2 firms considering Rock Hill sites at Riverwalk

York Country and Rock Hill economic development officials are recruiting two firms for the Riverwalk Business Park that could bring a combined 600 jobs and an investment of $124 million.

A nutraceutical manufacturer could bring 355 jobs and invest $40 million, according to information from the York County Economic Development Corp. and the Rock Hill Economic Development Corp. A decision on whether to locate could come by the end of the month, said Rick Norwood, the city’s director of industrial recruitment.

A nutraceutical company makes nutritional supplements, personal care and health foods.

The nutraceutical company also is looking at a Lancaster County site and a site in Arizona, according to the RHEDC.

Keith Tunnell, Lancaster County’s economic development director, declined to comment on whether the county was a contender for the company.

A food industry company also is looking at Riverwalk. County and city officials said the company – Project “Carolina” — could bring 244 jobs and an investment of $88 million.

RHEDC said the project Carolina is considering other Charlotte-area sites as well.

Riverwalk Business Park is located off Cel-River Road in Rock Hill with access to Interstate 77.

The two prospects were just one of several economic developments discussed Tuesday at the RHEC meeting.

Real estate agent John Rinehart said the building at the southeast corner of East Main and Hampton streets in downtown Rock Hill has been leased to three tenants.

The bottom floor, which once was a newsstand, will have retail. The Hampton Street side has been leased to Bank of America for an ATM machine. The top floor office space is being leased to The Water Initiative, a international company offering healthy water solutions to consumers.

Across Main Street, a retailer has leased 153 E. Main St., Rinehart said. He could not disclose the identity of the lessee at this time.

Several of the buildings have been vacant for years. Rinehart said he and other investors purchased the properties before the 2008 recession hit. He said the addition of Fountain Park, the downtown farmers’ market and the apartments to be built on East Main Street increased the marketability of the vacant properties.

RHEDC officials also reported that South State Bank plans to lease the former Bank of America building on East Main Street. South State Bank officials had no comment when reached Tuesday.

Stephen Turner, executive director for Rock Hill Economic Development Corp., said a master developer agreement for Knowledge Park is “in the homestretch.” Turner said the agreement with Sora-Phelps, a partnership between Sora Development of Towson, Md., and Phelps Development of Greeley, Colo., should be ready to be considered by the City Council in the next 30 days.

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066