A department store giant is bringing $4.5 million in investment and 124 new jobs to Union County.
Belk, Inc. announced this morning that it will locate a new eCommerce distribution and fulfillment center in the former Disney Direct Marketing distribution center on US 176 in the Jonesville area. The new facility will be an expansion of the company’s existing eCommerce fulfillment center in Pineville, N.C. The company will invest $4.5 million in the new facility which is expected to generate 124 new jobs over the next five years.
“Belk’s eCommerce growth has been very strong, and to accommodate the demand from our customers, we need additional fulfillment space. We are pleased to fulfill that need with this new facility in Union County,” said Belk President and COO John R. Belk. “South Carolina offers us an excellent business environment, a strong workforce and exceptional access to markets. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials in making this project a reality.”
Belk’s announcement was welcomed by county and development official who have been working for the past several months to bring the facility to Union County. In February, Union County Council voted unanimously to approve an incentive package for the facility which at the time was known as “Project Presents.” The package includes a 20-year fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement with the company reducing its property tax rate from 10.5 percent to 6 percent. The county will also provide Belk with a special revenue source credit tax incentive and designate the facility as a multi-county industrial park.
“We are happy with Belk’s decision to locate here from several aspects. First and foremost, it means jobs for our citizens while at the same time utilizing a previously vacant building. Belk’s business model will provide diverse job opportunities in an ever increasing, technologically based commerce,” said Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair. “Belk’s faith in Union’s workforce and their forecast of continued growth certainly makes us excited about their future in Union.”
The announcement was also welcomed by Union County Development Board Chairman Joe Nichols.
“Many thanks to Belk for choosing Union County as the location for their eCommerce venture,” Nichols said. “This is another great success story that will bring over 100 jobs to our citizens who are seeking full-time employment.”
Development Board Executive Director Andrena Powell-Baker also welcomed Belk’s decision to locate in Union County, pointing to the company’s long history of success and community involvement.
“Belk is a wonderful corporate citizen,” Powell-Baker said. “They have a long, successful, retail presence in our community and we are proud that they have chosen Union County to locate their eCommerce business and create jobs. We look forward to supporting them as they grow.”
The Disney distribution center has stood vacant since the end of July 2011. Belk plans to being operations at the site in June.
Belk’s decision was also welcomed by state officials.
“It’s a great day in South Carolina and we celebrate Belk’s decision to invest $4.5 million and create 124 new jobs in Union County,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “We are committed to bringing new jobs to communities all across our state, and announcements like this show we are on the right track in our economic development efforts.”
In a statement released this morning announcing Belk’s decision, the SC Department of Commerce states that, in 2011, South Carolina recruited more than $285 million in investment and more than 2,500 new jobs in the distribution and logistics sector.
“South Carolina is a great location for companies trying to get products to markets throughout the Southeast. An established brand like Belk locating distribution facilities in one of our state’s rural communities is a real boost, and shows South Carolina has the business climate companies are looking for,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.