Living in Lancaster County SC
Lancaster is the fastest-growing county in South Carolina, and, by the looks of it, this portion of the state isn’t slowing down any time soon. Newcomers and new businesses alike are discovering what current residents and well-established companies in Lancaster County already know: it’s a great place to be.
The beautiful communities of Indian Land, city of Lancaster, towns of Heath Springs and Kershaw, as well as the town of Van Wyck, are welcoming this growth in droves. Families are taking advantage of the school system, vast job opportunities, entertainment options and a robust economy.
“Lancaster County is one of the most sought after locations in the Carolinas and Southeast for corporate headquarters and advanced manufacturing operations,” says Jamie Gilbert, director of the Lancaster County Department of Economic Development (LCDED).
Gilbert says the county announced 38 new and expanding projects representing 8,300 new jobs and $1.1 billion in investment within a four-year span. In fiscal year 2017 alone, LCDED announced new and expanding businesses totaling over 2,842 new jobs and $74.2 million in capital investment. That kind of business development is evident in Indian Land, where big-city amenities and new businesses help drive the area’s economic growth. The area is home to several large corporate headquarters, such as Red Ventures and Movement Mortgage, which are among the largest employers in Lancaster County.
“At its heart and soul, Lancaster County is a world-class manufacturing community, with over 17 percent of our workforce employed in manufacturing,” Gilbert says. “However, the growth of corporate headquarters facilities in the Indian Land area immediately south of Charlotte accounts for 4,600 jobs, and that number will double in the coming years. You would be hard pressed to find another former textile community that has done so well to economically reposition and diversify itself like Lancaster County.”
The booming industries in Indian Land have led the way for more workers to make the area their home, increasing the need for more schools and even more amenities. The Lancaster County School District has announced its plans to use a $199 million school bond to build a new elementary school and high school, which will ease overcrowding in Indian Land.
The Indian Land community is also now home to the RedStone development—a 310,000-square-foot retail space slated to open in early 2018 that will include a 14-screen Stone Theatres multiplex, restaurants, shops and more.
In 2017, voters approved the newest municipality in Lancaster County, the Town of Van Wyck. The designation of a town will preserve the character and charm of this historic community and enable it to continue to be part of the area’s strong economy, lifestyle and culture. This includes the local treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Massey-Doby-Nisbett House, which dates back to the late 1700s.
The city of Lancaster is also experiencing its own form of growth and development, with its downtown revitalization efforts leading the charge. City officials agree with the belief that revitalizing, regrowing and reinventing a city’s center brings the greatest benefit to those who live and work there.
“Urban cores are actually the healthiest, greenest and richest (in cultural and economic terms) places to live, and we are striving to make that statement a reality,” says Steven “Flip” Hutfles, city administrator.
As more and more people migrate to Lancaster, the Lindsay Pettus Greenway is expected to add to their quality of life, pushing the area to become even more environmentally friendly while providing extra recreational opportunities.
“I see, in the near future, that instead of Lancaster trying to be like other cities, they will be trying to be like us,” Hutfles says.
Once completed, the 5-mile trail—part of the Carolina Thread Trail—will connect downtown, neighborhoods, schools and points of interest, as well as accommodate walkers, runners and cyclists.
“The Lindsay Pettus Greenway trail is an investment in making Lancaster a more vibrant, inviting place to live, work and play,” says Sherri Gregory, president of the Lindsay Pettus Greenway. “It will help secure a brighter future for our community and is part of a broader focus on revitalizing our post-textile town, stimulating growth and improving our standard of living. It is about community health in its most comprehensive sense, which includes healthy people, a healthy economy and a healthy environment.”
One of the biggest draws to the city is its thriving cultural scene. The Cultural Arts District is a huge part of Lancaster’s identity and features several attractions that all lie within walking distance, such as visual arts, architecture, history, literature, culinary and dance.
“This [variety] can be seen with a trip to the National Register listed Springs House to view works of arts, and then a short walk to the USC Lancaster Native American Studies Center to view the single largest collection of Catawba Indian pottery in existence, then swinging past art studios and historical buildings, before stopping for a specialty beer at the Craft Stand,” Hutfles says.
Lancaster Performing Arts hosts a major arts series that residents and visitors seek out every year because of its six featured live performances. The series also includes several secondary events for all ages, like the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, Ag+Art Tour Kick-Off and Winter Block Party.
“The 2017-18 Lancaster Performing Arts Series begins its 12th season,” says April Joplin, See Lancaster’s performing arts manager. “Through the years, the performing arts has presented the opportunity for you to experience outstanding entertainment, as well as the opportunity for people outside of Lancaster to visit and ‘See Lancaster.’”
Additionally, Haile’s operating company, OceanaGold, is fully integrated into the community it calls home. It employs over 400 people in the region, spends more than $3 million locally each month and adds more than $70 million in economic impact to the region, predominantly in Lancaster County.
No matter the age, type of work or pursuit of interests, Lancaster County is the ideal spot to have