ESTATE


Breaking News: Certified industrial site near St. George extends region’s large-tract development
2009/02/11, 1:39 pm
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The region’s first certified industrial site, a 610-acre park near St. George, is the latest effort to develop logistics, manufacturing and warehousing acreage in Dorchester County.

Winding Wood Industrial Center, which Dorchester County announced Tuesday night, joins a growing development effort near the interchange of Interstates 95 and 26. Jafza International, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is developing a 1,300-acre, $600 million logistics park north of Winding Wood in Orangeburg County.

South of the new site, in the Jedburg area north of Summerville, efforts are ongoing to develop warehouse and intermodal operations on nearly 17 million square feet of industrial and large-scale distribution space.

Winding Wood will accommodate manufacturing, distribution and other operations that require large tracts of land, Jon Baggett, Dorchester County’s economic development director, said in a statement.

Depending on individual project requirements, the site can be subdivided into lots ranging from 20 to 50 acres, Baggett said.

Dorchester County Council Chairman Jamie Feltner, a longtime advocate of site development, welcomed the completion of the site certification process.

“With this certified site, Dorchester County can take full advantage of our most significant business asset: the intersection of I-95 and I-26. We’ve not had that opportunity until now,” he said.

Baggett said the county pursued the certified site designation to meet the demand for port-served industrial sites near the I-95 corridor and to address the need for job opportunities in upper Dorchester County.

“In today’s competitive business environment, companies need to be up and running as quickly as possible,” Baggett said. “This certification offers companies requiring both port and interstate access a low-risk option to help them make a fast decision. It also provides Dorchester County a competitive advantage in attracting quality jobs and investment for local residents, especially in the upper part of the county.”

Winding Wood Industrial Center is one of 68 certified sites in South Carolina. The state’s certified site designation applies to industrial sites that have been analyzed to assure no major development issues exist, as determined by the S.C. Department of Commerce.

The certification process typically includes verification of the property’s ownership and availability, documentation of supporting infrastructure, an environmental assessment, surveys for cultural and protected resources, seismic classification and other critical analyses.

“Residents in the upper part of the county are eager for good paying job opportunities closer to home,” said Dorchester County Council Vice Chairman Willie Davis, who represents the upper part of the county. “This industrial center is a welcome development and is coming at a very good time. When the economy turns and companies start investing in new manufacturing plants, we’ll be able to accommodate them immediately.”

The Winding Wood Industrial Center will complement the new St. George Quick Jobs Center, which is scheduled to open in 2010. The center, a collaboration between Dorchester County and Trident Technical College, will provide 60- to 90-day training programs for manufacturing, distribution and other operations requiring specialized skills. The center is located less than a mile from Winding Wood.

“Today marks an important step forward for both Dorchester County and the town of St. George,” said St. George Mayor Anne Johnston. “With both the new job training center and the certified industrial site, our town is in a prime position to benefit from new economic development opportunities. We’re thrilled with both of these new developments.”

To certify the site, Dorchester County partnered with the S.C. Power Team, the economic development alliance of Santee Cooper and the state’s 20 electric cooperatives. The Charleston Regional Development Alliance, which promotes the three-county region for new business investment, facilitated a matching state grant to help fund the certification. Engineering firm BP Barber of Columbia conducted the certification.
© 2009 Copyright SC BIZ NEWS LLC, All Rights Reserved.

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