Lexington County officials hope will jump start economy

CAYCE (WACH) -- Within two to three weeks, crews will break ground on a new distribution center in Lexington County. will hire 1,200 plus full-time employees and if all goes as planned, the online retailer will attract other companies to the Midlands.

We think we were an obvious choice, and obviously we were, since they have come to our county, but its all about location, location, location, says Lexington County Councilman Bill Banning.

Amazon will build its distribution center on 90 acres of land at the Saxe Gotha Industrial Park near Cayce.

A few miles north of the site, Cayce business owner Mike Hughes works on the engine of a car. He is like many other business owners and doesn't yet know the full effects of Amazon's move to Lexington County.

It TMs a good thing and hopefully it will increase everybody's business around here, says Hughes of Performance Imports. It will put us on the map.

According to Manoj Maholtra, a professor of Management Science at USC, the distribution center will likely create some buzz in the industry.

It signals to outside entities that the state of South Carolina is interested in economic development, Maholtra says.

He adds that Amazon won't have the same impact as Boeing or BMW, but it can bring vitality to the area.

A spokesperson for Columbia Metropolitan Airport says officials are hopeful that the operation will bring in additional air freight activity.

Companies like UPS could also benefit from the deal, but they won't know until the distribution center is up and running.

Amazon estimates an initial impact of $100 million in payroll and construction costs. The center is set to open next fall.

That will be 1,200 more cars coming to the area, so it should really help us, Hughes says.