-acre tract that will be announced at this week’s groundbreaking — and marketing is under way for the other sites.
It’s a long-term project that will take several years to complete, and Santee Cooper is hoping to partner with other developers.
“The trails will be built out as we develop and open up parcels,” Gore said. “We are working on some of the parcels already, with clearing, grading and infrastructure. We expect to start building out the village center within the next couple of years as the workforce there grows.”
Moncks Corner-based utility Santee Cooper is investing roughly $90 million into a new industrial park off Interstate 26 near Ridgeville.
- Projected number of jobs: 15,000 (including 4,000 at Volvo Cars)
- Projected economic impact: $4.8 billion
- Distance to Charleston International Airport: 27 miles
- Distance to the Port of Charleston: 32 miles
- Environmental preservation: 1,950 acres of forest and wetlands (including 365 acres of restored wetlands)
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