Spartanburg moving forward in plans for Michelin distribution center

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Michelin North America could soon tread new territory in Spartanburg County.

The Greenville-based tire manufacturer and its development partner Panattoni Development Co. of California plan to build a $332 million multiunit distribution center.

Spartanburg County Council on Monday approved the second of three readings of an incentives agreement for the project previously codenamed “Project Magellan.”

County documents showed the project will create at least 350 jobs and will be located on a 460-acre site on the eastern side of Highway 101 between Brockman Road and Highway 417.

“We are always looking at and constantly evaluating new growth opportunities,” said Michelin spokesman Tony Fouladpour. “I am not able to provide specifics on any announcements at this time.”

Sources familiar with the project said the center could be similar to Michelin’s 1.7 million-square-foot Midwest distribution center at the RidgePort Logistics Center in Wilmington, Ill.

The Spartanburg distribution center could include up to five separate buildings each totaling 300,000 square feet, sources said.

County documents said the center would be used for the “distribution of tires and related activities.”

During Monday’s meeting, Council passed the first reading of incentives for Tokyo Gas Engineering Solutions (TGES) America, which plans to invest more than $68 million to build a gas turbine cogeneration system for Toray’s $1.4 billion plant under construction off Highway 290. That project will create four new jobs.

Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt said Michelin’s investment combined with TGES’s project and others announced since January have the potential to push capital investment in the county to $450 million since the start of the year.

Local officials and commercial developers have expressed optimism about the potential of the Highway 101 corridor between Woodruff and Greer to attract a wide range of economic development opportunities.

Council also moved forward a plan to extend sewer services along the Highway 101 corridor.

“It takes a team effort to make this possible,” Britt said. “Everyone working together is what makes the successes go forward.”

Canadian pharmaceuticals giant Valeant, the parent company of Bausch & Lomb, has filed site plans with the county for a 432,000-square-foot distribution facility on more 219 acres opposite Michelin’s proposed site at the intersection of highways 101 and 417.

Doris Smith, principal of Doris Smith Realty, said she began selling property that was part of her brother’s former peach orchard near the intersection in the late 1980s.

Smith has a few large tracts listed in the area, including the property Michelin is eyeing for the distribution center.

“I said at the time that it would be one of the fastest-growing areas of the county if the utilities could be extended that way, and that was back before the road was widened,” Smith said. “I grew up near BMW, and I have seen many changes over the years. I see tremendous potential in that area.”

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