Duke Energy Progress (DEP) will help prepare a 500-acre site in Lugoff for potential industrial development. A recent DEP press release listed the property as the “Emanuel Site,” named for the family that owns the property. It said the land is located less than five miles from I-20 in Lugoff.
In an interview with the C-I, DEP’s Ryan Mosier said the company selected the site as part of its Site Readiness Program, which he described as being “designed to identify, evaluate and improve awareness” of the various attributes of a potential site. He said the company has contracted with McCallum Sweeney Consulting, a nationally-known consulting firm to perform a site study.
“The study would include the firm taking inventory of the site, looking at utility accessibility and developing plans for the site,” Mosier said.
He also said that DEP and McCallum Sweeney will combine further with professional land-use planners to develop conceptual plans for the site. Once the plans are developed, the team “will present their findings with Kershaw County leaders” in an official report, Mosier said.
Kershaw County Economic Development Director Peggy McLean called Duke Energy Progress’ selection of the site as “an outstanding opportunity for the county.
“The Site Readiness Program … (will) assist in diversifying our economy and adding jobs,” McLean said. “It strengthens our ongoing efforts to attract industry and investments.”
McLean provided specific information about what drew DEP’s attention to the Emanuel Site.
“The attributes of the property that make it attractive for industrial development include the large size of the site (500-plus acres), presence of a rail line and all utilities (electric, water, wastewater, gas and telecommunication) on site,” she said.
The Site Readiness Program will assess various aspects of the property to determine its potential for interested industries.
“After the site was accepted into the program, the Kershaw County Economic Development Office completed an extensive questionnaire from McCallum Sweeney Consulting, a leading economic development consulting group in Greenville,” McLean explained. “This questionnaire covered all attributes of the site including utilities, transportation access, labor, quality of life, major employers and all physical attributes of the property.”
McLean also said that McCallum Sweeney visited the county to meet with her office “for a presentation of community information and a viewing of the site” and that the firm will present a report of its findings on the site to the county within a few weeks.
According to their website, McCallum Sweeney “provides economic development consulting services to leading organizations worldwide.” The firm is described as offering the perspective of the investor coupled with considerable economic development experience to best serve clients.
McCallum Sweeney’s website also explained that the company’s site certification program “help(s) communities identify those sites that are most ready for development,” and that it has “designed and managed many of the nation’s most significant site certification efforts.”
DEP’s press release stated the site evaluation should last four months. McLean stated that the process will help county officials, the economic development office and developers “determine the strengths and weaknesses of the property, and, if it is judged to be a good industrial site, the best way to present it to potential industries.”
“This is a prime piece of undeveloped property that has a lot of potential,” Stuart Ames, DEP’s economic development manager for Kershaw County said in the press release. “Our review and assessment will provide the information needed to get it shovel ready.”
When asked how the site could potentially improve the existing economic climate in Kershaw County, McLean noted that industrial product, which includes sites, buildings and industrial parks, is “critical to the economic growth of Kershaw County.”
“This evaluation will identify how the Emanuel site can be part of the county’s portfolio of industrial product,” she added.
The company said that after the site’s state of readiness is completed, a DEP business development team will actively market the site nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.
More than 35 counties in North and South Carolina submitted applications to the Site Readiness Program. The Emmanuel Site is one of only eight in South Carolina chosen by the utility.