Airport development to tap into e-commerce market.

As the Columbia Metropolitan Airport begins plans to develop 500 acres of adjoining and nearby property, airport officials hope to lure more opportunities for logistics and e-commerce.

Airport officials, along with Magnus Development Partners, announced a partnership to build spec and build-to-suit properties near the airport.

Magnus is the master developer for the plan and will work with potential businesses to determine their needs. Some buildings be new construction, while others on the property will be move-in ready, according to Magnus. Larger spaces can be divided, if necessary.

"Generally, when they come to town, they want it yesterday, so it's good to have product in play at any given time," said Bill Owen, Magnus founding partner.

Owen said Magnus has in-house construction managers that can work through cost issues for potential tenants who want custom construction so deals can be completed quickly.

Anticipated uses include aviation, industrial, warehouse, flex, commercial or hotel development. Because of the property's location near interstates 26 and 77, distribution and logistical opportunities are also in play.

Among its class A buildings, Magnus recently completed its fourth spec building within the nearby Lexington County Industrial Park. Owen said the airport sites are ideal locations for companies which need warehouse space for distribution and logistics.

"We've been watching it for a long time, and e-commerce is driving a lot of the demand that's been filling up our buildings," he said. "We like the airport site and its proximity to FedEx and UPS. That's all part of the e-commerce synergy, and a lot of the people we have talked to about space in the Lexington County Industrial Park have emphasized how close they want to be to the airport and FedEx and UPS, or both."

The parcels available for development are spread throughout the airport property. About 50 acres are within the airport fence line and will be used...

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