700 more jobs at Movement Mortgage

Movement Mortgage will create 700 more jobs at its Indian Land headquarters over the next five years, doubling the size of its operation on S.C. 160, Gov. Nikki Haley’s office announced Tuesday.
The $18 million investment includes the construction of an additional 91,000-square-foot building at Bailes Ridge Corporate Park. Hiring will begin in the first quarter of this year.
The expansion follows the news six weeks ago that Texas-based Compucom Systems will move its headquarters to the same business park, creating 1,500 jobs with a $41 million investment.
“This is another fantastic day for the state of South Carolina and Lancaster County,” said Jamie Gilbert, economic development director. “Movement Mortgage is continuing to be a fantastic addition to our business community. We look forward to a long partnership with them.”
Elected officials expressed excitement over the news.
“The county council thanks Movement Mortgage for their new commitment to our community, as well as the state and county economic development team that worked with them to get it done,” said Steve Harper, Lancaster County Council chairman.
“In just over a year, they have become one of the county’s leading corporate facility operations and have exceeded their initial projection for jobs and investment,” Harper said.
Gilbert said this was a very competitive project, with other states vying for the expansion.
“Movement Mortgage’s decision to double the size of its Lancaster County operation speaks volumes about the state and county’s excellent business climate,” Gilbert said.
“The Indian Land area has emerged as one of the top locations for headquarters facilities in the Carolinas and Southeast.”
Movement Mortgage CEO and co-founder Casey Crawford credits South Carolina and Gov. Haley with “being great partners in creating a business-friendly climate that promotes growth.”
Haley expressed satisfaction in probably one of her last official announcements as governor of the Palmetto State. Haley’s confirmation vote as President Trump’s U.N. ambassador was scheduled for Tuesday.
“Movement Mortgage has been an incredible partner to our state since its doors opened in Lancaster County two years ago,” Haley said.
“This $18 million investment, and the 700 jobs it means for Lancaster, shows that Movement Mortgage is committed to our state and its people, and we couldn’t be more excited to see this fantastic company continue to grow and thrive here for a very long time,” Haley said.
Movement Mortgage was founded in 2008 and is based in Indian Land. The company now has 4,100 employees nationwide, including more than 650 at the Lancaster County headquarters. It operates in 48 states.
The company nearly doubled in volume and employment over the past year, funding $7.8 billion in mortgage loans in 2015, compared to $4.3 billion in 2014.
The headquarters is at 8024 Calvin Hall Road in Indian Land, in Bailes Ridge Business Park. The existing 104,000-square-foot building is the National Sales Support Center and the flagship location for Movement’s loan processing, underwriting, capital markets, marketing, legal, compliance and other corporate functions.
The facility includes on-site amenities for employees such as a cafe, fitness center and prayer room. The modern, open-concept design promotes collaboration, innovation and continued growth.
“It’s always good when a local company is doing well and expanding,” said Steve Willis, county administrator.
But progress in the Panhandle brings more traffic challenges.
Willis said the S.C. Department of Transportation is already working on widening S.C. 160.
He said the county will be asking the Rock Hill Fort Mill Area Transportation Study (RFATS) to look closely at 160 in the next fiscal year.
The study will look at the possibility of redirecting some traffic off 160.
“A huge component of the traffic on 160 is Fort Mill commuters going to Ballantyne,” Willis said. “It’s a matter of how do we get people from Point A to Point B without being on 160, maybe by using Barberville.”
Growth and job development in the southern part of the county lag behind the explosion of growth in the Panhandle.
Duracell is still expected to be phased out over the next two and a half years despite record production, Gilbert said. Initially the county had hoped to lure one of parent company Berkshire Hathaway’s businesses to the Duracell location.
The Berkshire Hathaway companies are individually managed, he said, with no one overseeing or orchestrating the shuffling of businesses.
Manufacturing jobs are the focus of the county’s southern job development.
“We do have manufacturing expansions in the hopper for the Lancaster and Kershaw areas, but they won’t be in the size or magnitude of the recent office expansions seen in the Panhandle,” Gilbert said.
“We are focused on ways to be more aggressive and incentivize deals to come to Lancaster, Heath Springs and Kershaw,” Gilbert said.
The Economic Development Advisory Board has been established with that main goal and is meeting Feb. 1.
“Product development and bringing more economic prosperity to the southern part of the county are at the top of our list,” Gilbert said.

By Gregory A. Summers, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News