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Greenwood County Economic Development Director James Bateman addresses County Council on Tuesday before they vote to approve the fee-in-lieu-of-tax incentive agreement for Impresa Building Systems of Greenwood, a modular-home manufacturer.

With a unanimous vote, Greenwood County Council approved a tax incentive agreement bringing a modular home factory to Greenwood, along with 180 jobs and more than $9 million in capital investments.

Impresa Building Systems of Greenwood, a subsidiary of parent company Impresa Modular, is a nationwide modular home builder. The company is slated to bring its factory to 161 Rock Church Road following a vote Tuesday night by county council to approve the incentive agreement.

Impresa will employ builders who will work inside the factory to build modules that make up modular homes, said Greenwood County Economic Development Director James Bateman. The modules are then delivered to the home build site, where they are installed and assembled into existing foundations, electrical and plumbing work.

“This is a new factory, and it’s being launched here for a number of reasons,” said Dan Hobbs, president of Impresa Building Systems Greenwood.

He said geographically, there are no high-end modular home manufacturers in the mid-South. Impresa already provides modular homes for Savannah Lakes Village. While mobile homes are built on steel chassis and remain personal property sitting on top of real estate, Hobbs said modular homes are installed onto a conventional foundation and become real estate once in place.

Building the modules inside a factory instead of on site allows workers to be indoors, but also allows greater control of the build environment, Hobbs said, preventing weather delays. He said he lives in a modular home, in western North Carolina.

The incentive deal the county struck with Impresa offers the company a 20-year fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement, locking the property’s millage at 6% of its assessed value. The county also gave a five-year, 30% special source revenue credit on the building and investments Impresa makes to it, offering the company greater savings than the abatement it would get otherwise, Bateman said.

The new factory will represent about $9.1 million in capital investments, according to a five-year projection, Bateman said.

“We always consider like projects when we’re offering incentives on a new one,” he said. “This is the most jobs created by a project since 2016.”

The 180 new jobs are mostly construction and labor work, building the modules inside the factory itself. Bateman said the location Impresa is moving into is the former Mayville Engineering Co., which had its final sale when closing in 2020.

“We’re filling this building with a job-creating project one year after the closing of MEC,” he said.

The factory’s location lands in Councilwoman Melissa Spencer’s district. She said she’s excited for the jobs the company will bring to Greenwood County, and the opportunities they represent for residents struggling to find work they qualify for. Employment gives people the chance to grow and seize other opportunities, she said.

Council approved the FILOT agreement ordinance alongside an ordinance to include the factory in the Greenwood-Newberry Industrial Park.

Retiree concernsCouncil also heard comment from several retired county officials concerned about revisions to the county’s retiree insurance premium subsidy. Council voted to approve a change where, effective Jan. 1, Medicare-eligible retirees will transition from PEBA health insurance to Medicare, and will be provided a subsidy of up to $250 per month.

Multiple retirees spoke during public comment, decrying the change as a failure to live up to the promise of medical insurance coverage for county retirees. County officials said they’ll provide a vendor fair in October where retirees can explore what insurance options the $250 stipend can afford them.

Council also handled rezoning matters, including a rezoning to allow C&C Metal Recycling to put in a pull-a-part at the company’s Wingert Road lot, allowing the company to pull used auto parts from discarded vehicles for resale.

Contact staff writer Damian Dominguez at 864-634-7548 or follow on Twitter @IJDDOMINGUEZ.