COLUMBIA -- Lexington County officials are ready to approve a deal today paving the way for what business leaders say will be a retail distribution center for Amazon.com, bringing at least 1,000 jobs to the area.
County Council members are set to OK a package of incentives for what is described as a million-square-foot center in an industrial park off Interstate-77, south of Cayce.
Business leaders predict the center, which could open as soon as next fall, will have a $100 million impact initially in construction and payroll.
It would be among the largest developments to come to the area in recent years.
The project promises to be a "major shot in the arm" for the Midlands, council chairman Jim Kinard said.
County Council members declined Monday to identify the company prior to approval of the incentives.
But business leaders think the company is online retailing giant Amazon.com.
"I've heard the same name you've heard," said Lexington Mayor Randy Halfacre, president of the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce.
Efforts to reach Amazon.com officials Monday were not successful.
The incentives include a fee-in-lieu of taxes deal whose value will be revealed later and 90 acres that county officials value at slightly more than $5 million.
Kinard described the incentives from the county as standard for a project of this size. Others will come from state commerce officials, who also have worked to lure the project. Those details were not available Monday.
The center will be built by a commercial developer and then leased to the company, some officials said.
The industrial park of more than 400 acres was developed to attract distribution centers, manufacturers and similar industry. The area is near Scana Corp.'s new headquarters.
The new center would be the second occupant of the park, created three years ago.
More could follow soon, Kinard said.
"This is one of several (firms) we're talking with," he said. "We hope this becomes a magnet."
Ike McLeese, president of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, said the new development will be a big boost in an economy struggling with persistent high unemployment.
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