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Cause for celebration
New businesses move into region
Published Monday, June 23, 2014 10:07 am
by Ronnie Bryant, Charlotte Regional Partnership

There was big economic development news in Charlotte USA last week. Three companies announced plans to bring a combined 3,900 jobs to the region and together invest nearly $800 million.

Giti, a Singapore-based tire company, will open a new $560 manufacturing plant on a 1,300-plus-acre site at the Chester County Megasite in S.C. and create about 1,700 jobs.  The S.C. Department of Commerce and Chester County spearheaded the project and asked the Partnership to showcase the area’s many assets to Giti executives as well as provide site and demographic research.

The other two announcements both took place in York County. LPL Financial will move its Charlotte operations to the master-planned Fort Kingsley development in Fort Mill. Officials with the financial services firm said they plan to move about 1,000 employees who currently work in Charlotte to the new regional headquarters. The company plans to invest $150 million by 2022. Finally, Lash Group, a healthcare consulting firm, is consolidating several Charlotte locations into a new $57.3 million, 250,000-square-foot headquarters, also located in the Kingsley development. Company officials said the will employ 1,200 people.

While there’s been much discussion about the three companies selecting sites in South Carolina, this is unquestionably a big win for the entire region in terms of jobs and investments.

It’s important to note that both LPL Financial and the Lash Group—both of which represent two very important sectors—were considering relocation sites in other parts of the country.

The fact that they chose to remain in Charlotte USA shows our strength and viability as a business destination. Moreover, Giti adds to the region’s international mix of companies, helping further diversify our economy.

The Partnership has long stressed the importance of regionalism when it comes to economic development. While cities and counties and states will always compete for projects, the combined strengths and resources of our 16-county footprint are vitally important in recruiting and retaining companies. In today’s changing economic climate, borders are becoming less important. We have to think bigger than that. We also have to continue to focus on our crucial economic development assets, such as workforce development, performance-based incentives, transportation infrastructure, and readily available spec space. Companies choose sites based on a variety of these factors, and when they move to Charlotte USA, everyone in the region benefits.

Locations, expansions, contractions
South Plainfield, N.J.-based G&W Laboratories Inc., a family-owned pharmaceutical company, has helped save 300 jobs in Lincoln County. Actavis, a pharmaceutical company in Lincolnton, was planning to phase out their production and close the plant. Working with the Lincoln Economic Development Association, G&W, which manufacturers some of the same type of products as Actavis, purchased the 139,856-square-foot plant, enabling the facility to manufacture some additional products and saving hundreds of jobs in the process.

Triton Glass, LLCin Lincoln County recently announced plans toassume and expand the glass manufacturing operations of Albemarle Glass Company, Inc. at its current location in Albemarle. The new owners will continue to manufacture glass products for Albemarle Glass’ existing clients and hope to broaden their product offerings to their clients in the commercial construction industry. Triton expects to invest $2.2 million, retain five jobs and create another 23 over the course of the next five years.

“Our new operation in Stanly County will not only support our business in the growing Charlotte market, but give us access to two of North Carolina’s other major metropolitan areas as well. We are very appreciative of the support we have received from Stanly County and the City of Albemarle, and we look forward to our ongoing relationship with the county and city,” said Hemant Patel, CEO of Triton, in a press release. Lindsey Dunevant, Chairman of the Stanly County Economic Development Commission, added that Stanly County will offer Triton the competitive cost structure, manufacturing oriented workforce training programs, and access to major markets that they need to continue to prosper in the years ahead.

York Technical College announced recently plans to open a new Indian Land instructional site in August. Located on the first floor of the Verian Technologies building, the center will initially offer classes for 120 students, including career readiness programs such as Workkeys for adult students. “In support of our mission of maximizing student success, this center will continue the college’s focus on career readiness and training for current and emerging careers, while also contributing to economic development efforts to strengthen the community-at-large,” York Tech President Dr. Greg Rutherford said in a press release. Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell added that the new Indian Land center will be a positive asset for the community.

One of Charlotte’s biggest entertainment complexes is slated to get a new luxury hotel. Real estate firms Vision Ventures and Mount Vernon Asset Management announced recently plans to build a 200,000-square-foot, 20-story hotel at uptown’s EpiCentre. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2015 on the hotel, which developers describe as “dynamic and cosmopolitan.” Construction is expected to take about 18 months.


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