Fort Mill Times

Financial firm, health care company both moving to Fort Mill

More than 3,000 new office jobs are coming to the area, Gov. Nikki Haley announced in two separate appearances Monday.

Two companies moving from Charlotte will employ a total of roughly 5,000 people, officials said Monday. Some of the jobs already exist and will transfer from Charlotte, but about two-thirds of the positions will be new, said Mark Farris, York County’s director of economic development.

LPL Financial, an investment firm, will have 3,000 of those employees. The Lash Group, which according to its website, is “a patient support services company that provides highly automated patient access and adherence programs,” will bring 2,400 new jobs.

Both will move into a new office park to be built on 600 acres off Highway 160 West across from Kingsley Park. The new facility will be called Kingsley North. The Lash announcement was made at the Fort Mill Golf Club. Two hours later, the LPL announcement was made at the Anne Springs Close Greenway Dairy Barn.

York County Council was scheduled to discuss two fee in lieu of tax proposals at Monday’s meeting, according to the council agenda. Those arrangements, intended to lure companies into the county, provide a break on taxes in return for a fixed payment. Certain conditions typically apply to fee in lieu of tax deals, which are negotiated ahead of time.

Farris said the proposal Council was scheduled to discuss Monday night would offer the companies a 43-percent reduction in their annual tax obligations for 30 years.

LPL Financial now has 1,000 employees working in three different buildings in Charlotte and plans to invest at least $150 million in the new facility, the company said.

“This is a proud moment for all of us at LPL Financial as we are standing on the threshold of a new era for our Charlotte-area employees,” Chairman and CEO Mark Casady said.

Casady said Monday the new facility would be the “designated area for growth across the U.S.” and that “any new employment that we do will be done here.”

“The jobs that we have are all roles that are essentially white collar service jobs, from technology to risk management to people on the phones helping clients,” he said. “It’s a very important part of what we do to support our business.”

“LPL Financial is one of the nation’s premier financial advisor firms, and we couldn’t be more excited that they are choosing to grow and succeed here in South Carolina – investing $150 million and intending to create a total of 3,000 new jobs in the state of South Carolina,” Haley said.

“We welcome LPL Financial to the state and look forward to a successful partnership for many years to come.”

Construction will begin in 2015 with completion expected in the fall of 2016.

Casady said the building will be environmentally friendly. Casady on Monday presented the Anne Springs Close Greenway with a $50,000 gift on behalf of the company.

The property where both businesses will build came into Fort Mill as part of a 2008 annexation. The surrounding area is approved for up to 1.55 million square feet of commercial space and up more than 1,000 residential units.

“These are the first two projects,” said Joe Cronin, town planning director.

Cronin expects the two new businesses to “jump start” further development, including uses like hotels, restaurants and shops.

“Five thousand people need places to eat,” he said. “They have people flying in from all over the country. They need hotels to stay at.”

Mayor Danny Funderburk credits the existing quality of life in Fort Mill with bringing in two large additions, which he hopes in turn will bring in more.

“It sets the bar extremely high,” Funderburk said. “It marks us as a location for this type of relocation. We certainly do hope that their peers will take note of the dilligence they did.”

The campaign of S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden), who, in rematch of their 2010 race, is challenging Haley in November’s election, issued a statement prior to Haley’s appearances in Fort Mill Monday.

“Sen. Sheheen is always thrilled when a business expands in South Carolina, but the economic reality is that average family income has declined under Nikki Haley, a staggering number of people have dropped out of the workforce entirely, and families are struggling with falling wages,” the statement read.

“South Carolinians are struggling because Governor Haley continues to stack the deck against small businesses instead of taking an all-of-the above approach to economic development. Sen. Sheheen will support small businesses in-state and provide the honest leadership and accountability to actually deliver on announced jobs and grow the economy from within.”

Fort Mill Times reporter John Marks contributed to this story.