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Anderson County developing new manufacturing center

Manufacturing
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The new Anderson County Technology and Manufacturing Center is in Sandy Springs along Highway 76. (Photo/Teresa Cutlip)

Anderson County economic developers are working to promote the county’s new opportunity – the Anderson County Technology and Manufacturing Center.

Located between Anderson and Pendleton on Highway 76 in Sandy Springs, the 220-acre park already features an entrance, a sign and some landscaping. It is a project of Innovate Anderson, a public/private community development organization that supports the efforts to bring jobs and investment into Anderson County.

Burriss Nelson, director of Anderson County Economic Development and Innovate Anderson, said the county closed on the land late last year for $3.9 million. He recently announced plans for a spec building on the site – a 50,000-square-foot spec building that will be designed and built to be expandable to 100,000 square feet. The pad will already be available for the expansion opportunity should it ever materialize, he said.

“We are rough grading two 100,000-square-foot pads in the corner adjacent to the gas station that sits at the corner of Highway 76 and Milwee Creek Road,” Nelson said. “We are seeking an investor/developer that will partner with the county to build a 50,000-square-foot spec building on one of the 100,000-square-foot pads.”

Marketing Anderson County as a viable option for new projects is a primary mission according to Ron Latimer, project manager with Anderson County Economic Development. He said the county has missed out on potential projects “because we didn’t have pad-ready sites.”

Now, with the Anderson County Technology and Manufacturing Center, Nelson said the county feels it has more bullets in the gun. He said the county has acreage at Alliance Industrial Park — located near Williamston, vacant land at the Clemson University Advanced Materials Center owned by Innovate Anderson and a site with over 200 acres along Highway 86 near Piedmont — the county’s closest site to BMW Manufacturing Co. in Spartanburg County.

“We have about 200 industries in the county. Most people don’t know that,” he said. “You ride up and down I-85 in Anderson County and all you see are trees and farms. It’s not like riding through Greenville and Spartanburg where you can see all the businesses.

“People think that we are rural. They don’t know what all we have until they get off the interstate and ride through.”

Since 2010, 4,247 manufacturing jobs have been announced in Anderson County, totaling $2.88 billion in investment. Ninety thousand people are in the county’s labor force.

 “Our unemployment rate, 3.7%, is the lowest I remember in my 25 years of doing this.”

Story appeared in the March 6 edition of GSA Business Report.

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 720-1223.

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