Diverse companies – from startups to multinational corporations – continue to relocate and expand existing operations in the Charleston region.
New, Expanding, and Mergers & Acquisitions
Firefly Distillery LLC
December 22, 2017
Firefly Distillery LLC announced it will move its Wadmalaw Island operations to a new, larger facility in North Charleston, investing $7.3 million in the region and creating 20 new jobs. The distillery known for its sweet tea-infused vodka is constructing its new facility at 1210 Valdosta St. in North Charleston, a 16-acre site between South Rhett and Spruill Avenues. The new facility is scheduled to be operational by the fall of 2019.
December 22, 2017
Manufacturer of refrigeration and temperature-control systems for the automotive and trucking industries
Thermo King will supply heavy-duty mobile air conditioning solutions for Mercedes’ new Sprinter van model, which is on schedule to roll off the production line at the new plant in Charleston County by 2020. “We are excited to expand our business in the dynamic Charleston market,” Ritchie McQueeney, president of Thermo King Charleston, said in the release. “The new Thermo King of Charleston facility will allow our company to support our clients, improve delivery and optimize custom options in the ever-changing transport temperature control and automotive industries.” This is the fourth South Carolina location for the multi-national, Minneapolis, MN-based company.
December 4, 2017
Tankless water heater manufacturing and distribution
Charleston-based Heatworks plans to create 60 jobs and is moving to a larger facility at 2353 U.S. Highway 17 North in Mount Pleasant by the end of 2017. The company manufactures tankless water heaters designed to quickly heat water in homes and businesses. The firm's CEO co-founded Blue Rhino, the world’s leading propane cylinder exchange company. Heatworks has 50+ Patents and Global IP and was a TechCrunch Disrupt NYC Runner-up in 2014.
November 9, 2017
Quality assurance and control services for manufacturers
The company offers quality inspection for customers in the automotive, electronic, ceramic, molded plastic and medical device industries. This is Finalcontrol, Inc.'s first entry into the U.S. market. The firm's owner cites the Charleston region's strategic location, presence of many international companies, access to skilled talent, and a growing automotive sector (a primary industry) as key reasons for choosing to locate here.
AHT Cooling Systems USA Inc.
November 2, 2017
Custom refrigerated and frozen merchandising solutions
With more than 30 years of experience, AHT Cooling Systems has serviced the grocery and small format retail markets with manufacturing sites in Austria, China and Brazil. To establish its first production site in the U.S., the company is upfitting its Charleston County operations (currently management and logistics) with a production business unit for the assembly of commercial refrigeration and freezing equipment.
Coast Brewing, LLC
October 31, 2017
Coast Brewing, LLC, a family-owned craft brewery, is expanding its existing operations in Charleston County. This expansion will nearly double production from 4,000 to more than 7,000 barrels per year, further growing the company's sales market and allowing for the construction of a taproom and full kitchen. Located at 1250 North Second Street in North Charleston, S.C., the company will be purchasing its existing leased building and expanding onto adjacent land, adding 29 more jobs.
Volvo Car Corp.
September 25, 2017
Volvo XC90 SUV to be manufactured via a second assembly line
The XC90 SUV, which has accounted for one-third of all Volvo sales in the U.S. since its debut in April 2015, will be made on a second assembly line at the automaker's facility near Ridgeville beginning in 2021, joining the newly redesigned S60 sedan, which will be built exclusively at the Berkeley County plant beginning summer 2018. This announcement brings Volvo's total investment to more than $1 billion at its only North American manufacturing site, which is still under construction. The automaker said it will hire an additional 1,910 workers to go with the 2,000 jobs that were announced in 2015 when Volvo first said it would build at the Camp Hall Industrial Campus off Interstate 26. In addition to the second assembly line, Volvo will build an 88,000-square-foot office complex at the site that will house a research and development center, a training center, management offices and a regional sales office. About 300 people will work in the office complex.
September 21, 2017
Manufacture & distribution of geosynthetics and industrial fabrics with applications in automotive, construction and many other sectors; North American headquarters
The company plans to expand its North American headquarters, manufacturing operations and distribution center in Dorchester County by adding a production line and creating at least 10 jobs. According to George Braimis, Thrace Group COO, “This new production line is one of a series of planned investments for our growing company here in South Carolina.”
September 19, 2017
Match small businesses with non-traditional lenders
Charlotte-based LendingTree said Tuesday that it had purchased SnapCap, a five-year-old Charleston firm that links small businesses with non-traditional lenders, in a deal worth as much as $21 million. The agreement includes $12 million at closing, with the rest tied to performance goals.
