2 new business parks planned for Rock Hill

Development of two Rock Hill-area business parks could help York County overcome a shortage of buildings for economic development.

Scannell Properties of Indianapolis announced Friday plans to develop 100 acres between Paddock Parkway and East Springdale Road, south of the Ross Stores Distribution Center. As many as five buildings – about 400,000 square feet of space – would be built for manufacturing or distribution operations.

Potential businesses could employ between 5,000 and 8,000 people at the site, said Bill Linville of Scannell Properties.

The Rock Hill Economic Development Corp. announced it is considering developing 246 acres at the intersection of Celanese Road and Heckle Boulevard into the Aspen Business Park. There would be building sites for distribution, light manufacturing and “flex” space, said city officials.

The announcements came at the annual Rock Hill Economic Development Corp.’s planning retreat at the City Club. About 100 business leaders, elected leaders, plus city and York County staff attended the retreat.

Rock Hill and York County have a shortage of attractive industrial sites. Rock Hill’s five industrial parks are almost fully leased, said Rick Norwood, director of industrial recruiting for the city.

In other areas of the city, there is an “ample supply of lower quality buildings,” Norwood said. Overall, there is a “lack of Class A industrial space,” he said.

City officials say there is only one vacant property in the downtown area.

York County economic development officials have also been looking for more “product.” The county has been working on two “spec” buildings to attract prospects. The city’s spec building at Waterford Business Park was recently sold.

Scannell Properties is developing a site the city and the county considered for a business park in 2013. The 300-acre Williams-Watson tract is considered prime property for economic development because of access to two interstate exits.

The city and the county could not reach an agreement with the two land owners, however.

Linville of Scannell Properties said his company is interested in the project because the site and Rock Hill meet their selection criteria – a community with job growth, strategic location that’s a two-day drive from about 75 percent of the U.S. population, a pro-business climate and a one year or less supply of available industrial space.

Work on the 100 acres could start in February, Linville said.

Scannell Properties also is considering developing 300 adjacent acres on the east side of East Springdale Road. Linville said developing the 300 acres would likely require some city help with infrastructure. He said Scannell can develop the 100 acres “with our own investment.”

The city is working with two property owners to develop the land off Celanese Road and Heckle Boulevard for the Aspen Business Park. The city has an agreement with the property owners and is seeking a developer for the property. Stephen Turner, the city’s economic developer, said a development decision could be reached in “the next couple of months.”

David Swenson, York County’s economic development director, said the two projects should help with inventory, but given demand, the buildings or building sites “could go quickly.” If that happens Swenson said he hopes Scannell Properties would consider other projects in York County.

By Don Worthington, Staff Reporter with The Herald