Bailes Ridge anticipates multipurpose demand

The developers of Bailes Ridge Corporate Park are adding multi-purpose industrial buildings to the 235-acre development in Lancaster County, S.C.

Merrifield Partners, which is developing the project for Crosland, has started work on two 12,000-square-foot, pre-engineered concrete buildings on 16 acres at the rear of the park.

Merrifield's Jon Jarrett said the buildings are similar to a product that has been in high demand at the company's Old Hickory Business Park in Indian Trail.

Bailes Ridge's location, about 3.5 miles south of Ballantyne, is ideal for companies that need offices combined with warehouse space and loading docks to serve customers in the burgeoning area, he said.

Jarrett sees tenants ranging from industrial components suppliers to heating and air conditioning contractors.

Merrifield expects to have the buildings available by late fall.

Bailes Ridge, off S.C. 160 at Old Bailes Road in Indian Land, is positioned to take advantage of Lancaster County's push to create a commercial corridor between U.S. 521 and Fort Mill.

Plans call for widening that entire stretch of S.C. 160 to four lanes by 2011, making a reverse commute from Mecklenburg to Lancaster County easier for tenants working in the park.

“Indian Land is the growth area for Lancaster County,” said Merrifield's Mike Bilodeau, who is spearheading Bailes Ridge.

Commercial development is flourishing along U.S. 521 between Ballantyne and the Sun City Carolina Lakes active adult community.

Merrifield originally designed Bailes Ridge for light industrial uses, but switched gears two year ago to add corporate offices and headquarters buildings.

The change was in response to increased demand for office space in the area, officials said.

Hand Held Products, a maker of mobile computers and other devices, moved into a 40,000- square-foot building in March 2007. Window and door manufacturer Jeld-Wen Inc. is moving its showroom and sales office there from Charlotte.

Bilodeau said Jeld-Wen will occupy half of a 48,000-square-foot building started last year on speculation. About 24,000 square feet remains available.

Jeld-Wen's space will be large enough, Bilodeau said, for it to create replicas of the sales floors in Lowe's and Home Depot stores to illustrate how products could be displayed.

About 40 employees are expected work there initially.

Bilodeau said they will discover an amenity that has been popular with Hand Held workers: a 20-acre nature trail Merrifield has installed and donated to Lancaster County.

Another major component of the park went up a few weeks ago: a 30-foot centerpiece monument designed by sculptor Boris Tomic, who also did the monuments at Ballantyne.

The $200 million park is expected to ultimately include about 2 million square feet of buildings.