Camp Hall, Next-Generation Commerce Park, Works for Industry

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Camp Hall offers manufacturers, logistics companies and other industries much more than just a modern campus. The Charleston-area commerce park will recruit top-notch employees for those industries by offering unique onsite amenities such as a health center, day care, park-wide WiFi, shopping and dining, all tucked into an ecologically significant footprint with fitness trails and open space for community events.

Santee Cooper is developing Camp Hall as a next-generation commerce park where employees will want to work, which helps industries compete for well-qualified employees. Federal, state and local officials who gathered today for its groundbreaking spoke about its first-of-a-kind approach. Camp Hall is already home to Volvo Car USA’s first U.S. automobile manufacturing plant, a $1 billion investment that will ultimately employ 4,000 people.

Camp Hall is a 6,800-acre commerce park that could ultimately be home to more than 10,000 jobs. Beyond the Volvo facilities, Camp Hall has 1,300 developable acres and 1,950 acres of preserved land, and Santee Cooper is restoring 365 acres of wetlands, including reestablishing the headwaters of Timothy Creek. Walking and biking trails will provide employee and community access across the preserved acreage.

A planned Village Center will be home to amenities that make the work-life balance easier, as well as dining and open space convenient to employees and nearby residents.

“When we began mapping out Camp Hall, we did our research. We asked industrial workers what they wanted most in a workplace,” said Stephen H. Mudge, a member of Santee Cooper’s Board of Directors and chair of its Property Committee. “They want onsite wellness and health centers, walking trails, and places to eat and shop. By planning around a Village Center with those conveniences, we are building a commerce park unlike any other I’ve seen.”

Jim Brogdon, Santee Cooper Interim President and CEO, said, “Camp Hall reflects the vision and hard work of many people and organizations beyond Santee Cooper. Berkeley County, Berkeley and Edisto electric cooperatives, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Power Team are instrumental to this project’s success. Additionally, our work with Palmetto Railways, readySC, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the South Carolina Ports Authority, the state’s environmental advocacy community and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance will ensure Camp Hall’s bright future and decades of opportunity for this part of the state.”

In a videotaped message, U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn called the groundbreaking a “momentous occasion” that highlights the toughness the state has shown in the decades since the Charleston Naval Base closed. Because of that determination, “we look toward the future with as much hope and aspiration as any of us have had in decades,” Clyburn said. “Thank you so much for your tremendous commitment to the people of South Carolina.”

Robert M. Hitt III, South Carolina Commerce Secretary, said, “The creation of a next-generation commerce park is further proof of the level of commitment, creativity and foresight Team South Carolina has in setting the table for economic development success. This team knows the importance of creating sites that will ensure South Carolina remains competitive in the years to come.”

“Camp Hall is an exciting project that will make a major difference in the prosperity of rural Berkeley, Dorchester and Orangeburg counties,” said S.C. Sen. John W. Matthews Jr., whose Senate district includes Camp Hall.  “It offers interstate access, rail and other infrastructure critical to industry, and the natural setting and conveniences will make people want to work here. Camp Hall has the potential to transform this area in all the right ways.” 

Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler said, “Breaking ground on this new commerce park is an exciting step for Berkeley County. This will help continue the County’s mission to recruit quality industries and businesses, and it will also preserve and enhance the quality of life for future generations by providing job opportunities. Additionally, it will help alleviate traffic around the Tri-County region, both in reversing the flow of traffic and by limiting congestion on secondary roads.”

A survey of 257 MAU Workforce Solutions associates working or seeking employment in manufacturing, logistics, distribution or another business in a commerce park, conducted by Permar Inc./Hargett Consulting LLC, found:

  • More than three-fourths of respondents likely would use onsite amenities such as a gas station, restaurants, grocery store, convenience store, bank, drug store and fitness center

  • Four out of five respondents likely would use onsite parks, walking/jogging trails and picnic areas