‘A chance to be the Google of the East Coast:’ Red Ventures opens 3rd building on Indian Land campus

06/09/2014 5:57 PM

11/19/2014 1:44 PM

Much of the space at Red Ventures latest building – “RV3” – awaits the finishing touches.

Around the core of the building are open work spaces with row after row of desks awaiting the installation of computer monitors.

Inside the core are small meeting rooms with name such as “Red Cup Solo,” “Pigs get Fat,” and “The Sewer.”

There’s a bowling alley in the basement and beer garden on the roof that currently lacks a bar and beer taps.

While Red Ventures chief executive officer Ric Elias came to celebrate Monday’s opening of RV3, he already was anticipating breaking ground for a fourth building for the Internet sales company.

“I remember the groundbreaking and the excitement of the shovel going into the ground,” Elias told co-workers and guests. “All I could think inside was, ‘How in the world are we going to fill 180,000 square feet?’ Now, looking at our growth and our pipeline, I’m wondering how long until we break ground on number four.”

Red Ventures has about 2,000 employees. Elias said he expects to have 2,400 by the end of the year. The capacity of the new building alone is 3,000 employees.

Red Ventures already has two building on its 100-acre plus complex off U.S. 521 in Indian Land.

Red Ventures’ business has grown more than 30 percent annually for the past five years.

Lancaster County did not offer new incentives for the latest expansion, county officials have said. Construction of the third building is covered under the existing agreement, which cuts Red Ventures’ property tax by 50 percent.

New jobs are eligible for S.C. job development tax credits.

RVi, a Red Ventures team devoted to the insurance industry, was working Monday while Elias and Gov. Nikki Haley toured the new building, even taking time to roll a few frames. Later, at the public event, Elias and Haley exchanged bowling shirts.

“This is more than a building,” Elias said. “We’re saying, ‘We’re all in, the best is yet to come.’

“We have a shot to be the Google of the East Coast,” he said.

Haley was equally optimistic, telling Elias that Red Ventures needs to grow, and grow fast.

“There is nothing like Red Ventures on the East Coast,” she said. “This is a special place, one of the coolest companies we’ve got in South Carolina.”

Haley kept her focus on Red Ventures on Monday, declining to answer any questions about three economic development projects she is set to announce next Monday in York and Chester counties.

Elias was quick to stress that none of Red Ventures’ success would be possible without his employees.

He said the challenge is finding talent and to retain “home-grown” talent.

To retain talent, he said, Red Ventures will likely give its employees the chance to start companies with Red Ventures. “We have to give them the opportunity to grow,” he said.

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