Diverse companies – from startups to multinational corporations – continue to relocate and expand existing operations in the Charleston region.
New, Expanding, and Mergers & Acquisitions
December 28, 2013
Cloud-based software for employee benefits
The expansion will increase Benefitfocus’ headquarters to nearly 500,000 square feet and its campus from 13 acres to nearly 40. The additional capacity enables the company to add an additional 1,200 employees, the company said, more than doubling its current 800 workers. The first building completed will house 650 workers in a customer service center.
EDF Renewable Energy-Pinelands Biomass Project
December 28, 2013
Biomass electric power generation
“Utilizing wood waste to generate electricity is a proven renewable technology that complements EDF Renewable Energy’s robust portfolio of wind, solar and biogas projects in North America,” Tristan Grimbert, president and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy, said in a statement. The 17.8-megawatt generation facility includes a stoker boiler and a steam turbine generator and connect to the Santee Cooper generation system.
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
December 23, 2013
Retail fishing supplies
Bass Pro Shops plans to open a 130,000- to 150,000-square foot store in North Charleston at the intersection of I-26 and Northside Drive. It will serve as the primary anchor for the 2 million-square-foot, mixed-use Ingleside Plantation development.
December 17, 2013
Contract Management Center for health services, includes customer service and human resources operations.
Molina Healthcare provides managed care services to financially vulnerable families and individuals covered by government healthcare programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. The Long Beach, Calif.-based company was founded more than 30 years ago and presently offers health plans in 10 states, with South Carolina becoming the eleventh state.
December 16, 2013
Recreation sports facility
Sky Zone Charleston will open a 15,000-sq ft indoor trampoline park which will include an open jump court, ultimate dodgeball courts, a SkySlam basketball court and a foam zone. Sky Zone’s original SkyRobics fitness class will also be offered. Sky Zone LLC operates three affiliate-owned indoor trampoline parks, and franchises are opening across the United States, Canada and eventually Australia.
Boeing South Carolina
December 16, 2013
Manufacturing technology R&D center; Also construction of an expanded paint facility
Boeing announced plans to establish technology research centers in North Charleston, SC, Huntsville, Ala., California, St. Louis and Seattle. The North Charleston center will focus on manufacturing technology (specifically automation and assembly, systems installation, chemical technology, nondestructive evaluation, composite fabrication and repair, and electromagnetic effects, modeling and characterization), and the other centers' focuses will be as follows: Huntsville, Ala.: Simulation and decision analytics; metals and chemical technology. Southern California: Flight sciences; electronics and networked systems; structures. St. Louis: Systems technology; digital aviation and support technology; metallics and fabrication development. Seattle: Manufacturing technology integration. Boeing also announced today that it will begin construction in the second half of 2014 on a new paint facility on its main campus in North Charleston. The company expects to begin painting fully assembled 787 Dreamliners in South Carolina in mid-2016 in the new 230,000 square-foot facility instead of flying them to Ft Worth TX for final painting as they have in the past. The company says this is an increase in efficiency of operations.
Silicon Harbor Ventures
December 5, 2013
Venture capital fund
The venture fund has an initial $1 million balance and is inviting approximately 20 investors, each investing at least $250,000, to join the fund. The investors will also serve as mentors to the companies they fund. The goal is to support the Charleston technology startup sector, particularly early to mid-stage companies.
November 17, 2013
Engineering services specializing in powertrain and vehicle-related engineering
Auburn Hills MI-based FEV Inc., a powertrain and vehicle engineering company offering a range of engineering services in design, analysis, prototyping, powertrain and transmission development, is a subsidiary of German-based FEV GmbH. The company chose to locate at the Clemson Energy Systems Innovation Center to better serve its customers and to explore new partnerships with local technology companies.
November 7, 2013
Solar equipment installation (commercial and residential)
Greenville-based Sunstore Solar has expanded with a new office at in Mount Pleasant, which will serve a planned Colleton County solar farm--the largest in the state-- that will provide power to Santee Cooper and the state's electric cooperatives.
IFA Rotorion North America LLC
November 4, 2013
Automotive driveshaft manufacturing
IFA Rotorion announced plans for a $25 million expansion at its Charleston area plant to increase its capacity from 1.4 million to 2 million units a year. The firm recently celebrated 10 years of operations in the Ladson area with an employee appreciation event in North Charleston, which was attended by the company’s founder, Heinrich von Nathusius. IFA Rotorion serves customers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and South America, including Ford, Chrysler, GM, Mercedes and BMW.
