New development could have economic ripple effect benefiting st - - Columbia, South Carolina |

New development could have economic ripple effect benefiting state

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It's one of the fastest growing industries in the state and it already employs roughly 15 percent of all South Carolinians, according to the South Carolina Manufactures alliance.

It may not look like much right now, but the 2,000 acre parcel of land Newberry County is hoping will attract big companies like BMW or Boeing to set up shop.

"But there are a lot of things that are deeper than just the land," said Newberry County Councilman Leslie Hipp. "There's been a lull in that kind of identity…in an industrial type of identity."

The mega-site located a few minutes outside of Newberry could soon change everything.

"The projects we all look at and wish for are BMW and Boeing and that is what our mega site is aimed at," said Newberry County Administrator Wayne Adams.

County officials hope the site could fetch up to $500 million of taxable investment from a large auto or high tech manufacturer.

Job creation could number in the thousands pulling from at least six counties.

"The jobs we expect would be higher paying jobs, and discretionary spending has a big impact on the retail base of a county and on quality of life in general," Adams said.

That could have a positive ripple effect across the state.

"We see the jobs multiplier in manufacturing, particularly in auto manufacturing is one of the highest in the state so we look to counties like Newberry that can bring additional companies in that can contribute to that further," said USC economist Joey Von Nessen.

The asking price for that mega site is around $30 million. Developers expect once a company purchases the land it could take up to two years to open for business.

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