Springs Company ready to move to downtown

A business long synonymous with Fort Mill’s economy is reinvesting in its downtown.

The Springs Company is relocating its headquarters to downtown Fort Mill, adding to a campus of buildings with ties to the Springs family and its businesses. The move involves tearing down the existing Springs Insurance building.

“The current plan is to demolish that building,” said Dehler Hart, president of Springland Inc. “The idea would be to move the Springs Company, which is now in Lancaster, to that office in that building.”

Details aren’t finalized yet and it’s unclear how many positions, either from Springs Company or related businesses, may move into the new space.

The Springs name is well known in Fort Mill as the family started Fort Mill Manufacturing Company back in 1887. Later called Springs Industries, the company grew to make Fort Mill a major textile destination in the region. Springs Industries merged with a Brazilian manufacturer in 2006 to form Springs Global, headquartered in Brazil.

Part of that move meant separating the textile plant from other family business ventures.

Springland Inc. wants to demolish the building at 312 N. White St. and build a new, two-story 17,100-square-foot facility. The property sits at the intersection of North White and Skipper streets. Surrounding sites include the Founder’s Home, a former Springs headquarters and Walter Elisha Park, until recently a Springs-held site.

Springland has to get approval from the town’s historic review board to take down the insurance building since it is part of Fort Mill’s historic district. The single-story building went up in 1971. It is 5,000 square feet and was an early home of the Fort Mill History Museum. The site up for redevelopment includes a vacant parcel used for parking.

The historic review board can delay its needed approval for up to 180 days if a structure is deemed “of extreme historical significance” to Fort Mill. Otherwise, the board can approve as it would any other review.

The new building would be brick with blended gray, a water table and large vertical windows, according to plans. It will be rectangular with a flat roof.

Springland and Clear Springs work on a variety of land development and real estate ventures. Then there’s Springs Company, the head of the non-manufacturing interests.

“That’s the parent company of them all,” Hart said.

As details are still to be worked out on the construction and move, Hart said it helps looking at such a familiar area. The move could be a plus both for company and town.

“It's a good fit for us to come back to Fort Mill, and to be right there where the textile mill used to be,” Hart said.

Springs Company is privately owned.

The historic review board was set to make a decision Tuesday, but that meeting was postponed due to the threat of bad weather from Hurricane Irma. A new meeting date has not been announced.

In a separate review board matter, the town applied to add railing along the sidewalk on the south side of Main Street, between Confederate and Academy streets. The issue is a safety one, with an elevated sidewalk spanning more than a half dozen businesses there.