Richland County Council approves major investment for the Blythewood area

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Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 11:06 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - If a mystery manufacturer gets its way, 18 hundred new full-time jobs could be coming to Richland County. The project outlined in county documents as project golden eagle was unanimously approved by council members last night.

According to those documents the manufacturing company will sit on 330 acres of land located off I-77 near exit 27 in Blythewood across from the Cobblestone neighborhood.

A research economist WIS spoke with says not only will this bring jobs, but those people will bring families – which means more local spending.

“What that means is any new manufacturer that comes to South Carolina can often rely on existing companies within the supply chain. In other words, they can purchase their goods and their raw materials from other in-state companies and so those companies can end up acquiring additional workers too,” said Dr. Joseph Von Nessen.

Von Nessen is a research economist at the University of South Carolina. He’s calling Project Golden Eagle one of the biggest investments that Richland County has seen and could potentially help Richland County recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Von Nessen says, “With the caveat that we don’t know who the manufacturer is or the specifics of the company. Nevertheless, the numbers that we’re looking at in terms of 1800 jobs being created and 800 million dollars in investments is nevertheless significant.”

But with more jobs comes more people.

“Blythewood is blessed to be an exit intersection on the interstate. We’re also cursed,” said Phillip Frye.

The area is getting a roundabout thanks to the penny tax program, but that was approved *before this big development.

Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director Phillip Frye agrees the project will be a big win but questions if the infrastructure in Blythewood can measure up to its economic development.

“Probably the fastest growing in the state of South Carolina,” Frye said. “That said each of the last sentences we more than doubled each time in the population. Infrastructure has a hard time keeping up with that.”

Jeff Ruble, the Executive Director for Economic Development in Richland County said during the county council meeting last night the manufacturer could get state approval sometime in late January and that’s when the council hopes to make all details of Project Golden Eagle Public.

The county’s attorney did confirm that council members did not need to disclose the name of the manufacturer to the public. Project Golden Eagle had its third and final reading on Tuesday night.

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