Plans to construct a speculative building for industrial recruiting are moving forward, a Columbia County official said in a Monday meeting.
Zack Daffin, the executive director of the Columbia County Development Authority, told commissioners at a Planning and Engineering Services Committee meeting that his office has secured $890,000 to build a 50,000-square-foot building in Grovetown to better sell the county.
"It is a shell of a building that's built with the understanding that the largest majority of industrial clients first look to available buildings in trying to make locating decisions," Daffin said after the meeting.
"The building is needed to try and remain in the hunt as it relates to industrial recruiting."
One construction design, Daffin said, is a spec building expandable by four 25,000-square-foot increments for a building totaling 150,000 square feet.
"Not only can you try to attract businesses that need a 50,000-square-foot facility, but businesses that might need more," he said.
The building could be located on 15 acres of property in Horizon North industrial park, or on less property in Horizon South, Daffin said.
"We're still working on determining where it's going to go," he said. "We're in the process of trying to develop this whole concept."
Columbia County's last spec building, a 128,000-square-foot facility, took about five years to sell.
However, Daffin insisted the proposed spec building is needed for industrial recruitment.
"I look at buildings as our marketable inventory," he said.
"We needed more inventory, but we wanted to do it in such a way that the development authority would be able to financially manage the process."
With $140,000 in state funds, a $300,000 Savannah River Regional Diversification Initiative loan and a $450,000 no-interest federal loan already secured, the county nearly has the $1.2 million to $1.5 million it needs to construct the spec building, Daffin said.
No definite timetable has been set for construction.
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