Broad River Furniture, a home furnishings retailer, considered multiple sites in the Charlotte region before opting to build its new corporate campus and distribution center in the Lakemont Business Park, company officials said Tuesday.
The company is expected to invest $12.6 million in a building and bring about 200 people from its current Charlotte offices and distribution center. Some new distribution jobs may be created with the move, said Karen McKenzie, Broad River’s vice president of marketing.
The new distribution center will be designed to meet furniture-specific needs, McKenzie said.
Construction on the 174,000-square-foot facility near Interstate 77 and Carowinds Boulevard could start within weeks, with an expected opening by November.
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The distribution center’s ceilings will be 32 feet high, 8 feet higher than those at the current location. The differences will increase Broad River’s storage capacity by 400 percent, McKenzie said. The building will also have custom storage racks and special lighting, she said.
The company has been planning for a new location for about two years. One of the key criteria was interstate access, as the furniture will come by truck, mostly from the Ashley Furniture plant in Advance.
Broad River Furniture considered North Carolina sites in Gastonia, Hickory, Kannapolis and Concord before deciding on the Fort Mill area, she said.
The new distribution center also will be close to Broad River Furniture stores. The company has 16 stores overall, with eight stores in the Charlotte area and four in South Carolina: Anderson, Columbia, Greenville and Spartanburg.
The location and incentives offered by the state and York County were factors in choosing the Fort Mill area as they reduced operating costs, McKenzie said.
The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to the project. Because the company is relocating workers from the Charlotte region, it will not get full credit for each job, according to the state Department of Commerce. The department did not specify how much the credit will be reduced.
The state’s job development credits provide companies with funds – for up to 10 years – to offset the cost of locating or expanding a facility. This credit provides reimbursement of eligible expenses related to real estate acquisition or improvement; infrastructure; pollution control equipment and the training/retraining of employees.
The company is negotiating with York County to reduce its property tax bill. Typically, the county’s fee agreements reduce a company’s tax bills by 43 percent over 30 years.
“Fort Mill is the ideal location for our new campus,” Jonathan Ishee, Broad River Furniture’s chief executive officer, said in a news release.
“Along with our new cross-dock facility in Spartanburg, this new location will accommodate our growth to about 21/2 times our current volume, and we will finally have all of our corporate associates together in one location,” Ishee said.
Don Worthington • 803-329-4066
Want to know more?
For information on Broad River Furniture, go to www.broadriverfurniture.com. Job information will be posted at the site.