Spec space boom is driving business to York County

David Swenson can remember a time when a manufacturer or distribution company in need of large-scale, existing space for a move into York County would be about out of luck. Then the spec boom hit two years ago.

LegacyPark West built two shell structures — totaling almost 560,000 square feet — in 2016 and 2017 with many more planned across the street in LegacyPark West.

There, Scannell Properties of Indianapolis, Ind., has room for 11 buildings. Both parks are on the southeast side of Rock Hill.

Now, on the northeastern side of Rock Hill, McCraney Property Co. is about to complete Logistics 77 @ Riverwalk, a 507,250-square-foot building in Riverwalk Business Park.

Is this too much, too soon? Here is what Swenson, executive director of York County Economic Development, thinks:

Does York County need a 500,000-square-foot spec building?  

York County is a part of a vibrant Charlotte region that has a number of spec buildings built by both the private sector and sometimes the public sector. A building (Logistics 77) of this size is one the private sector has built.

Based on market trends and opportunities, the developer recognized market potential for a 500,000-square-foot building. Currently, there are seven shell buildings in York County and we have strong activity on all of them.

How many of your industrial prospects are looking for existing space? 

The majority of the prospect requests we receive are looking for available building space. It’s mainly space they can lease that has close proximity to I-77 and located within a business park setting.

What would you like to see in Logistics 77 @ Riverwalk?  

We would like to see a manufacturing operation as they tend to invest more capital and hire employees at higher salary levels. We understand that based on the location of the building and the characteristic of the facility, it has appeal for a warehouse-distribution end user, but recognize that it could also go to a manufacturing operator as well.

 Riverwalk Business Park is almost full. Do you need more business parks in York County? 

Yes, we are always in need of available industrial land dedicated to business parks in York County.

Based on the inquiries and requirements of company decision-makers, they like the business park locations because they can minimize risk to the investments made by the company, offer the attractive location that the company can recruit and retain workforce as well as offer full-service items like ready-to-go utilities, appropriately zoned uses and maintenance operations.

By Ken Elkins, Staff Reporter with the Charlotte Business Journal