CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A potential employer has backed out of a deal with Cherokee County, that deal would have brought hundreds of jobs to the Upstate.
County leaders 7NEWS spoke with are still hopeful about the employment outlook.
Carvana recently canceled plans to build a $38 million facility at the Sunny Slope Industrial Park in Cherokee County.
This project would have brought around 500 jobs, but officials said people shouldn’t worry because there are plenty of job opportunities.
The plot at Sunny Slope Industrial Park is ready for use.
Ken Moon, with Cherokee County, said Carvana had been eyeing this spot for two years. In January, he said they completed paperwork for a fee in lieu of tax.
“They were just trying to get their paperwork out of the way and set up, so if they decided to buy the property they were looking at, they wouldn’t have anything else to do,” said Moon.
Recently, he said they backed out of the deal.
“They are taking a step back right now, they recently bought a car auction house, and it was a fairly large purchase, from what we understand, they’ve canceled all of their projects across the United States right now,” he said.
Moon said the facility would have been used for internet sales and to repair and repaint vehicles, with 7,500 cars on the lot at any time. Moon said it is a loss for the county.
“People get their hopes up, and stuff, and we do too,” explained Moon. “But sometimes things happen, but there’s always another industry waiting in the wings and we’re working on.”
Land is in high demand in Cherokee County and Moon said those looking for employment shouldn’t worry.
“Those 500 individuals that would have gotten jobs there, I’m sure that we have a lot of other industry that would be interested in talking with them,” he said.
Because there are plenty of opportunities.
“You have Dollar Tree Distribution, that’s a 1.5 million square foot facility. We have about 70 industries and everybody’s looking for people. Good, hardworking people,” said Moon.
Moon said he thinks the location will be put to good use soon.
“As for that location, I’m sure another company will come in and get it because land’s becoming a premium these days with the boom that we’re having here in Cherokee County,” he said.
Moon said if Carvana decides they want to open a facility in the county, they will accept them with open arms.
He said some other businesses hiring in the area include Timken, Nestle, and Freightliner.
7NEWS did reach out to Carvana for a statement, but haven’t heard back.