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Santee development project not forgotten; S.C. Gateway park, formerly Jafza, will soon see construction
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Santee development project not forgotten; S.C. Gateway park, formerly Jafza, will soon see construction

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It’s been 12 years since Dubai World, parent company of Jafza International, said it was considering Orangeburg County for a $600-700 million logistics, manufacturing and distribution center.

While the company purchased land in the Santee area, the project never materialized as planned following the global economic recession which started in December 2007.

But county officials say there is movement once again at the 1,322-acre “South Carolina Gateway Industrial Park,” formerly JAFZA Magna Park.

"They are reengaging the project with various folks working on the engineering side of things," Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson said.

“There is a new marketing schedule and unveiling. We are truly bringing the world to Orangeburg, South Carolina,” he said.

DP World Americas, formerly Jafza USA, a subsidiary of Dubai World, is currently in the design phase of the project. It plans to construct two concrete pads at the site to prepare it for industrial development.

Orangeburg County Engineer John McLauchlin said the two pads will be about 5.5 acres and 2.7 acres in size. They have a targeted construction date in the second quarter of 2020.

The 5.5-acre pad will sit on a 24-acre site. The 2.7-acre pad will be built on a 22-acre site.

"As of now, there is a potential for both pad sites to have speculative buildings, built upon DPW approval," McLauchlin said. But the project's details and plans are subject to change and have been revised numerous times.

The Orangeburg County Development Commission is marketing the property heavily on its website.

According to an OCDC flyer, about 806 acres of the site are developable.

Land at the site is valued at $18,000 to $30,000 an acre, according to the OCDC flyer.

The site has power through Tri-County Electric Cooperative, natural gas from Dominion, water from the Lake Marion Regional Water System, sewer service from Orangeburg County/Santee, telecommunications through Verizon and Frontier and fire protection from the Santee Fire Service and Orangeburg County Fire Service.

The site also has access to CSX rail.

The property is also certified by the S.C. Department of Commerce, meaning that substantial wetlands, environmental, geotechnical and archaeological studies have been performed.

McLauchlin said the site has had some interest from manufacturing and warehousing/distribution companies in the automotive, wood products, agribusiness and distribution logistics sectors.

"The OCDC is actively showing the industrial park to prospective companies," he said, noting the county is very much still bullish about the property. "Through the years, the county has financially invested in this property in the way of roadway and water infrastructure and is currently planning and designing for an extension of wastewater infrastructure onto the site,” he said.

The property received a boost in the spring of 2017 with the opening of the new Exit 97 and U.S. 301 Extension interchange from S.C. Highway 6 to Interstate 95.

The stretch of roadway is also known as the U.S. 301/S.C. Highway 6 Connector.

The $45 million dollar project formed the eastern anchor of South Carolina’s Global Logistics Triangle. The Global Logistics Triangle is the name Orangeburg County uses to market the area bordered by I-26, I-95 and U.S. 301.

McLauchlin said the absence of a developed interchange and adequate roadway infrastructure on and off of I-95 and U.S. 301 was the most challenging aspect of attracting business to the site.

"This roadway infrastructure has been completed with the construction of the I-95 and U.S. 6 connector improvements," McLauchlin said. "On-site wastewater service is the second challenge that we are underway with now."

The property is also home to the $1.2 million, 16,000-square-foot Santee Enterprise Center completed in 2011.

The building has housed a number of small industries employing a few dozen at any given time.

Since the construction in 2011, the facility has been leased to an automotive training facility and most recently, a custom pipe fabrication company (Ameripipe Supply). Ameripipe's lease runs through 2021.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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