Firefly to buzz nation (copy)

Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was a big hit for the local distillery that makes it. File/Grace Beahm/Staff

The maker of Sweet Tea Vodka and other potent potables will invest more than $7.3 million and create 20 jobs under a plan to build a new distillery in North Charleston.

Firefly Distillery LLC said it will be relocating its production site to 1210 Valdosta St. by the fall of 2019. The move will give the craft-beverage maker higher distillation capabilities and expanded retail opportunities.

"We will offer new expanded tours, tastings and consumer events at our new 16-acre Creekside venue,” said Scott Newitt, president. 

Founded on Wadmalaw Island, Firefly's line of bottled spirits are sold nationwide.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said the company's new distillery will be located on a former public works transfer site. He predicted it will become a destination. 

"Soon to be a major attraction for residents and tourists alike, Firefly has become part of the revitalization story of Park Circle and the Spruill Avenue corridor," Summey said in a written statement.

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The city sold the property to an affiliate of the company for about $875,000 in July, according to county land records.

The Post and Courier first reported on Firefly's North Charleston expansion in November, but the location had not been disclosed publicly.

According to plans submitted to Charleston County earlier this year, the distiller's new home will include a tasting room, restaurant and event venue. The new jobs would pay an average annual salary of $37,265.

The county approved an agreement in June that allows the Firefly to pay a fixed fee rather than property taxes.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott