Since Boeing started rolling out 787 Dreamliners at its North Charleston campus early last year, the company flew them to Fort Worth, Texas, to be painted in customers' colors before flying them back to the Lowcountry for delivery.
That will change in 2016.
Boeing plans to construct a 230,000-square-foot facility in mid-2014 at its existing factory to paint completed Dreamliners.
It will generate less than 50 jobs when finished in 2016, but the number could change depending on how much automation is included, Boeing South Carolina spokeswoman Candy Eslinger said.
"We can make our delivery process even more efficient by painting airplanes here in South Carolina, creating more value and convenience for our customers," said Jack Jones, vice president and general manager of Boeing SC.
The new paint facility will rise on about 20 acres near where South Carolina Research Authority now stands on International Boulevard. SCRA is moving to Summerville, and Boeing plans to dismantle two of the buildings in 2015.
The long-anticipated paint structure was announced Friday when Boeing said it will acquire 468 acres near Charleston International Airport for future expansion.
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.