From staff reports
Two new companies are beginning operations in Beaufort Commerce Park and are expected to bring 82 jobs to the area over the next few years.
Norman USA and Critical Role are each leasing half of the 64,000-square-foot spec building located at 74 Schein Loop. The fully leased building was developed by Magnus Development Partners and construction was completed earlier this year. The construction of an additional building on the site is being planned.
“The addition of these two companies to the Beaufort Commerce Park demonstrates that the city’s commitment to improving the park – from adding infrastructure to the construction of the spec building – is paying off,” said Mayor Stephen Murray. “We are determined, over time, to diversify our economy beyond the military and the hospitality industry, so that young people can see a future for themselves and their families.”
Headquartered in La Palma, Calif., Norman USA manufactures and distributes window treatments worldwide. Its site in Beaufort – its first on the East Coast – will be used for distribution of its products. The company is expected to start operations next month and will add 67 jobs over a five-year span and invest an estimated $16.17 million, according to Charlie Stone, senior project manager at the Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC), which has helped to develop Commerce Park in partnership with the City of Beaufort and Beaufort County.
“Norman USA is excited to announce plans to establish an East Coast presence in Beaufort,” said Alex Liu, vice president of operations for Norman USA. “In addition to the excellent support we have received from the state, county and city, our decision was reinforced by the proximity to ports and surrounding resources. We look forward to becoming a part of the Beaufort community as we continue to manufacture and distribute award-winning window coverings.”
Critical Role is a multi-platform video gaming company based in Los Angeles. It will use the facility to distribute merchandise related to its video game company. The company expects to hire 15 people, and is planning to open in October.
Beaufort Commerce Park is a 196-acre site located on U.S. Highway 21 and S.C. Highway 116. The park is located in a Federal Opportunity Zone and eligible for New Market Tax Credits. Surrounding industries include Geismar North America, Flint Group Inc., Harris Pillow Supply, and GlassWRX SC. The property is owned by the City of Beaufort and is priced at $30,000/acre. The fee is negotiable based upon job creation and a company’s level of investment.
Norman USA is hiring. Interested parties can email their resume to NormanCareers@NormanUSA.com.
Critical Role, a multi-platform video gaming company headquartered in Los Angeles, will use the facility to distribute merchandise related to its video game company. It expects to hire 15 people, and is expected to also open in October.
BCECD Executive Director John O’Toole, speaking at the Sept. 13 Beaufort City Council work session, said that Magnus is currently in the engineering phase to build a 72,000-square-foot spec building next to the building finished earlier this year.
In addition to the Norman USA and Critical, two manufacturing companies are expected to bring jobs to the Beaufort area.
Materials Research Group, a glass manufacturer based in New Jersey, is planning to begin operations by November, according to Stone. It has invested $4 million, and expects to create 26 new jobs at its 10,000-square-foot plant. The company specializes in ready-to-press glass powders and various glass components used in aerospace, medical, battery and other markets.
Knight’s Companies, a concrete manufacturer with operations in South Carolina and Georgia, has acquired Lowcountry Concrete, just outside Commerce Park, Stone said, and plans to add 80 positions. Stone said that the company was very complimentary of the City’s responsiveness as it determined whether to expand here.
The Beaufort Commerce Park is a 199.5 acre industrial park located in the City of Beaufort. The property is owned by the City of Beaufort and is priced at $30,000/acre, negotiable based upon job creation and investment.