European tiremaker investing $50M in Spartanburg County plant, creating 150 jobs


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Published: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 1:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 1:45 p.m.

A European tiremaker plans to tread new territory in Spartanburg County.

Italy-based Trelleborg Wheel Systems Inc. announced Tuesday it will build its first manufacturing facility for agricultural tires in North America, a $50 million investment that is expected to create 150 jobs by 2018.

The 430,000-square-foot plant is expected to be built on the company's existing footprint on Reeves Street off Highway 29.

“In coming to Spartanburg County, we'll be located in a modern facility in a prime location, capitalizing on existing partnership agreements with major (original equipment manufacturers) and distributors while facilitating the transfer of technology from one part of the world to another,” Maurizio Vischi, president of Trelleborg's Wheel Systems business area, said in a statement.

“Although we already sell our products in the United States and Canada, local production offers considerably more favorable conditions, thus enhancing our competitiveness.”

Trelleborg Wheel Systems is one of the five divisions of the Sweden-based Trelleborg Group. The company acquired the local plant when it purchased Spartanburg-based Reeves Brothers Inc. in 2006.

“It's always a positive when we see a company find a new use for an existing facility,” said Carter Smith, executive vice president of the Economic Futures Group. “It's good for them, and it's good for us because it keeps a facility from going dark and creates job opportunities for local residents.”

Trelleborg said the investment will also include state-of-the-art equipment for the production of radial tires for agricultural machinery. The facility will “cater to market growth and ensure that OEMs, dealers and farmers alike benefit from Trelleborg's proximity and product availability.”

The state's Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits for the project.

Production is expected to begin in late 2015.

“We are pleased that Trelleborg will be repurposing their Spartanburg County facility for Trelleborg Wheel Systems Group,” County Councilman David Britt, said in a statement. “We welcome this international operation, supplying the agricultural industry, and greatly appreciate their investment and job opportunities.”

Russ Weber, chairman of the Economic Futures Group, thanked county officials and Duke Energy for their support of the project.

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It's A Keeper!!!


It's official:

Spartanburg County hooks Bass Pro Shops

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Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 3:38 p.m.
Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops
Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill allows visitors to feel like they're bowling under the ocean.

Spartanburg County caught a trophy on Wednesday.

Local leaders joined with Bass Pro Shops officials to announce the company's new “Mega Outdoor Store” during a news conference in front of about 200 people at the Chapman Cultural Center in downtown.

The Missouri-based outdoor retailer said it will build the store on 75 acres currently owned by Spartanburg-based Pacolet Milliken Enterprises Inc. at the intersection of Interstate 85 and Highway 101, across the street from BMW Manufacturing Co.

Bass Pro Shops said the store represents an investment in the tens of millions and will create about 250 new jobs. It will be 120,000-square feet and will serve as the focal point of a mixed-use development that will include retail, hotels and restaurants.

The store is expected to be completed in 2016.

“The economic impact of Bass Pro Shops won't just be a ripple,” said County Councilman David Britt. “It will be like dropping a meteorite in a swimming pool.”

Mike Dunham, director of real estate for Bass Pro Shops, said the store will be the size of two football fields.

He said it will feature the company's Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill, a nautical-themed center in the store that has 12 bowling lanes that give customers the chance to feel like they are bowling under the ocean. The grill will give shoppers a place to recharge their batteries while dining on appetizers, sandwiches, salads and burgers.

It will be the company's third store in South Carolina, including a location in Myrtle Beach and another in North Charleston that is expected to open in 2015.

“We are very excited to be here,” Dunham said. “This is a fantastic market, full of hunters and fishermen who are passionate about the outdoors. We have been focused on this area for years. It always seemed like we couldn't find the right location… We're going to put something together (for Spartanburg) that will be really cool and really special.”

Local officials have been courting Bass Pro Shops for about seven years.

In 2006, Gov. Mark Sanford vetoed legislation passed by the state legislature that gave Bass Pro Shops' competitor Nebraska-based Cabela's a break on sales and income taxes for a proposed store in North Charleston.

The legislature ultimately overrode the veto. Sanford continued his bid to block incentives when it was revealed that local leaders were trying to lure a large retailer, eventually identified as Bass Pro Shops, to anchor the retail portion of a large development proposed near I-85 and Highway 14.

Sanford held a series of news conferences at small outdoor retail shops in the Upstate, where he vowed to fight giving “extraordinary retail establishments” a 50 percent refund on sales taxes for 15 years to offset infrastructure costs.

The former governor's veto was overridden a second time in 2007.

On April 3, Cabela's opened a new 100,000-square-foot store off Woodruff Road in Greenville County.

Dunham said Bass Pro Shops' looked at several sites in Spartanburg County over the years, but the company was never able to get all of the pieces to come together.

“The stars just kind of aligned for this store,” he said. “It was the right size site in the right location… It was meant to be.”

