A muddy patch of land near the Myrtle Beach airport is being turned into a cutting-edge data center that will link Horry County with some of the world’s biggest economies.
The $31.5 million project by Atlanta-based DC BLOX includes a 500-mile dark fiber network to Atlanta dotted with eight nodes to support broadband internet access and cloud computing into under served portions of Georgia and South Carolina.
“We are uniquely positioning ourselves to be much, much more than a vacation destination alone,” Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said at an Oct. 4 groundbreaking ceremony.
Economic development officials and the region and across the state launched talks with DC BLOX last year.
One of the first meetings state Department of Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey took after his confirmation last summer was with Jeff Uphues, the company’s CEO.
“It really puts South Carolina on the map as a hub for internet traffic around the world,” he said.
The fiber network is known as a cable landing station and will connect with five subsea pipes to create an international web of internet access.
“The deep underwater cable system will carry the modern world’s lifeblood of information and bring enhanced connectivity now and into the future,” Bethune said.
As part of an agreement between the company and the county, DC BLOX will pay the 6% property tax rate instead of the 10.5% rate it would have paid without the agreement. No cash incentives were part of the package.
As significant as what DC BLOX is expected to bring into the region financially - up to $250 million in overall investment when fully built out - is where it is.
Housed inside International Technology and Aerospace Park — a 460-acre site located just off one of the longest runways on the East Coast, DC BLOX figures to attract other prospects.
“This investment will attract and inspire the confidence of other investors and businesses as well as visitors,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. I’m confident that we are entering a new area of economic prosperity in South Carolina unlike anything we’ve seen before and unlike anyone is going to see anywhere in the country.”