Advantages

The Knowledge Park Advantages

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One-stop Shop

The City of Rock Hill provides much of what a developer needs to bring the Knowledge Park to fruition:

  • Water (competitive rates, local service, new infrastructure)
  • Electricity (competitive rates, local service, new infrastructure)
  • Sewer (competitive rates, local service, new infrastructure)
  • Stormwater Management (local permitting)
  • Ownership of land and buildings
  • Non-responsible party (contracting party) in the Voluntary Cleanup Agreement with DHEC
  • Development approvals (zoning, building/life safety codes, other ordinances)
  • Provider of tax-increment financing
  • Ownership of future streets (design, curb cut approvals, etc.)
  • Provider of (or conduit to) additional economic development incentives
  • Strong interest in a public-private partnership – may invest the real estate into a development project; participate in the accessing of tax credits, and other roles

Providing Advanced Technologies

The City of Rock Hill

participant-cityofrockhillThe 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.

Comporium Communications

participant-comporiumKnowledge 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).

Multiple Tax Credit Programs

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:

  • New Markets Tax Credit Program:  The New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program) was established to spur new or increased investments into operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities.  The NMTC Program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their Federal income tax return in exchange for making qualified equity investments.  The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount and is claimed over a period of seven years.
  • SC Textile Mill Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program:  South Carolina law provides financial incentives for the rehabilitation, renovation, and redevelopment of abandoned textile mill sites.  The law offers two types of credit options:  1. 25% credit against real property taxes, or, 2. 25% state income tax or corporate license fee credit.  Both credits are calculated on rehabilitation expenses, which are expenses or capital expenditures incurred in the rehabilitation, renovation, or redevelopment of the textile mill site.
  • 20% Federal Historic Tax Credit Program:  Owners and some lessees of historic buildings used to produce income may be eligible for a federal income tax credit equal to 20% of their rehabilitation costs.
  • 10% SC Historic Tax Credit Program:  Taxpayers who qualify for the 20% federal income tax credit may also qualify for a state income tax credit of 10% of their rehabilitation costs under the South Carolina Historic Rehabilitation Incentives Act.
  • SC Brownfields Tax Credit:  Financial incentives are available for non-responsible parties who have entered into a Voluntary Cleanup Program, including:
    • State corporate income tax credit for expenses incurred by a taxpayer in cleaning up a site
    • Jobs tax credit in the amount of an additional $1,000 to standard job tax credit
    • Property tax exemption, with county concurrence
    • Fees in lieu of property taxes, with a $1 million threshold minimum

Tax Credit Feasibility Study on Springs Creative Distribution Property

Tax Credit Analysis on Former Bleachery Properties

Knowledge Economy Incentive

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The Old Town Concert Series is held in downtown Rock Hill each year

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.

Winthrop University’s and York Technical College’s Support for the Business Community

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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.