Monday, December 29, 2008

Jafza, other developments are No. 3 story of 2008

By DIONNE GLEATON, T&D Staff Writer Sunday, December 28, 2008

“Going Global, Acting Local, Coming to the Table – Vision 2020” was the theme of Orangeburg County’s economic development summit held in November.

It included the much-anticipated unveiling of the Dubai-based Jafza International’s master plan, which was presented by Steve Eames, executive vice president for operations of Jafza Americas Inc. and Jafza South Carolina LLC.

Jafza, a subsidiary of Dubai World, first announced in September 2007 its intent to invest between $600 million and $700 million in Orangeburg County near Santee.

Plans call for a 1,300-acre logistics, manufacturing and distribution park that could mean about 6,000 direct jobs.

The master plan will include a 20-year market-demand analysis, an environmental-impact study, a traffic impact study, a wetlands study and an endangered-species study.

Jafza said it planned to begin the permitting process by year’s end and to break ground in October 2009. The company hopes to have its first clients open for business in 2010.

Announced in February were plans to create a 1,200-acre business center near Bowman by Charleston-based World Trade City Orangeburg LLC. The business center is anticipated to draw $1 billion in investment and bring 1,000 jobs over a 10- to 15-year period.

World Trade City plans a mixed-use logistics center touted as an “International Standard Modern Commercial Industrial City,” which will combine office and exhibition space with warehousing and distribution facilities.

WTCO Chief Executive Officer Jimmie Gianoukos said that the project is still very viable and is being advertised around the world, but the souring economy has impacted development.

“We’re not quite ready to start on it yet, but we’re still bullish on it. We feel very confident that at some point and time we will come out of the ground with it.

“Everybody likes the idea, it’s just a matter of it being the right time. Hopefully, with a little bit of luck, we’ll be able to get something up this summer or fall of this coming year,” Gianoukos said.

“I think everybody’s holding everything close to the vest right now. It’s definitely alive and being worked on. We feel very much like it’s just a matter of time before we’re going to launch it.”

T&D Staff Writer Dionne Gleaton can be reached at dgleaton@times and 803-533-5534. Comment on this and other stories at

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