High-tech Industrial Park Rising Near BMW


High-tech industrial park rising near BMW
By Trevor Anderson

Published: Friday, March 7, 2008

If BMW Manufacturing Co. wasn’t enough, the Highway 101 corridor off I-85 at Exit 60 will soon receive another booster shot of investment dollars and commerce.

Liberty Property Trust, an international real estate investment company based in Philadelphia, is building the $55 million high-tech industrial park Caliber Ridge on what was once a 50-acre hay field, across the street from the German luxury automaker.

“The logic was to take advantage of the growth happening between Greenville and Spartanburg,” said F. Bogue Wallin, vice president of Liberty’s Carolinas Region, which stretches along I-85 from Raleigh, N.C., to Greenville. “The second thing was that BMW was here. And the third is to take advantage of the trend for international companies who already have facilities in another place and don’t want to construct a new building, to come in and set up shop.”

The five-building multi-tenant complex will contain almost 800,000 square feet of industrial space.

Wallin said the buildings would be perfect for housing the warehouse, manufacturing or distribution operations of any company.

Thursday, Liberty held a meeting at the park’s first 127,000-square-foot building to celebrate its completion. Construction on the park’s three 157,000-square-foot buildings and a 150,000-square-foot building is expected to begin soon.

Wallin said the company was not prepared to announce any leases signed, but interest from prospective tenants was “very encouraging.”

Caliber Park’s neighbor, BMW Manufacturing Co., is going to announce its plans Monday morning for additional investment at the plant. The expansion is part of BMW’s plan to ramp up production from 160,000 vehicles to 240,000 vehicles a year by 2012.

Community leaders hope BMW’s suppliers will be licking their chops for a chance to locate at the company’s doorstep.

“This is an extremely good park,” said Carter Smith, executive director of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Futures Group, a committee formed earlier this year to facilitate economic growth in Spartanburg County. “We’ve needed a quality product down the Highway 101 corridor for some time. It will give companies room to grow and flexibility.”

Greer Mayor Rick Danner said Caliber Ridge is a part of the city of Greer’s “long-term plans.”

“It’s been on the radar screen for a number of years,” Danner said. “It has access to an airport (Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport) and is less than a mile from I-85. That would be attractive for any company, and we’re hoping it will be a big success.”

Caliber Park utilities will be provided by the Greer Commission of Public Works, SJWD Water District and Duke Power.

“We’re proud of this site and what it’s going to mean for the area for a long time,” said Jerry Balding, general manager of the Greer CPW. “We’re hoping it will bring in other investors and companies.”

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