The ceremonial groundbreaking was conducted with Minghua, BMW, Greer, Spartanburg County and state officials Tuesday.
Allen Cullum, right, who is developing Velocity Park, made a point to visit with Scott Keeley (Deputy Fire Chief Administration), Ruthie Helms (City Building Official) and Carl Howell (Deputy Fire Marshal) who attended the historic groundbreaking.
David Britt, Spartanburg County Council, Carter Smith, Spartanburg Economic Futures Group, Greg Hall, Century 3, and Greer Mayor Rick Danner have helped sell foreign industries to Greer.
Robert Cao, Jiangnan Mold Plastic Technology Corp. General Manager, paints eyes on a dragon during the groundbreaking ceremony.
Watching a traditional Chinese groundbreaking ceremony for a major manufacturing auto parts supplier in Greer was unique.
In a former peach orchard, now part of Velocity Park, an industrial development cultivated by Greer native Allen Cullum and associates, were top executives of Minghua celebrating with Greer and Spartanburg County officials.
Jiangnan Mold Plastic Technology Corp. is investing $45 million and creating 150 jobs in the next five years at the 260,000-square-foot-facility on Robinson Road.
The groundbreaking, with Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt wearing white gloves, the unveiling of a stone etched with Minghua’s day of celebration on Greer soil, the planting of a tree, a traditional dragon dance and a final champagne toast offered to all attending, culminated a series of speeches gracefully applauding the new partnership.
The historic China investment in Greer represents a new stage of international relationships brought together by a triumvirate of countries.
Cullum detailed the high profile relationship, like virtually all other international business associates and dignitaries. And then, unsolicited, Cullum gave a dialogue why Greer is portrayed as a valuable asset in South Carolina’s business success.
“I can’t say enough about the city of Greer,” Cullum said. “Not from only about the Mayor and City Administrator (Ed Driggers) from the top down, but from the bottom up, from the people who show up every day to do the work.“Glenn Pace (Planning and Zoning Coordinator), Ruthie Helms (City Building Official), Steve Grant (Building and Development Standards), Scott Keeley (Deputy Fire Chief Administration) and Carl Howell (Deputy Fire Marshal), the people who review the plans that work in the zoning ordinances and the annexation into Greer. I can’t say enough about them and about Greer CPW’s Jeff Tuttle (General Manager) Mark Harvey (Energy and Planning Commission) and Duke Energy,” Cullum said. Those people have been absolutely responsive and very excited to begin their part in the development here in Velocity Park, also”
Cullum said, “We are in an odd place here that Minghua has a benefit that they have the opportunity to choose between Duke Energy and Greer CPW for its electricity. CPW will have all the other services.”
Cullum’s comments were directed at the heart of Greer’s city and CPW employees who performed the necessary details for the decision makers.
Minghua is atypical of Greer’s understated expertise and efficiency.
South Carolina Port (SCP) officials threw deadline after deadline at the city and CPW publicly setting up Greer for a delay during the construction of the Inland Port. To the credit of Greer and CPW they exceeded every excruciating deadline.
In fact, it was the SCP that failed to meet its mandated opening on Labor Day in 2013, handling its first truck move at the port more than six weeks later.
Greer city and CPW employees can celebrate April 5, 2016, etched in stone in front of Minghua, as the first China automobile parts manufacturer in South Carolina.
"There is a lot more coming," Cullum said. "This is just the start."