County OKs grants to recruit office projects

dworthington@heraldonline.comJune 3, 2014 

— The York County Council approved applications for two state grants Monday, a critical step in the recruitment of two office projects that could bring as many as 5,000 workers to the county.

The grants, each for $2 million from the S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development, would be used to build roads and install utilities for the projects.

The council passed the applications without comment. The grants do not require a local match.

The proposed office projects would be new construction.

The names of the companies and the sites have not been released. York County officials have stressed that the recruitment process is competitive and no deal has been reached yet.

The grants would be almost four times larger than what the county receives from the coordinating council on average per year. During the last 20 years, the county has received on average $1.2 million in grants per year, said Mark Farris, the county’s economic develop director.

Sources say the projects would be Class A office space with high-quality finishes, state-of-the-art systems and a “definite marketing presence.”

The county has been recruiting the prospects for more than a year, Farris said.

Typically, the York County Council will consider an inducement resolution when recruiting a company. The resolution gives preliminary information on the company and whether the county intends to offer tax breaks.

There were no inducement resolutions on Monday’s agenda.

Farris said he anticipates that an inducement resolution for each project could be on the June 13 council agenda. The resolutions would not identify the companies. They would be referred to by code names.

Any tax breaks the county offers must be done by an ordinance, which requires three votes and a public hearing.

The council did approve on Monday tax breaks for Exel, a distribution center in the Riverwalk development in Rock Hill. Typically, York County’s fee-in-lieu agreements reduce companies’ property taxes by 43 percent over the next 30 years.

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066

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