Banking

Ex-Carolina Panther moving mortgage firm from Virginia to South Carolina; 200 Charlotte jobs shift south

A mortgage company co-owned by a former Carolina Panthers player is moving its headquarters from Virginia to Lancaster County, S.C., a plan that for Charlotte will mean 200 jobs shift across the border.

Movement Mortgage announced Thursday that it will relocate its Virginia Beach headquarters and receive $53 million in tax incentives from South Carolina in exchange for creating more than 650 jobs in Indian Land. The company said it will consolidate the 200 Charlotte jobs to the new headquarters location.

Movement plans to spend $22 million to build its two-story, 104,000-square-foot facility in Bailes Ridge Business Park on S.C. 160. Construction is set to begin in March.

Casey Crawford, a 37-year-old former Panthers tight end who launched his mortgage company in 2008, said he is not expecting any job losses from the headquarters shift. The Charlotte employees who will be relocated to the new headquarters work in Ballantyne Corporate Park, he said.

Crawford said the relocation comes as his company, which makes and services mortgage loans, moves ahead with an aggressive growth strategy designed to make it a bigger mortgage player in the U.S.

In explaining the headquarters move, Crawford said Charlotte is already the second-largest employment hub for the company. Crawford, who is based here, also pointed to the region’s strong pool of financial services talent from which his company can make hires.

The final decision to move to South Carolina was heavily influenced by the state’s incentives package, he said.

“Once we settled on the Charlotte region, really the willingness and the engagement of the state of South Carolina and the governor’s office to collaboratively work with us on a plan to bring jobs to South Carolina was one of the major factors in the decision-making process,” Crawford said.

The relocation represents the latest corporate defection from Charlotte to South Carolina. Last summer, Lash Group and LPL Financial jumped the state line.

Crawford said he could not recall the details of the incentives package North Carolina offered Movement Mortgage, but it “wasn’t competitive with South Carolina, for sure,” he said.

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