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$13.4 million BMW warehouse project underway at inland port

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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$13.4 million BMW warehouse project underway at inland port

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The Sept. 1 opening date of the Greer Inland Port is now in jeopardy with Nordic Cold Storage, the only structure remaining on the site, refusing to accept the South Carolina State Ports Authority efforts to end the final 11 years of the 40-year lease.  The impasse has resulted in the SCSPA seeking eminent domain action.

The Sept. 1 opening date of the Greer Inland Port is now in jeopardy with Nordic Cold Storage, the only structure remaining on the site, refusing to accept the South Carolina State Ports Authority efforts to end the final 11 years of the 40-year lease.  The impasse has resulted in the SCSPA seeking eminent domain action.

A $13.4 million, 414,534 square foot BMW Manufacturing Co. warehouse is being constructed at the Greer Inland Port. The size is the equivalent to four Wal-Mart SuperStores.

The warehouse will be used for the Greer-produced BMW vehicles to be prepared as kits for as many as three to a rail container for shipment overseas. The containers will be shipped to the Port of Charleston for export.

A long-term lease is reportedly being negotiated between CenterPoint, the South Carolina State Port Authority inland port’s developer and construction manager, and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, the property owner.

The number of jobs the warehouse will employ is not available. Contact MAU for more information.

The permit allows for the warehouse to be constructed without delay. The concrete slab was being laid for the shell to be constructed. Evans General Contractors is listed as the contractors for the warehouse.

“At this time, BMW has no comment on any permitting at the Inland Port location,” said Sky Foster, Corporate Communications for BMW Manufacturing. Her comment was relayed via email through Foster’s associate.

Rosylin Weston, GSP Vice President Communication, confirmed GSP has a land lease with CenterPoint.

BMW Manufacturing is undergoing a $900 expansion that will allow the production of 350,000 units at its more than 4-million-square-foot facility. The X4, to be introduced next week at the Shanghai Auto Show as a concept car, has been designated as Greer’s next production model. That announcement is imminent.

The Ports Authority board of directors, on Tuesday, authorized spending an additional $12.9 million on the inland port, which is now expected to cost between $43.4 – $47.4 million, including $7.5 million from Norfolk Southern Corp. for rail infrastructure. The port will consist of a 40-acre paved lot and two 2,600-foot tracks that lead to Norfolk Southern's main line and nearly a mile of storage tracks.

Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, said the Greer port had the advantage of starting with a base cargo (BMW). “You have to have a starting and ending point and at the beginning we needed a base cargo. That’s something the Virginia port didn’t have,” Newsome said.

Newsome said the port is being built for existing upstate businesses and their expansions. “If the idea of the port is to serve BMW, that’s not correct,” Newsome said. “We’re working on other manufacturers.”

A check with upstate economic and government officials indicate significant interest at the inland port and upstate manufacturing and industrial facilities.

The SPA port’s declaration of opening Sept. 1 is magnified with BMW’s warehouse becoming an integral part of the port. That date is now in jeopardy with Nordic Cold Storage, the only structure remaining on the site, refusing to accept the South Carolina State Ports Authority efforts to end the final 11 years of the 40-year lease.  The impasse has resulted in the SCSPA seeking eminent domain action.

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