Heath Springs Industrial Park nears completion

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By Johnathan Ryan

HEATH SPRINGS – The Heath Springs Industrial Park, for all its delays and headaches over four years, is probably about two months from completion.

In a recent meeting between the various players involved, Kim Lineberger of contractor LCI-Lineberger indicated that sewer line work is almost done, which was the first part of the project's second phase.

"Everything is moving along just as we expected," Lineberger said Tuesday.

In the first phase, grading and roads were to be installed with $300,000 in funding from Lancaster County, which owns the park, and the second phase was to include sewer and water line installation.

The sewer lines should be done within a week, with the installation of water lines within a month and landscaping and signage in the same amount of time, said Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell.

That all means a virtually completed park in a relatively short amount of time, he said.

"We should have a pretty finished industrial park by December," Tunnell said.

Heath Springs Mayor Ann Taylor said residents regularly stop by Town Hall to ask about the park's progress, eager to hear about a new employer coming to the area.

"Interest has intensified with the layoffs we have seen," she said.

Through the long delays and wait, Taylor said she never thought the park would get to this point. She particularly looks forward to seeing the landscaped park entrance, which will surround an attractive sign.

The landscaping at the entrance will be very attractive, she said.

Lancaster County was able to secure funding for the park's sewer and water lines with an S.C. Department of Commerce grant, received on the condition that the county build a spec building on the site.

A spec building is the outer shell of a building that an occupant can modify to its specifications with relative ease. They are an affordable, popular option among industrial companies looking to relocate, Tunnell said, especially those looking at Lancaster County.

In the past year, Tunnell worked with LV Realty of Hickory, N.C., to develop such a building, which would be the only one of its kind in the county. Lancaster County Council approved a proposal in August for the company to construct a building at the cost of $2.6 million, financed with a note.

The company would pay on the loan for three years, and if the building isn't sold within that time, the county would assume responsibility for any remainder of the loan amount.

The state's $350,000 was released to the county about three weeks ago once paperwork was completed after council's earlier approval to arrange for a spec building.

Now, it's estimated that the building will cost between $2.8 and $3 million, as a final price hasn't been determined, Tunnell said.

"We're working with the attorneys on the financing," he said. "We'll have to make sure it protects all sides."

Tunnell hopes to have a final agreement proposal back to County Council for a vote by the end of November.

He thinks construction on the building could start in January 2008 and probably take six months to complete. Tunnell said he already has two companies interested in the building.

Contact Johnathan Ryan

at 416-8416 or