$22 million investment, 650 new jobs

Lancaster County will become home to a Virginia-based mortgage company that plans to invest $22 million to build its national headquarters here, creating more than 650 new jobs, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s office announced Thursday, Jan. 15.

Movement Mortgage, LLC, founded in 2008 and currently headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va., has grown tremendously in its first six years of operations.

The company, which began with just four workers, today has more than 1,600 employees.

“It’s a great day in South Carolina when we can welcome a company like Movement Mortgage to our state,” Haley said in a press release.

“Their decision to create 650 new jobs in Lancaster County will make a significant difference in the local community and is a reason to celebrate in every part of South Carolina.”

The company will build a 104,000-square-foot facility on 24 acres in the Bailes Ridge Business Park on Fort Mill Highway (S.C. 160) in the Panhandle.

Construction is expected to be completed in March 2016.

As one of the nation’s top 25 private mortgage banks, Movement Mortgage has licensed operations in 40 states and was named the nation’s fastest-growing, privately held mortgage bank by Inc. in 2012 and 2013.

Casey Crawford, Movement Mortgage co-founder and CEO, said he is proud to call Lancaster County the company’s new home.

“As Movement Mortgage works toward our goal of financing 10 percent of new home loans in the United States in the next 10 years, we need national headquarters that give us room to grow, while maintaining the high levels of employee care, customer service and community investment that define us,” he said.

“Lancaster County, South Carolina, provides that room to grow and we look forward to calling the region home.”

County council discussed the project, called  “Project Wahoo,” at its Dec. 8, 2014, meeting.

At the time, Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell referred to “Project Wahoo” as a financial services company from Charlotte with the potential to bring hundreds of jobs here.

“They are bringing 240 jobs from Charlotte and adding over 400,” Tunnell said at the Dec. 8 county council meeting.

Tunnell said the company planned to create at least 672 new jobs over its first five years here.

He said the company’s first planned phase of investment would be more than $21 million, while the second phase could go as high as $45 million. The project would generate $9 million in property taxes in phase one, he added.

Average salaries at Movement Mortgage would be $60,000 a year and up, Tunnell told council.

“South Carolina’s booming manufacturing industry is not the state’s only economic strength – the Palmetto State is also becoming a top-choice for corporate headquarters,” said S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “We’re excited that Movement Mortgage has decided that South Carolina is just right for their national headquarters.”

Lancaster County Council Chairman Bob Bundy said the county is looking forward to partnering with the company for many years to come.

“I’m definitely excited that Movement Mortgage is making a $22 million investment in Lancaster County,” Bundy said. “Especially important to me is the 650 jobs this investment is bringing with it. I’m grateful they’re investing in Lancaster County.”

By Denyse Clark, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News