by: Jeff Smith Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A large internet photography company announced Thursday it's leaving its North Charlotte headquarters for a larger facility across the state border -- taking millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs with it.
The internet photography and greeting card company Shutterfly is currently run out of a building in the Shopton Ridge Industrial Park. It currently has 250 full-time employees.
Shutterfly said when it moves 10 miles away next year to a larger building in Fort Mill, it will add 416 additional full-time jobs and more than 220 part-time positions.
The company will move to an old, abandoned flea market off SC 160. The building is hidden deep within a Fort Mill industrial park, and it appears run down from the outside.
Shutterfly said it will invest $60 million in the building.
"It's going to be great. More jobs. And more traffic," said Rosalynn Bourgeois, who manages the store next door to the old flea market.
"Hundreds of new jobs means a lot more traffic, and more traffic is better for our business," she added.
A Shutterfly spokesman told Eyewitness News the company is excited to be tapping into a "new local talented labor pool" and admits it received "significant support" from the South Carolina Department of Commerce. Shutterfly didn't provide any numbers or specifics about incentives.
It's a big economic blow for Charlotte, and several city council members said they want to learn more about what South Carolina offered that North Carolina could not.
"The bad news is that they are actually leaving the city of Charlotte. One of the things that's very important to us is business retention," said city councilman Patrick Cannon, who is the vice chair of the Economic Development Committee.
"We need to make sure that we are incentivizing -- by way of the state, county government, and even city government -- to do what we can to retain businesses," he added.
The move will happen in spring 2013.
The Department of Commerce offices were closed when Eyewitness News called. Channel 9 crews will be following up with them Friday.
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