‘An even better day in Union County’

The groundbreaking ceremony for Union County’s newest spec building also symbolized the groundbreaking nature of the partnership responsible for its development.

In a statement released Thursday evening, Lockhart Power announced that, earlier that day, the company and Union County “broke ground on the Midway Green Industrial Spec Building — a new industrial building designed for a manufacturing company. The building will be located in Midway Green Industrial Park, a 142-acre, South Carolina Certified Park adjacent to SC Highway 49 in Union, S.C. Midway Green is owned by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, the parent company of Lockhart Power.”

The press release states that “Lockhart Power Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Midway Green Development, LLC and Union County’s Union County Facilities Corporation, a non- profit organization, have joined forces to construct Midway Green Industrial Spec Building. The project will include a 100,000 square foot building plus a 100,000 square foot building pad for expansion on 24 acres of land. The building will be one of only a handful of its size and quality in the state. The utility infrastructure within Midway Green Industrial Park includes several million gallons per day of excess water and sewer capacity; over 30 megawatts of electric power capacity provided by Lockhart Power; and, natural gas. Rail is also accessible.”

It further states that “this will be the fourth spec building built in Union County. Others are currently occupied by Haemonetics, Gestamp and Timken Industrial Bearings. The Midway Green building will be the only available building for manufacturing in Union County.”

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the construction site where work is already under way with the facility expected to be completed by September.

While it will be the fourth spec building built in the county, the Midway Green facility will be the first to be built through a public-private partnership.

The press release states that the “public-private partnership between Midway Green Development, LLC and Union County Facilities Corporation is an innovative venture that continues the organizations’ history of working together to attract new industry and to support existing industry expansions. The two organizations have partnered on several large infrastructure projects which have positioned Union County as a viable and competitive option for industrial development.”

Union County Supervisor Frank Hart spoke about the partnership between the county and Lockhart Power and how the spec building produced by that partnership means “an even better day for Union County.” Hart said that previous spec buildings had been built by public entities like the county and the City of Union, but that the Midway Green facility is being built by the public-private partnership of the county and Lockhart Power which are sharing equally the cost of construction. He said the advantage of this is that, being a private business, Lockhart Power brings to the effort its experience of bringing in a project under budget and at lower cost, something that will not only benefit Union County but the rest of South Carolina as well.

“We are very excited about this project and the impact it will have on our community,” Hart said. “We believe that this type of public-private partnership will be a model for economic development in rural South Carolina counties going forward.”

Lockhart Power Chief Operating Officer Bryan Stone also spoke during Thursday’s ceremony, describing the company’s decision to participate in the public-private partnership as part of its involvement in Union County and its commitment to helping improve the lives of its residents.

“Lockhart Power, its parent company Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, and the extended Milliken family continuously strive to make a real difference in Union,” Stone said. “Our significant investment in this speculative manufacturing building is one way in which we are doing so, and we couldn’t be more excited to meet the next world-class company who will call Union its home.”

Stone pointed out that incentives for Union County and Lockhart Power to work together “are almost perfectly aligned” as the company, like the county, works to achieve sustainable economic development through the recruitment of businesses and industries that will create good, high-paying jobs producing in turn a high standard of living. He said that, again like the county, Lockhart Power supports efforts to improve education and housing in the community which not only benefit residents but also make Union County more attractive to industries like those the new spec building is designed to attract.

That support now includes Lockhart Power’s decision to help develop the new spec building which Stone said was made by the company’s shareholders. Stone said that the shareholders opted to take the earnings generated by Lockhart Power and other businesses and reinvest them in Union County through the construction of the spec building. He said that with this decision the shareholders are putting millions of dollars of their own money, not that of the ratepayers, back into Union County.

During his remarks, Hart said that while it is scheduled to completed in September, it is hoped that the spec building will be sold before then. When asked about this, Stone said that the sale price for the spec building will be $3.9 million.

Engineering for the spec building was completed by DePaul Engineering, Inc., a local company. Upstate firm McMillan Pazdan Smith has been selected as the project architect and THS Constructors, based in Greenville, S.C., will be the general contractor for the project.

By Charles Warner, Staff Reporter with The Union Times