The City of Rock Hill provides much of what a developer needs to bring the Knowledge Park to fruition:
The City of Rock Hill
The City of Rock Hill has selected a site and designing the addition of a 50 megawatt electric substation. This new substation will provide essentially an on-site underground electric feed to virtually any investment in the Knowledge Park. The transmission feed into this new substation is from a different section of the grid than the surrounding substations it ties with. This provides a significant advantage in the rare event of an electric failure of the transmission grid to have an alternate source to quickly restore service. The City is also investing millions of dollars in smart grid technologies such as distribution system SCADA devices and Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI) in preparation for optimization of the current electric distribution system and to be able to leverage future opportunities regarding pricing.
Knowledge Park will be served by Comporium Communication’s state-of-the-art fiber optic network. Newly-developed tracts will be served with a cutting-edge backbone network designed for maximum bandwidth speeds and a remarkable level of geographic redundancy. It will be possible for bandwidth-intensive businesses located in the Knowledge Park to have fiber-optic connections to the Internet that are geographically diverse from their buildings on-site all the way to Internet backbone interconnection locations in Northern Virginia and Atlanta.
This planned Terabit network will allow synchronous data speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second, easily meeting the demands of businesses needing to transmit very large data files (e.g. graphics, video, complex designs).
Properties within the Knowledge Park qualify for several tax credit programs at both the federal and state levels. The tax credits can be “stacked”, that is, one or more tax credits can be received on the same property. The tax credits are sold to investors in exchange for cash equity that is invested into the development projects. The available tax credits include:
The City of Rock Hill and economic development partners are designing a targeted incentive program at this time which seeks to meet the needs of knowledge economy employers. This new incentive will be focused on key expense (e.g. workforce) and investment (e.g. information technology) items associated with knowledge economy businesses. Eligibility for this new incentive will be restricted to knowledge economy businesses as a targeted recruiting initiative.
Rock Hill’s largest institutions of higher education provide a great deal of support to the business community in a number of ways. Winthrop University and York Technical College provide services for workforce development, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and information-based businesses. The schools work to support the formation and growth of new businesses as well as prepare talent to work in knowledge-based businesses.
York Technical College has developed the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, a 30,000 sq. ft. supporting the economic and workforce development needs of industry. World-class training is offered using the latest generation of computer numerically controlled machine tools, simulators, and advanced CAM software.
York Technical College also offers the Entrepreneurial Network (EN). The EN was organized by York Technical College in 2007 to assist, inform, and encourage local small business owners, entrepreneurs, and potential entrepreneurs to network, share experiences with others, and engage in valuable educational opportunities.
Winthrop University and York Technical College have partnered together to offer The Hive in the Knowledge Park. The Hive is a workforce development/small business incubation program with an industry focus on internet marketing, communications, and technology.
Winthrop University is home to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC offers free one-on-one counseling sessions to assist current business owners, as well as helping aspiring entrepreneurs develop business plans.
Winthrop has 4,859 undergraduate and 1,054 graduate students. These students are prepared for the business world within five colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Education, University College, and College of Visual and Performing Arts.