September 19, 2017
Frontier Airlines will start direct service between Charleston International Airport and Denver, Philadelphia and Chicago in spring of 2018. Headquartered in Denver, Frontier aims to deliver its signature "Low Fares Done Right" service to customers. This announcement comes as part of the airline's significant expansion adding 21 new cities to its network, which will increase the number of destinations served by the low-fare carrier by 30 percent. Frontier serves more than 80 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Dominican Republic and Mexico with nearly 300 daily flights. For more information, visit flyfrontier.com
September 5, 2017
Manufacture seats and seat assemblies for the Mercedes-Benz Vans Sprinter
With 50 plants in 20 countries, Isringhausen is the market leader in the development and production of innovative automotive seating systems and technical springs for trucks, vans, buses and off-road vehicles. Located in the Palmetto Commerce Park Industrial Complex, the company will be leasing a new facility that will manufacture seats and seat assemblies for the Mercedes-Benz Vans Sprinter model.
Mission Solutions Group Inc.
August 31, 2017
C4I/SATCOM services and DOD land vehicle systems parts supply
Mission Solutions Group Inc. was founded in 2015 by military veterans with extensive Special Operations and high-risk protection backgrounds. MSG is a veteran-owned small business (VOSB) focused on three principal verticals: C4/IT, Sustainment, and Survivability, and consists of four companies that provide support to the U.S. military: Marshall Communications Corp., a Virginia-based satellite communications and information technology business and wholly-owned subsidiary of MSG; Sidecar Enterprises Inc., a Charleston-based spare parts and logistics business; Bluejay Products, a diesel exhaust fluid manufacturer in North Charleston; and Morgan 6, a Charleston area full-service information technology firm. Mission Solutions Group's new facility at 6655 Jet Park Drive in North Charleston will serve as the corporate headquarters.
Sportsman Boats Manufactuirng
August 24, 2017
Sportsman's product offerings currently include 21 models of center consoles and bay boats designed for saltwater use. The company will be adding 70,000 square feet of production space to its existing facility to accommodate the growth of its upholstery, welding and small part fabrication operations at 113 Isaac Way in Summerville, S.C.
July 28, 2017
Manufacture sweeteners, starches, nutrition ingredients and biomaterials used in products from foods and beverages to paper and pharmaceuticals
Serving customers in more than 100 countries, and located in Charleston since 1988, Ingredion is a Fortune 500 company with $5.7 billion in sales in 2016. This expansion will enable Ingredion to double its exports out of the Port of Charleston. "With a pro-business environment, skilled workforce and excellent location, North Charleston is a great fit for Ingredion. One of the outstanding features of the area is the superior transportation that the Port of Charleston offers. Reliable transportation is essential to our business. We need a smooth-functioning system to deliver the raw materials used in our products, as well as to deliver finished product to our customers. The proximity to the Port of Charleston is a clear advantage." -Ingredion Executive Vice President Global Specialties, President Americas Jim Zallie
July 20, 2017
Manufacturer of propshafts for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles
Currently, IFA assembles approximately two million state-of-the-art propshafts every year in Ladson, S.C., where the plant was established in 2002. IFA will be constructing a new 234,000-square-foot facility -- doubling its current footprint -- at 479 Trade Center Parkway in Summerville, S.C., and the new building will enable IFA to add constant-velocity joint (CVJ) manufacturing to its North American business portfolio and consolidate all area operations to the Summerville plant. Hiring for the new positions is projected to begin in the second quarter of 2018. Headquartered in Haldensleben, Germany, the firm's customers include BMW and Mercedes, among other major automakers.
Knapheide Truck Equipment Company Charleston Inc.
June 30, 2017
Manufacture and installation of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Metris van interiors, service bodies, utility bodies, platform bodies and more
Quincy, IL-based Knapheide was founded in 1848 and is a leading manufacturer of light commercial vehicle interiors and solutions. Its new operation in a 75,000-square-foot facility located at 8449 Palmetto Commerce Parkway in North Charleston was chosen for its proximity to the new Mercedes-Benz Vans manufacturing facility under construction in North Charleston. Hiring is underway through www.readysc.org.
June 29, 2017
Customer care center
T-Mobile U.S. will relocate its existing customer care center and 800 employees from Charleston (Daniel Island) to a larger facility in North Charleston (Charleston County) and add 400 new jobs. The new facility is expected to be operational Q1 2018, and hiring will begin November 2017. T-Mobile customer care centers, like the one in Charleston County, help address customer concerns while delivering world-class service to its 72.6 million customers nationwide through its T-Mobile and MetroPCS flagship brands.
Agru America Charleston LLC
June 29, 2017
Manufacture polyethylene piping for high-volume flow applications such as power plants, sewage systems, mining, etc.
