Officials pave way for distribution center

Development officials this week paved the way for a distribution center and up to 80 new jobs to come to Rock Hill.

The Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday approved spending up to $112,000 for an access road that was the last stumbling block to bringing a kidney dialysis equipment company to Waterford Business Park.

"It's hasn't been finalized, but they have the contract, and it's about 95 percent done," RHEDC director Stephen Turner said Wednesday. "This was probably the last major hurdle we needed to clear."

Officials were mum on details this week, but in January they referred to the company as a German-based kidney dialysis equipment manufacturer with a strong presence in North America.

The proposed site for the center is a 12-acre parcel at the east end of Dave Lyle Boulevard in Waterford Business Park. The $8 million project calls for a 125,000 square-foot distribution center that would hire between 60 and 80 local workers with average salaries of $40,000, according to a RHEDC memo.

Road will provide double access

The land previously was the back portion of a larger tract that will be subdivided. The short road, which will extend east from the end of Dave Lyle Boulevard, will provide access to the smaller parcel of land and a much-needed access point to a larger tract south of Dave Lyle Boulevard.

"You get double your pleasure, double your fun," RHEDC chairman Eddie Brown quipped.

State, county and city leaders already have pledged a combined $371,000 for the road and water lines, the memo states. The RHEDC money would cover any additional expenses in a worst-case cost scenario.

"This is a facility that promises to bring jobs and economic investment. And that's what we're all about," Turner said when explaining the decision to spend the cash.

The build-to-suit project is being developed by Columbus, Ohio-based Harmon Family Development.

The center could be operating as early as October.

Though typically not as high-paying as manufacturing or technical jobs, distribution centers remain the most frequent shoppers for industrial property in Rock Hill. RHEDC reported Tuesday at least seven current prospects for development would include a distribution component.