BMW Expansion (Again!)
Our local car manufacturer recently announced that they would build the new X4 sports activity vehicle here in South Carolina and add another production line in order to produce 350 cars per day. That means hiring 200 new people in 2012 and up to 700 more by 2014. Last year BMW hit the number one position for luxury brand auto sales in the US, but more importantly, they are the largest automotive exporter to the non-NAFTA counties, sending 70% of their production abroad, especially to China. That kind of exporting business affects the Port of Charleston in a big way, as well as South Carolina jobs related to the manufacturing process. Doug Woodward of USC’s Moore School of Business estimated that 4.3 jobs were created in SC for every job added at the Upstate BMW. That’s an outstanding multiplier when he considers only 2 jobs are created from other industries that expand. BMW has invested more than $5 billion in SC since 1994, has undergone 4 different expansions, and currently employs 7000 at the plant. That will be more like 8000 by 2014.
Visitors Center Downtown
Reedy Square, a proposed tourism center in downtown Greenville looks to be back on track after a flurry of fund raising efforts. This project was conceived in 2007 but has been slowed by economic times. The recent progress has a lot to do with the hiring of Patti McAbee, who just completed a successful mission in getting the downtown Kroc Center funded. The center will be located at 301 River Street, which is along the Reedy River and just upstream from the art studios of River Place. The center will be a central station for tourist with concierge travel services, media room, café, art gallery and interactive map of the Upstate. If things go smoothly, the project could break ground in late 2012 and be complete in 2014. For more Downtown Greenville SC real estate information, click here!
Bike Racing for the Disabled
Greenville has a strong reputation in bicycle racing and it’s getting stronger. The city has been selected for the 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships, where disabled riders compete for the world title. Organizers are expecting about 450 racers, 250 coaches and 600 spectators from around the world, which should have a $4.5 million impact on the local economy. There are various categories for specific disabilities such as loss of limb, blindness, visual impairment, spinal cord injury, brain injury and stroke. The races are scheduled for August 28-September 1 and while the courses have not been identified, the CU-ICAR’s Millennium Campus and central Greenville are two possible choices.
It has been a mild winter for the country, Greenville included. Highs this week will be in the 50s and 60s with lows in the 40s. We have some rain coming in midweek and again for the weekend with a chance of showers. Spring is almost here though; daffodils have been spotted already and there will be more on the way this month!