An agreement has been reached between Newberry County, Newberry Electric Cooperative and Santee Cooper.
The agreement will allow Newberry County to borrow most of the money needed to build at new speculative manufacturing facility at the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park.
The new building will be a shell that a company can retrofit for its needs. The building will also be able to be added on to up to four times its completed size.
In the loan agreement between the electric providers and the county, Newberry County will only have to pay the interest payments for the next five years while the facility is marketed.
The electric providers will put up most of the money for the building, estimated to cost $2 million.
“Newberry Electric Cooperative and its board of directors are pleased to assist Newberry County in bringing a Spec Building to the Mid Carolina Industrial Park,” said Newberry Electric President and CEO Keith Avery. “By partnering with Santee Cooper, the county will be getting a very important asset that will greatly improve the recruitment of new industry.”
He adds a spec building is what 85 percent of investors are looking for when considering prospective sites.
“Having one available should put us at the top of the list for prospective investors,” said Avery. “We believe this will provide an important piece that was needed for the county’s economic development plan.”
Newberry County Administrator Wayne Adams agrees, saying 75 percent of the industrial prospects looking at locating to South Carolina are looking for existing buildings.
It is hoped that the new building will draw more potential economic development into the county.
Newberry County Council is expected to act quickly to hire engineers for the project, said Adams.
The shell building is the first construction in the new industrial park located on Highway 773 just past the intersection of I-26 and Highway 773 near Prosperity.