Family Trust closer to moving to downtown-area operations site

adouglas@heraldonline.comOctober 28, 2013 

— Family Trust Federal Credit Union is one step closer to building its new operations headquarters in the heart of Rock Hill’s former textile area near downtown.

The Rock Hill City Council on Monday night approved changing the zoning classification of nearly 3 acres owned by Family Trust on West White, Laurel and Peachtree streets.

The land use change clears the way for Family Trust to build a $7 million, 40,000-square foot office building. The bank’s current headquarters is on Dave Lyle Boulevard near the Manchester Meadows soccer complex.

Family Trust’s new office space will be one of the first tenants in Rock Hill’s “Knowledge Park” – an under-development business park aimed at attracting technology-based industries.

City officials recently chose Sora-Phelps as a master developer to oversee and invest in the new business district.

Plans for Knowledge Park call for refitting some old textile buildings and rebuilding on the site of the former Rock Hill Printing & Finishing Co. plant – commonly called the Bleachery.

The city owns the old Bleachery site which is a major part of more than 100 acres set for redevelopment.

Sora-Phelps has said it may invest up to $600 million in Knowledge Park – creating jobs and attracting new businesses in the process. The firm is a partnership between Maryland-based development company Sora and Phelps Development of Greeley, Colo.

Family Trust’s roots can be traced to the textile industry that once dominated Rock Hill’s economy. Bleachery employees started the credit union in 1957 in Rock Hill. In the 1980s, the credit union’s name was changed.

The new headquarters on West White Street will house offices and a banking branch but will not have drive-thru teller service. Family Trust operates seven branches around York County, including four in Rock Hill.

Utility work approved

Also on Monday, City Council members approved starting downtown sewer and water line work along Elizabeth Lane, Main Street and East Black Street.

The construction work is expected to begin after Thanksgiving and be finished by mid-March.

Rock Hill will pay Monroe, N.C.-based State Utility Contractors about $760,000 to replace certain sewer and water lines and expand the city’s underground infrastructure to serve nearby development.

City officials say the work is necessary because the utility lines are some of the oldest in Rock Hill and an expansion is needed to handle increased needs in the future.

The city plans to build a $4.8 million park at Main Street and Elizabeth Lane and a parking garage nearby. The garage will be attached to a four-story office building, owned by Comporium Communications, that is under construction.

City Manager David Vehaun said now is the best time to tackle the major utility line upgrades because road construction work is already slated for the area.

Similar utility work is scheduled on roads such as Stewart Avenue and White, Laurel, Lee and Rose streets.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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