State of Georgia to purchase economic development mega-site in Bryan County

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Gov. Brian Kemp meets with the Bryan County Economic Development Team and representatives from its four-county region representing the Savannah Harbor Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority. Photo provided by the Office of Gov. Brian Kemp. 

Site poised to provide scores of high-quality jobs in the region

ATLANTAGov. Brian Kemp announced the authorization to purchase a 2,284-acre economic development site in a partnership between the State of Georgia and the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority (JDA).

The strategic purchase of the Bryan County mega-site is the largest in state history, officials said in a news release.

Proceeds from the sale of the Chatham County Economic Development Site, recently purchased by Amazon for a new major distribution facility, will be used for the purchase of the Bryan County Mega-Site. Located in a military zone, the site includes three parcels: The Mock Tract, Samwilka Inc. Tract and the Butler Tract, LLC. The sale of the property is expected to close on or before July 31, 2021.

Officials from the Georgia Department of Economic Development and members of the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor JDA, which includes Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, and Effingham counties, were on hand at the State Capitol on May 24 to mark the occasion. An exhibit of the site is available here.

“As the top state for business, we remain focused on continuing to provide the project sites needed to attract more key industries and investment,” said Kemp. “It is very encouraging to see a new, fully prepared mega-site come online that will create more high-quality jobs for hardworking Georgians. The regional approach between local governments – in coordination with the Georgia Ports Authority and the Department of Economic Development – continues to make doing business in the Peach State easier and more attractive to companies around the world. I am thankful to Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, and Effingham counties for their partnership on this project.”

The Bryan County Mega-Site is located adjacent to Interstate 16 with immediate access from I-95 and I-16 to 250 major metro areas, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Memphis, and Orlando. The site is less than 30 miles from the Port of Savannah, the single-largest and fastest-growing container terminal in the U.S. with two Class I rail facilities on-site. Rail service to the site is provided by Georgia Central Railway, a short line railway that connects to CSX in Savannah and Norfolk Southern near Macon in Middle Georgia. Industrial utilities are adjacent to the site, and extensive due diligence reports have been completed to reduce barriers to speedy operations.

“The Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority has been focused on the Bryan County Mega-Site for the last six years, and we are excited that the property will now be owned by the Savannah JDA. With more than 2,000 acres, rail that runs along the property line and immediate access to interstates 16 and 95 and the Port of Savannah, this site is the premier mega-site in the state of Georgia and the Southeast,” said Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority Chairman Carter Infinger.

“This new mega-site, with immediate proximity to multi-modal freight infrastructure, is a tremendous new asset in Georgia’s economic development toolkit,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The Georgia Ports Authority looks forward to continuing our partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and local development authorities to use this and other assets to create jobs and prosperity for our state and communities throughout the region.”

The nearby Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport offers 31 daily direct flights including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Dallas, and Washington D.C., and in addition to the connectivity benefits of the location, a skilled workforce of more than 453,000 is within a 60-mile radius, fueled in part by Georgia Southern University, nearby Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, and other colleges, universities, and industry ecosystems such as aerospace.

“The Bryan County Mega-Site is an excellent example of how we work together across county lines in order to drive economic development in Georgia. This joint effort by the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor JDA is not only ensuring the success of the site, but will also create opportunities for the entire region,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “As we are seeing industries transform and demands shift, having an available location like the Bryan County Mega-Site will allow us to meet the needs of rapidly growing corporations and provides them access to all of the state’s competitive advantages. We applaud all of our partners involved for their foresight and investment in Georgia’s future.”

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