Ross Dress for Less warehouse could bring 900 jobs to Rock Hill

Ross Dress for Less has Rock Hill’s approval to build a $150 million distribution center between U.S. 21 and Dave Lyle Boulevard.

The proposed facility appears similar to the company’s Fort Mill Township distribution center, located off U.S. 21 near Regent Park.

At 1.6 million square feet, the Rock Hill center would be one of the largest distribution centers in the state, said Randy Graham, a managing director with Sperry Van Ness, a large commercial real estate firm.

Graham, a member of the city’s Planning Commission, voted with others on the panel this week to unanimously approve a site plan for the project.

It was at that Planning Commission meeting that it was officially revealed that the Ross distribution center was “Project Daisy,” a code-named economic development effort by the city and York County officials, said Bill Meyer, the city’s planning and development director.

The distribution center is projected to be fully operational by 2017, bringing hundreds of jobs to the area.

Ross company officials, based in Pleasanton, Calif., did not return calls seeking comment on the project.

The York County Council recently passed an economic development inducement resolution for Project Daisy, promising certain tax cuts in return for coming to the county.

The county’s resolution was based on 900 jobs.

Ross is one of the largest private employers in the county with a work force of about 1,800.

According to information from the Rock Hill Planning Department, the new distribution center would be a round-the-clock operation, five days a week.

The largest shift would have 500 workers.

More than 290 trucks are projected to arrive at the center daily with peak hourly volume of 32 trips. Access would be from an extension off Galleria Boulevard and off Springdale Road.

Ross Dress for Less owns the 166-acre site. As approved, 132 acres would be developed. Their plans call for 864 parking spaces for vehicles and 1,000 spaces for trailers.

The site plan does not need Rock Hill City Council approval.

A construction plan and architectural review by the city’s Planning Department are required before a building permit can be issued.

The York County Council must approve any tax incentives. New jobs created might be eligible for state tax breaks.

Ross opened its Fort Mill distribution center in June 2002. Investment in the 1.2 million-square-foot facility was about $76 million.

The company also opened a retail store at Manchester Village in 2002.

Ross posted revenues of $2.9 billion in 2010.

As of Feb. 1, the company operated 988 stores in the U.S. and Guam. The company’s stock closed at $71.68 per share Friday.

By Don Worthington, Staff Reporter with The Herald