Wyndham Garden Hotel
October 31, 2013
The 119-room hotel is under construction on Stuart Engals Blvd in Mt Pleasant, with plans to open July 2014. Columbia SC-based IMIC Hotels, the owner, operator and manager of the new property, operates other hotels locally and across the Southeast.
American Tactical Imports
October 28, 2013
Worldwide importer of firearms, ammunition and tactical equipment
American Tactical Imports (ATI) selected the region for its headquarters, customer service center and sales office as well as for distribution and light assembly. The company cited workforce availability and market access as key to its location decision.
MWV Specialty Chemicals
October 22, 2013
Technology R&D center
The center, beginning operations in early 2015, will expand the division's capabilities in automotive emissions control and sustainable chemicals in the oilfield, road construction and adhesives global markets.
October 14, 2013
Full service e-commerce agency
Blue Acorn, which uses data to help brands and retailers nationwide sell more goods, has outgrown its space at the corner of Rutledge and Huger streets in downtown Charleston. In 2014, the firm plans to move into a new building in the Half Mile North development (dubbed “Silicon Harbor”) also in downtown Charleston.
Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn
September 23, 2013
2 Hotel Properties
The 96-room Courtyard is under construction and slated to open in summer 2014, while the Residence Inn is planned for the near future and will be an extended-stay hotel with 100 to 125 rooms. These properties are part of the larger 4500-acre Nexton development in the Summerville area.
Daimler Vans Manufacturing
September 17, 2013
Sprinter vans manufacturing/assembly
Daimler assembles Sprinter vans for the U.S. market under the Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner brands at this Charleston area plant. The expansion is expected to be complete by 2018.
August 17, 2013
Financial asset management
This Virginia-based firm manages financial assets, including tax liens, structured settlements and real estate-owned assets in 23 states plus D.C.
August 7, 2013
Manufacture structural insulated panel systems (SIPS) for use in energy-efficient home construction
Charleston-based Amerisips Homes designs and builds energy-efficient homes. Located on Johns Island, they will build a panel manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant that will allow them to reduce the construction cost of the homes they currently build. All Amerisips homes are certified by the U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor airPLUS programs.
July 24, 2013
Manufacture forestry handling equipment
The Canadian BID Group chose their new site in the Charleston Metropolitan Area due to it being centrally located in one of the world's busiest forestry areas. The firm says it "will drastically decrease time-to-market and related costs, as compared to products that would otherwise be shipped from one of BID/COMACT’s Canadian locations."
July 8, 2013
Vehicle Component Manufacturer
Weber Automotive, a maker of vehicle drive-train components, will establish its new manufacturing operations in Charleston County. The more than $51 million investment is expected to generate 84 new jobs over the next four years.
Sportsman Boats Manufacturing
July 2, 2013
Salt water boat manufacturing
A start-up boat manufacturer leasing space since 2011 in Eastport Industrial Park in Dorchester County is moving into a new facility as part of a $2.4 million expansion that will create about 50 jobs.
Mediterranean Shipping Co (USA) Inc.
May 24, 2013
Shipping line; South Atlantic corporate headquarters
The firm is adding 30 new jobs in its data recovery center and has acquired the adjacent building in Mount Pleasant to expand operations. The new space will also house a new training center for MSC, which has successfully operated in the Charleston region for more than 20 years.
Boeing South Carolina
April 9, 2013
Boeing plans to add 2,000 jobs by 2020 to its Lowcountry campus, bringing its local employment to 8,000. The company will add workers to its North Charleston facility that builds aft-bodies of 787s and paints the aircraft, plus consolidate its information technology operations here. "About 1,000 of the new jobs added in North Charleston will be engineers; the other 1,000 will be made up of production and information technology workers," according to SC state officials.
March 7, 2013
Develops software that helps service-industry businesses manage human resources functions
PeopleMatter was founded in 2009 and began in the Charleston Digital Corridor. The company later expanded to The Navy Yard at Noisette in North Charleston and moved into the company’s new headquarters at 466 King St. in spring 2013. The firm has three offices, including San Francisco and Atlanta, with about 80 employees in Charleston. PeopleMatter plans to employ 265 people at the new location in Charleston during the next five years after it takes over an adjacent building.
February 28, 2013
Charleston is the 76th city to receive JetBlue service, and the new flights add direct flight service from Charleston to Boston and a low-cost option for air travelers headed for New York City. Flights began February 2013.
January 18, 2013
Six years after its initial investment in the region, Google is expanding its Berkeley County data center, investing approximately $600 million.