Britt said the company qualifies for state incentives. The county has agreed to a 6 percent fee in lieu of taxes for 20 years and to put the company in a multi-county industrial park.

The store is expected to bring in visitors from across the region and beyond.

“It's a unique shopping experience that you just can't explain,” Britt said. “We get excited when we talk about projects. But there has never been one like this. This one has the potential to (positively) affect everyone in the county.”

The property is the former site of Spartanburg-based textile giant Milliken & Co.'s Armitage Plant, named after the late Norman Armitage, a company executive who competed in six Olympics.

In 2009, Pacolet Milliken removed the old 163,000-square-foot plant that closed in 1985 and spruced up the property. The company also bought the Spinx station's property and had the whole site certified under the state's Textile Communities Revitalization Act.

“We saw that the site was more valuable for future use without the building,” said John Montgomery, vice president of real estate for Pacolet Milliken. “We're very fortunate to have had the resources to improve this site… We were impressed by Bass Pro Shops' plans and felt they would be good stewards of this property. I think Mr. (Roger) Milliken would have been proud.”

Bass Pro Shops said more than 80,000 vehicles pass by the site each day. The company said its average customer drives 50 or more miles to shop, staying over two hours.

Britt called the announcement a “triple crown” for the county, which has already seen two $1 billion deals announced this year. Those deals include Tokyo-based Toray Industries Inc.'s new carbon fiber plant in Moore and BMW Manufacturing Co.'s expansion to increase production to 450,000 vehicles annually and to build the new X7. The three projects combined are expected to create over 1,500 jobs.

Dunham said the company has 85 stores and Tracker Marine Centers in the U.S. and Canada. The Spartanburg store will be number 86 on the list.

Local leaders said they are elated about what the store will mean for tourism in the county, especially with visitors flocking to Tyger River Park and soon Upward Sports' new complex off Highway 29 near Wellford.

“I travel all over the country and if there is a Bass Pro where I am, I'm going in there,” said County Council Chairman Jeff Horton. “I love this store. My wife loves this store. The difference is that when you go into one and grab one of the guys in the green shirt, you're going to get a level of customer service and expertise that you don't get anywhere else.”

Bass Pro Shops said its stores feature lodge-like exteriors and outdoor-themed interiors that include massive log and rock work, large indoor aquariums stocked with native fish species, wildlife mounts and exhibits that pay tribute to the region's outdoor heritage.

Dunham said the Spartanburg store will be loaded with local flavor.

“That's the great thing about (Bass Pro Shops),” Dunham said. “No two stores are alike. Each one is independently designed to honor the region… You can bet this one will be unique.”

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Largest Initial Investment In History To Come To District 6


Japanese company to invest $1B in Spartanburg County facility, create 500 jobs

Toray Industries
Toray Industries

Gov. Nikki Haley on Tuesday announced that Toray Industries plans to invest $1B in a Spartanburg County plant.

TIM KIMZEY / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:58 p.m.

A Tokyo-based manufacturer plans to locate its next global facility in Spartanburg County, an anticipated $1 billion investment during the next decade expected to create 500 jobs.


Facts from the S.C. Department of Commerce

- The $1 billion capital investment represents one of the highest initial investments in S.C. history.
- State officials expect 500 new manufacturing jobs to be created in Spartanburg County.
- Based in Tokyo, Japan, Toray is the largest producer of carbon fiber in the world.
- The facility will be a major supplier of advanced materials to the aerospace industry.
- The new facility will be located on about 400 acres along Highway 290 in Moore, with access to I-26 and I-85.

The announcement, made by Gov. Nikki Haley in Spartanburg on Tuesday, represents one of the largest initial capital investments in the state's history.

Toray Industries Inc., a manufacturer of fibers and textiles, plastic resins, films and carbon fiber composite materials has selected 400 acres along Highway 290 in Moore, a location that has access to interstates 26 and 85.

“South Carolina offers Toray Industries an ideal location for our next North American manufacturing facility. Here we will have proximity to major customers, both in the U.S. and in Latin American markets. We appreciate the great working relationship we have established with the state and local officials, and we look forward to becoming part of the South Carolina business community,” Akihiro Nikkaku, president of Toray Industries, said in a written statement.

Spartanburg County Council Chairman Jeff Horton said the county is pleased to have Toray join the growing family of international companies in Spartanburg County.

“Toray's selection of our community for this significant investment continues to demonstrate Spartanburg's ability to compete on the global stage,” Horton said in a written statement.

Toray is the largest producer of carbon fiber in the world, according to a statement from the company.

According to a statement from the S.C. Department of Commerce, Toray views the U.S. as an important expansion market because of a revival in manufacturing that is “pushing demand for advanced materials, particularly those used in the aerospace and energy-related industries.”

The Commerce Department reports that South Carolina is home to more than 200 aerospace companies, employing about 20,000 people.

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