The Charleston plant's waterfront location at the end of Greenleaf Road allows the lightweight pipes it manufactures to be loaded directly into the river for towing by ocean-going vessels. The company also exports through the Port of Charleston and transports its products by truck and rail. The local firm is part of Alois Gruber GmbH, an Austrian family-owned business with production facilities in Austria, the United States, Germany, China and India, and distribution to over 80 countries.
James Hardie Building Products, Inc.
June 15, 2017
Exterior fiber cement siding and backer board for internal applications
James Hardie Building Products, Inc., a leading building materials company, is resuming operations at its idled manufacturing facility in Summerville of Dorchester County at 152 Belgium Way. Headquartered in Ireland and an industry-leading manufacturer in North America since the 1990s, the company has more than 3,250 employees and generated revenue exceeding $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2017. CEO Louis Gries said that revitalizing the Summerville plant will be an important part in the firm's effort to increase manufacturing capacity across their entire corporate network.
June 14, 2017
Specialized financial asset servicing; new corporate headquarters
Established in 1997, MTAG provides services to institutional investors and municipalities who need servicing for their niche financial assets. Managing hundreds of thousands of assets nationwide, MTAG’s team is comprised of highly-skilled professionals with comprehensive experience in the complex, specialized, financial asset servicing industry. This expansion will allow MTAG to increase its local headcount to 80+.
Protego (USA), Inc.
June 14, 2017
Sales and assembly operation for manufacturer of tank and flammable vapor processing safety equipment
Protego, a global manufacturer of tank and flammable vapor processing safety equipment, is expanding its South Carolina presence by establishing a new facility in North Charleston, S.C. “We are excited to bring our expansion to the Landmark Business Park on Palmetto Commerce Parkway. Accessibility to the Port and local suppliers is a key element for our future growth in the North American market,” says Protego (USA) President, Chris Mason. Protego manufactures a variety of explosion protection and tank safety equipment, such as flame and detonation arresters, low-pressure tank vents, tank equipment and more. The company’s products are featured in a wide range of applications and utilized in refineries, chemical plants and offshore platforms.
Cantey Tech Consulting
June 1, 2017
IT services for businesses, including consulting, hosting services, help desk support, server management and data security
North Charleston-based tech company, Cantey Tech Consulting, has decided to expand its operations into Dorchester County, investing $750,000 in the area and creating 15 new jobs over the next two years. The IT solutions and consulting company, has renovated a 6,200-square-foot building at 107 W. Fifth North St., just outside of downtown Summerville. Cantey Tech received the facility as part of its mid-March acquisition of the IT support company Maybank Systems.
Fitness First USA
June 1, 2017
Health and Wellness Center/Retail & E-commerce distribution
Fitness First USA, a division of parent company, A&Z Pharmaceutical, Inc., is a 20-year old brand originally established in Portsmouth, NH. A&Z Pharma will be relocating the business into Charleston County and expanding its operation with a flagship health and wellness retail and e-commerce distribution facility in Mount Pleasant at 547 Long Point Road, Suite 102.
Booz Allen Hamilton
May 15, 2017
Technology consulting, analytics, mission operations, systems delivery and more.
Booz Allen Hamilton is expanding its Berkeley County operations and investing $10 million to create more than 90 new jobs in addition to the 550 already employed in the Charleston region. This expansion to their new 75,000 sq. ft. facility on Clements Ferry Road--one of the company's five digital hubs corporate-wide--will provide an R&D space that will allow the firm to build, test and refine enterprise software solutions alongside clients. Booz Allen Hamilton has a global footprint and employs more than 22,000 workers in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East/North Africa.
May 3, 2017
Manufactures pharmaceutical ingredients and provides related services such as development, analytical testing, and packaging and labeling
Wilmington, N.C.-based Alcami, a CDMO and cGMP manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, plans to invest at least $5 million to expand its existing Charleston County operations. The company's North Charleston facility develops, manufactures, packages and distributes sterile solutions and drugs, and has doubled its filling and freeze-drying capacity at the facility at 4221 Faber Place Drive. This expansion will add 30 new jobs, for which hiring is underway (http://www.alcaminow.com/).
Mid-States Packaging, Inc.
April 26, 2017
Warehousing, distribution of plastic resin pellets
Massachusetts-based Mid-States Packaging, Inc., plans to invest $5.2 million in a new operation in North Charleston, bringing 30 new jobs in warehousing and distribution to the region at its new site at 4500 Goer Drive in North Charleston.
