The fertile fields of an 850-acre property off Highway 290 in Moore could soon reap economic investment and thousands of jobs for Spartanburg County.
Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, a private investment firm founded in 2007 by shareholders of Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co., said it plans to open up the northern tract of its Tyger River Industrial Park (TRIP) for development.
The property, which is the last remaining undeveloped tract in the 2,250-acre park, was purchase in 1968 by the late Spartanburg businessman Roger Milliken. It has access to a CSX rail line, highways 221 and 290 and interstates 85 and 26.
The southern portion of the park is comprised of two properties that sit about 1.5 miles south along the Highway 290 corridor.
Pacolet Milliken opened up those sites for development in 2014. They have attracted nearly $2 billion in new investment from four companies — Toray, Kobelco, Ritrama and Sterling CPI. Those investments have promised hundreds of jobs.
“We knew this site had tremendous potential,” said John Montgomery, principal of Spartanburg-based Montgomery Development, who is serving as a consultant on the project. “Maybe even more potential than the first two sites. After Toray, we started to focus on TRIP South. About a year-and-a-half ago, we decided to come up with a master plan to develop TRIP North.”
Just as it did with the first two sites, Pacolet Milliken will invest in infrastructure at the site that will make it shovel-ready for new projects. Only this time, the company plans to up the ante.
In the coming months, the company will begin a multimillion-dollar effort to bring sewer, water, power and new roads to the property.
Pacolet Milliken’s master plan for the property showed it has the potential to house 13 facilities with a combined footprint of 7 million square feet, including two massive distribution centers that would each total about 1.4 million square feet.
Montgomery said the site is certified as a class A industrial site with the S.C. Department of Commerce, making it even more attractive to prospective companies and developers who might also be considering sites in other states.
Pacolet Milliken’s subsidiary Lockhart Power will also serve the property, which will increase the reliability and affordability of power for end users, according to project officials.
“Our view is that we’ve got the best state support, county support and park ownership anywhere,” said Clay Adams, executive vice president and head of real estate for Pacolet Milliken.
The infrastructure project will include realigning Anderson Mill Road beginning just after a bridge spanning the Middle Tyger River. The road’s access to Highway 290 will be moved about 2,000 feet north of its current location.
Monroe Road, a J-shaped road that connects with Anderson Mill Road and Highway 290, has already been mostly closed to through traffic.
Pacolet Milliken will leave a small portion of Monroe Road open to provide access for residents along an extension of the road that was capped off years ago with a cul-de-sac near the Poplar Springs fire station.
The company has partnered with Colliers International brokers Garrett Scott, Stewart Givens and Brockton Hall, who will be responsible for marketing the site.
Scott, Givens and Hall said one of the most exciting aspects of the park is that a private investment firm, not a developer, owns it. That means developers and builders who don’t have existing landholdings can bring their deals to town, increasing the number of development opportunities for the site.
“Companies can bring as many developers to the table as they want in order to get the best price,” Scott said. “This is the ultimate development success story … It creates a path of least resistance for developers and companies.”
The brokers said the site has already generated interest from a range of companies, including BMW suppliers, manufacturers and distributors. They anticipate the site will attract high quality companies, large investments and better paying jobs to the county.
“Having a site that already has the infrastructure makes all of the difference in the world,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt. “It sends a message to the client that we mean business. Look at a company like Toray. When they saw the site, they were blown away. It makes such a difference, especially the high caliber companies we hope to attract. It gives them great confidence in who they are dealing with and takes all of the concerns off the table.”
Britt said he anticipates the site will be a boon for the county’s economic development efforts.
“I think we are going to see an explosion [of economic development] of epic proportions,” he said. “There’s nothing else like this in South Carolina that I’m aware of and possibly the Southeast. This speaks to the talent of the people of Spartanburg, the partners, the infrastructure. We’ve proven we know how to build things.”