Company plans to build new development along S.C. 160

Kingsley Village, a retail-restaurant complex similar to Fort Mill’s Baxter Village, will be constructed at the same time as two recently announced office projects, Clear Springs Development officials say.Clear Springs Development developed Baxter Village and owns the 626-acre site at S.C. 160 and Interstate 77 where the Lash Group and LPL Financial Carolinas both plan to build new headquarters.

Kerri Robusto, director of marketing, sales and leasing for Clear Springs Development, said Kingsley Village construction along S.C. 160 should start by the spring of 2015 with completion by 2016.

The Lash Group, a health care consulting firm, plans to invest up to $90 million to build its “dream” headquarters at the Kingsley Park North business park. The group will initially employ about 1,200 in Fort Mill, expandable to a 2,400-person work force in several years. The company intends to keep about 600 workers in Charlotte through 2019.

LPL Financial Carolinas is investing at least $150 million for its regional headquarters, also at Kingsley Park North. The company plans to bring 1,000 jobs from Charlotte and hopes to expand to about 3,000 jobs over time.

LPL officials have said all of the company’s growth will come at the Fort Mill location. LPL’s headquarters is in San Diego and it has offices in Boston.

Each company will likely build a single building first with space to expand, Robusto said.

The announcements were the greatest single-day total for job creation in York County, officials said. They were announced the same day that Giti Tire choose Chester County for its first U.S. tire plant, a $560 million investment expected to create 1,700 jobs.

The Fort Mill Town Council approved a Clear Springs master plan in 2008 when it annexed the Kingsley parcel and other Springs properties. The master plan details the responsibilities of Clear Springs Development and the town of Fort Mill. The land – about 7,000 acres owned by the Close family, which once controlled the former Fort Mill-based Springs Industries Inc. – has been deeded to the family’s Clear Springs Development.

Construction at any of the parcels covered by the agreement is approved administratively by town officials as long as it is consistent with the master plan.

The Kingsley North plan calls for restaurant-retail, commercial, office and residential development. The maximum square footage for commercial development is 1.5 million square feet. The maximum number of residential units is 1,025. The units, as proposed in the plan, would be a mixture of single-family, townhouses and apartments.

Joe Cronin, planning director for Fort Mill, said the town has had numerous meetings with representatives from Clear Springs and Childress-Klein Properties, which is developing the two office projects.

The Kingsley site is undeveloped and early discussions are focusing on extending utilities and building roads, Cronin said. The state’s Coordinating Council on Economic Development awarded York County $4 million in grants to assist with the utility and road work at the Kingsley property.

As planned Kingsley Village will have two hotels, restaurants and retail shops, Robusto said. The feeling will be slightly different than Baxter Village. There will be a “main street” with open spaces, said Robusto, adding the proposed residential development is “several years” from development.

Planners with the Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area Transportation group have been studying the S.C. 160 corridor. They have budgeted $15.5 million in federal funds for improvements on S.C. 160 heading west from the interstate to Pleasant Road for congestion and access issues. The funds could be spent on improvements to the I-77 interchange.

Planners said they are also looking at the growth along S.C. 160 east from the interstate toward downtown Fort Mill for road improvements.

By Don Worthington, Staff Reporter with The Herald