FLORENCE, S.C. – A new bottling plant is coming to Florence.
Niagara Bottling, a family-owned bottling company that produces Niagara bottled water, plans to establish a manufacturing facility in the county that will result in an investment of more than $70 million and the creation of 70 new full-time jobs.
The plant will be at Pee Dee Touchstone Energy Commerce City in Florence near the intersection of Interstate 95 and S.C. 327, where Niagara Bottling is constructing a 502,320-square-foot facility. The plant is expected to be operating in the first quarter of 2021.
The plant will be on 50 acres behind the spec building previously owned by Florence County.
The Florence County Council approved an amended version of Ordinance No. 16-2019/20 on third and final reading Thursday morning. The amendment changes the name from Project 4000-3, the name given to the project in the ordinance, to Niagara Bottling LLC and Slow and Low Property LLC.
Council Chairman Willard Dorriety said he was proud to see the project coming to Florence.
“Florence County is proud to announce Project 4000-3 – Niagara Bottling LLC and Slow and Low Property LLC,” Dorriety said in a prepared statement. “Creating job opportunities for the citizens of our county is an accomplishment that we can all feel a sense of pride about. This success is the result of collaboration among several organizations in our area that work together for the good of the entire county.”
He also thanked Florence County Economic Development Partnership executive director Joe King and his staff for their efforts in securing the investment in Florence County. Dorriety added that he looked forward to more economic development successes in the future.
“Niagara Bottling is very excited to establish our newest manufacturing facility in Florence, South Carolina,” Niagara Bottling Executive Vice President Brian Hess said in an announcement. “We chose Florence as our new home for a number of reasons including what we felt was a highly competitive and attractive combination of location, infrastructure and workforce. We look forward to becoming an integral member of the community and maintaining our leadership in the areas of manufacturing, innovation, supply chain and overall environmental stewardship.”
Gov. Henry McMaster said that when a company like Niagara decides to invest in the state it signals that the state is open for business. He also called the announcement a real reason to celebrate.
“South Carolina’s business-friendly environment quenches the thirst of companies looking for a place to call home,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said. “Congratulations to Niagara Bottling on their new operations in Florence County, and I look forward to this company succeeding and growing in the years to come.”
State Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. said the site would be a great fit for the company to achieve its goal of serving more markets on the East Coast.
“Florence County has become a hub for food, beverage and distribution industries thanks to its water and utility infrastructure,” Leatherman said. “Niagara Bottling will surely have a positive impact on Florence County, as well as the state of South Carolina as a whole.”
The company is a welcome addition to Florence’s business community, said Florence County Economic Development Partnership Chairman Joe W. “Rocky” Pearce.
“Beyond its manufacturing capabilities, packaging innovations and high-quality products, Niagara Bottling also prioritizes sustainability, philanthropy and community engagement,” he said. “We at Florence County Economic Development Partnership are proud of the diligent work and joint effort put forth to recruit such an impactful organization.”
NESA Executive Committee Chairman J. Yancey McGill said NESA was excited to see the momentum of 2019 continue into 2020.
“Niagara Bottling’s announcement in Florence County was the result of a true collaborative effort, and we know they will bring continued success to this region,” McGill added.
“Pee Dee Electric Cooperative is proud to welcome Niagara Bottling to our commerce park. The company will no doubt be an asset to our community and will enhance the business climate in our park and county. We look forward to serving them and are glad they’ve chosen Florence as their home.” –Pee Dee Electric Cooperative President & CEO, Mike S. Fuller
The ordinance describes a three-step formula to determine the company’s tax liability. That formula involves determining the value of the property, using an assessment ratio of 6% and millage rate of 347.1 mills for the length of the agreement.
Florence County also agrees that all qualifying capital expenses of the company during the 30-year agreement will result in infrastructure credits of 90% in the first three years of the agreement, credits of 50% in the fourth through ninth years, and 25% for the remainder of the agreement.
Ordinance No. 17-2019/20 amends a joint county industrial park agreement between Florence County and Marion County to include a Florence County property related to the companies.