Looking to expand
Millard Refrigerated ServicesBusiness: Frozen food storageInvestment: $42.2 millionJobs: 87“Project Easy” Business: Aerospace manufacturingInvestment: $22 millionJobs: 22 within six years; firm now has 155 workersSKF USA Inc.Business: Ball bearingsInvestment: $3 millionJobs: 11; possibly up to 25 moreCharleston County
Charleston County is offering financial incentives to three companies that are looking to create as many as 145 jobs within its borders.
One of the firms is an aerospace manufacturer that has not been identified publicly by name. “Project Easy” is proposing to build a $22 million “center of excellence,” according to a county document.
The others are Swedish-owned ball-bearing maker SKF USA, which is looking to spend $3 million to expand its existing local business, and Millard Refrigerated Services, which recently announced plans to build a $42 million frozen-food storage warehouse in North Charleston.
All are seeking to replace their property taxes with pre-negotiated fees. Project Easy and Millard also are being offered credits of up to $75,000 and $500,000, respectively, to offset the costs of roadwork, utility upgrades and other improvements.
Project Easy already has 155 employees in the area, the county said. Its center of excellence would hire 22 more within six years if the expansion is approved.
SKF USA said it could not make company officials available to comment on the proposed expansion this week. The county said the company is planning to build a “super precision ball bearing” production facility that will add at least 11 jobs and perhaps as many as 36.
The location was not disclosed.
SKF’s existing ball bearing plant in on Investment Drive in North Charleston’s Pepperdam Industrial Park. The manufacturer opened that business in 2006 to serve the aviation industry and other customers.
Millard is an Omaha, Neb.-based company that operates frozen-food warehouses around the country.
It said last year that it was drawn to the region partly by the Port of Charleston and a growing appetite overseas for U.S. poultry and other meats.
Its cold-storage distribution center is proposed for a site at 7748 Palmetto Commerce Parkway, off Ashley Phosphate Road.
Millard will use the warehouse to freeze and store poultry, pork and beef products that will be shipped overseas.
That project already been approved for a $3.75 million grant for site improvements from the Coordinating Council for Economic Development, an arm of the S.C. Commerce Department.
Founded in 1963, Millard describes itself as the second-largest refrigerated warehouse company in the nation.
Its North Charleston site is served by a rail line, and the building will go up in stages based on demand, the company has said. At capacity, the refrigerated structure will be able to house about 25,000 pallets of frozen-food products.