Heath Springs manufacturing building draws some interest

The shuttered and gated old U.S. Textiles building has been on the market less than a month, but it’s already drawing interest.
“We’ve shown the building twice to one company we’ve been working with for several months,” said Jamie Gilbert, director of the Lancaster County Economic Development Department.
The 150,000-square-foot building is on a 10-acre tract near the intersection of South College Street and Rowland Avenue on the edge of the Heath Springs town limits. Near the town’s water tank, the site can be easily accessed from both Springs Street (Kershaw Camden Highway) and Flat Rock Road.
“For an older textiles building, it has decent spacing (about 80,000 square feet) for manufacturing with 18-foot ceiling heights,” Gilbert said. “The loading docks are in fairly good condition, too. The office space needs a few upgrades, but it isn’t anything major.”
Until about two months ago, the building was a 12- to 15-employee distribution center for U.S. Textiles, which makes women’s hosiery under the Silkies and Sculptz brands.
However, that company announced two years ago that it was closing its dual operation here, which included production at 1972 Silkies Blvd., as well as the Heath Springs warehouse.
Hosiery production stopped in August 2015 at the Silkies Boulevard location. That plant, which is off Flat Creek Road, is now owned by Nutramax Laboratories and will be used as its expanded distribution center.
Gilbert said the Heath Springs location hasn’t been on the market long enough to be officially listed as available by the S.C. Department of Commerce, so he is thrilled by the early buzz it is generating.
“That level of interest validates what we’re saying in that it’s very good manufacturing space,” Gilbert said, noting that all infrastructure needed is in place.
Heath Springs Administrator Tony Starnes said he hopes the initial interest in the building is a good sign for the town of about 900 residents.
“Most of the time, if it’s a no-go and won’t meet somebody’s needs, they’re not going to come back around for a second look, especially this quick. We’re glad to see it.”
With the exception of Haile Gold Mine on the outskirts of Kershaw, most of the county’s new jobs and growth have been concentrated along the S.C. 160/U.S. 521 corridor in the Panhandle due to its proximity to Charlotte.
Lancaster County Administrator Steve Willis said local leaders remain “strongly committed” to bringing jobs to Heath Springs, too.
“Any time we can do something to bring in jobs to the southern end of the county, you can rest assured the county is going to jump on these sort of opportunities,” he said.

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