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North Or South Carolina? The Office Market Is Picking Sides

Fort Mill, S.C.

South of Charlotte in the home of peach orchards, horse farms and a strawberry festival, the office sector is heating up in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Southbridge, a Lincoln Harris mixed-use development off Interstate 77, is preparing 4.5M SF of Class-A office space for a not-yet-named company.

“Something big is happening here,” York County Economic Development Executive Director David Swenson told CREW Charlotte members this week at Charlotte Country Club. “You’ll hear an announcement in the next six months or less about a company coming in there.”

In addition to office space, Southbridge will include a hotel and anchor grocery store in a walkable area that includes shopping, restaurants and a pharmacy, according to Lincoln Harris. It will be built one exit south of Carowinds, in a location that once housed Knights Stadium and a Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats training facility. The land is owned by Cato Corp.

Kingsley mixed-use development

Also in Fort Mill is Kingsley, a Childress Klein and Clear Springs Development project.

About 4M to 5M SF of office is being prepared to go to market at the 600-acre mixed-use development, Swenson said. Kingsley is or will soon be home to two large corporate headquarters, Lash Group and LPL Financial, two hotels including a Marriott Courtyard, multifamily with ground-level retail, a lake and amphitheater and 150K SF of shops and restaurants, according to Clear Springs.

Two states, one region

When it comes to improving a competitive business climate, both South Carolina and North Carolina rank highly, Swenson said. “We compete on different levels; we’re in a healthy ‘cooper-tition’ in our marketplace here.”

South Carolina competes in different ways than North Carolina, he said, allowing the entire region to benefit from the range of choices that companies in this area are offered.

York County is the second-largest populated county in the Charlotte metro area. From March 2016 to March 2017, the county led the nation in job growth, Swenson said.

“We’re one of the ring counties outside of Charlotte that’s bringing it, folks,” he said.