Public/Private Consortium to Market Turn-key, Business Campus

The South Carolina Department of Commerce, working with local economic development groups including the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), the Upstate SC Alliance and the City of Greenville, and The South Financial Group/Carolina First Bank have created an engaging plan to market, 200,000 square feet of Class A office and campus they developed but no longer plan to fully occupy.

The decision was lauded by many, as this allowed Carolina First to remain in downtown Greenville, S.C. It did, however, leave The South Financial Group and its economic development partners with the significant challenge of marketing the 60 plus acre campus along I-85 in The Point mixed-use development.

“Carolina First has been an anchor for Downtown and been a huge supporter of its revitalization. Keeping them Downtown was critical but we also saw the need to assist them in marketing their campus for a new headquarters company through a creative partnership. It has been great to engage a number of local entrepreneurial companies to help,” said Nancy Whitworth, Economic Development Director for the City of Greenville.

“The Carolina First Campus, as it’s currently known, is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a company to relocate to a world-class campus in Greenville with room for future expansion. The state, county and city have partnered to offer attractive incentives for relocating companies. We’re hopeful that this comprehensive community support will attract a new company to the region and the state,” commented South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor.

Jerry Howard, president and CEO of the GADC said, “The campus is one of probably a dozen in the country that can offer a company stylish new space, amazing visibility and location, state of the art technology along with access to one of the best workforces in the nation. We needed to do something ’out of the box’ to get people’s attention and I think we have accomplished that.”

The Promotional Contributors

Reaching out to the innovative local technology community, www.HQGreenville.com, an interactive Web site that features plans for the building, a virtual building tour, and videos of the campus at build-out was created in addition to videos and links to area attractions along with workforce data, testimonials and demographics.

The site was developed by Greenville-based Mediasation. Founded in 2002 as a full-service Web agency, the company worked to create a special identity for the project along with powerful applications to create an uncommon user experience.

Local designer Katie Searls of King Searls Design developed the HQ Greenville logo and tag line, “more than a City…it’s a lifestyle.” These elements were utilized in Web design as well as collateral materials.

Greenville technology startup, Spinatour, provided a three-dimensional tour of the campus and its buildings. Spinatour developed cutting-edge, exclusive, online tours that allow Web visitors into the campus space, giving them a sense of the flow and the layout; something that static images or slideshows would not do.

In addition, the site showcases videos about the community, including several testimonials from the Upstate SC Alliance’s “I Was Blown Away” campaign as well as several from another local start up, www.GreenvilleHD.com. These HD videos highlight many of the attractions in the community including local restaurants and events.

The Building and the Campus

Designed by Cooper Cary of Atlanta, the current campus features interiors by Greenville’s Pazdan-Smith Group and consists of more than 200,000 square feet of Class A office space along with a stunning 40,000 square foot conference center, all with frontage offering exposure to more than 100,000 cars per day on I-85. Built to the LEED Silver standard (certification pending), the buildings face a man-made lake that also serves as the water retention area. The entire 62-acre campus could hold as much as 1 million square feet of office space when completely built out.

Upstate SC Alliance president and CEO Hal Johnson said, “The Carolina First Campus is a tremendous asset to have in our community. The partnership that the bank created to help market the campus shows that we have consolidated our visions into one voice with a message that incorporates who we are and how our prospects will prosper by locating here. The new HQ Greenville website is a great way to get that message out.”

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