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By Rudolph Bell, Greenville News
Industrial development is occurring in many places across the Upstate but nowhere more intensely than along the State 290 corridor in western Spartanburg County. The longtime cluster of factories near the intersection with Interstate 85 continues to grow, with the latest addition a $35 million, 94-job expansion at BMW supplier Draxlmaier. But the largest growth spurt along State 290 at the moment is about 10 miles southeast, in the Moore area. There, four companies have recently opened or are building factories near the intersection with Interstate 26, one of them a billion-dollar project. Kobelco Construction Machinery, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Kobe Steel, was the first to finish construction and commence production. It celebrates the grand opening of its excavator plant on June 2. Still building factories are Sterling Contract Packaging of Spartanburg; Ritrama, an Italian company that makes self-adhesive materials; and Japan’s Toray Industries, which supplies carbon fiber to the Boeing aircraft factory in North Charleston. Toray has said it will spend $1 billion on its plant and employ 500 workers. With plenty of prime industrial property still available along State 290, the boom is expected to continue. “That is the hot spot for the Upstate, and maybe for South Carolina,” said David Britt, point man for economic development on Spartanburg County Council.