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Greenville Business Magazine

Air cargo company ACL Airshop breaks ground on new factory at growing I-85/I-185 industrial area

Aug 15, 2018 04:53PM ● By Chris Haire

The future Greenville home of ACL Airshop.

State and local leaders gathered today to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the growing Upstate air cargo firm ACL Airshop.

A subsidiary of Greenville-based Ranger Aerospace, ACL Airshop began 35 years ago specializing in the air transport of horses but has since branched out into a broader business focused on a host of unit load device services, including a partnership with New Zealand's Core Transport Technologies that uses Bluetooth tags to allow companies to not only track their cargo but make real-time logistical decisions and pivots. 

Currently, ACL Airshop operates its worldwide headquarters out of Easley, but will move to the new site located near the intersections of I-85 and I-185 near White Horse Road in an area that has seen recent industrial space activity, Park West Commerce Park. Located at 500 Park Commerce Road, ACL Airshop is the next-door neighbor of Softbox Systems' United States and Canadian headquarters. 

Located directly along I-85, the new Park West Commerce Park factory is designed to stand out to drivers passing by Greenville on the heavily trafficked Charlanta corridor.  

"We could have built anywhere," Ranger Aerospace CEO Steve Townes said at the ceremony, before adding that the firm decided to place its HQ on Park Commerce Road, a former frontage road. "We are going to make a statement. We are going to build a landmark,

Townes is also the chairman of S.C. Aerospace, a coalition of public and private groups advocating for the industry.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Steve Narravo, president of the Furman Co., which will lead the development of the ACL Airshop site.

Just a few speakers after Townes took to the podium, Navarro said that he wants drivers coming from Atlanta "to see a great corporate headquarters site."

The Furman Co. also oversaw construction of Softbox Systems.

Softbox Systems makes temperature-control containers and pallets for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries and moved into its Park Commerce location earlier this summer. According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the firm was set to bring an estimated 70 jobs to the area. 

A few years back, the Seattle-based logistics firm Holman Distribution opened spec-warehouse space at 2721 White Horse Road in the immediate vicinity of Sotfbox and the future home of ACL Airshop. Colgate-Palmolive currently leases more than 300,00 square feet of space from Holman as a distribution center for its Greenwood plant, according to WSPA.

CBRE conducted site-selection services for ACL Airshop. 

Trey Pennington, senior vice president at CBRE, expects continued successes at the industrial park. 

“Park West Commerce Park is in a strategic location, adjacent to I-85, and the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facility was very attractive to ACL Airshop," Pennington said in a press release announcing the acquisition of the future home of the 60,000 square-feet factory. "There are two remaining build-to-suit sites for sale at the park, and we’re looking forward to further investments from companies looking to expand in the Upstate area.”

Steve Townes on growth opportunities in the aerospace industry