April 20, 2017
Clinical research organization (CRO) that specializes in conducting and managing clinical trials
Founded in 1984, NCGS is a privately-held, international, full-service CRO which specializes in conducting and managing clinical trials. Focusing on complex areas of clinical development, such as oncology, infectious diseases and critical care, NCGS has worked on the approval or expanded approval of 34 drug, biologic and diagnostic products. The company is constructing a new corporate headquarters, which will bring $10 million of new capital investment and create 80 new jobs. Hiring will begin immediately.
April 13, 2017
Designer and manufacturer of luxury boats
Helping to keep Dorchester County as the "Boat-building Capital of South Carolina," Scout Boats has announced an expansion, including an additional 120,000 square feet. The company is adding multiple new boat models to their product catalog, bringing $10.9 million of capital investment and creating 370 new jobs. Founded in 1989, Scout Boats designs and manufactures center console, dual console and bay boat models ranging from 17 to 53 feet in length and sells them in more than 70 dealers across the globe.
Wagner Systems Inc.
April 11, 2017
Application center for global manufacturer of systems for the surface finishing of liquid paints, powder coating and adhesives
With more than 70 years of experience in coatings applications, Wagner features a full range of fluid delivery, mixing and application products for use in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, infrastructure, domestic appliances, furniture and more. The company's new Charleston County application center is expected to be operational by the latter part of summer 2017. This new operation will augment Wagner's existing facilities in Chicago and Denver, and add to the firm's workforce of more than 1,500 people globally.
Shimano American Corp.
April 7, 2017
Distribution center for sporting goods products
This expansion is the latest in a series of expansions since the company opened their Charleston area operation in 2003 with 25,000 square feet of warehouse space. Now the firm has more than 200,000 square feet of warehouse and office space, and this expansion adds a customer experience center for the fishing division. Shimano has more than 11,000 employees at 53 subsidiaries worldwide.
April 5, 2017
Cyber security products and services
Announcing growth that will add 45 new jobs by 2020, PhishLabs will be moving its corporate headquarters operations into a new, 25,000-square-foot facility at the Pacific Box and Crate development, located on upper King Street in downtown Charleston. A leading provider of cybersecurity services, the firm's new headquarters provides a "great environment where team members can work together, grow their talents and make the world a safer, better place," said PhishLabs Founder & CEO John LaCour.
February 27, 2017
Marine towing and related services
Carver Cos., which has manufacturing and construction units in New York and now South Carolina, plans to expand its maritime operations in Charleston County and add nearly two dozen jobs. The firm has started renovations at its existing location at 1210 Truxtun Ave. on the former Navy Base in North Charleston and expects to spend $13 million on the expansion.
Dover Hydraulics South
February 27, 2017
Repair and reconditioning of hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders; machine shop
Dover Hydraulics is expanding its southeastern hydraulic service location in St. George, S.C., adding space, increasing capacity and installing new equipment to serve its growing customer base. While the facility will double in square footage under roof (operational by April 2017), it also will be outfitted with an additional crane to facilitate material handling, a new hydraulic test bench and enhancements to machining, milling and honing operations. Company officials stated that the expansion was a "direct response to the new opportunities in the tire, auto, steel, aluminum, offshore oil and gas, and other industries reliant on stationary and mobile hydraulic machinery."
Sundaram-Clayton Limited (SCL)
February 9, 2017
Aluminum high-pressure die-cast products and permanent mold gravity cast parts for automotive OEMs
SCL, a leading Indian-based manufacturer of aluminum cast products for global automotive OEMs, has chosen Dorchester County in the Charleston SC Metro Area for its first U.S. plant. Company officials report they chose the Ridgeville Industrial Campus site for "certain strategic business advantages, including proximity to a high-quality port; a well-rounded transportation network; a young, well-educated, diverse workforce; and an excellent business environment." Their $50 million capital investment is expected to create 130 new jobs in the region, as site construction begins by April 2017 and full plant operations start by late 2018.
KION North America Corp.
February 6, 2017
Assembly of forklifts and pallet jacks; material handling equipment parts distribution; North American headquarters
KION North America announces that it will invest $5.7 million to expand its Dorchester County operations to meet increased demand from customers in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.-- including Volvo Car Corp., whose first U.S. auto assembly plant is under construction in nearby Berkeley County. KION is expected to add another 50 jobs to its local base over the next five years, quadrupling production capacity at its Summerville plant to 12,000 vehicles a year by 2020.
Auto Truck Group
January 5, 2017
Upfitter of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans
Auto Truck Group of Bartlett, Illinois, is the first of several vehicle upfitters and suppliers that will support Mercedes-Benz Vans as its $500 million plant expansion is complete in the Charleston region. Formed in 1918, ATG also has upfitting agreements with Chrysler, General Motors, Ford and Toyota. It will invest $1 million in its Summerville facility to support the new Sprinter vans plant.