(The Center Square) — The state of Georgia and the Development Authority of Peach County have partnered to buy a sprawling middle Georgia site that officials say is ideally suited for economic development.
The state used proceeds from the sale of the $66 million Chatham County Economic Development Site to buy the approximately $18.6 million Middle Georgia Megasite. Amazon bought the Chatham County site in 2021 for a new distribution facility and proceeds from the sale went into the OneGeorgia fund.
The state used the bulk of the money to buy the 2,923-acre Bryan County Megasite, which cost $61 million. In May, Hyundai Motor Group announced plans to invest more than $5.5 billion to build its first fully dedicated electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility on the Bryan County site.
“This demonstrates the return on investment to Georgia and communities willing to proactively invest in mega sites,” Jessica Atwell, a Georgia Department of Economic Development communications specialist, told The Center Square.
The Middle Georgia Megasite includes four parcels with 1,100 acres of developable land. The site sits along Georgia Highway 96 and has “immediate access via Interstate 75.” Norfolk Southern Railway also serves the site, which state officials say is less than five hours by rail to the Port of Savannah and the Port of Brunswick.
“We’ve been preparing for an opportunity like this for a long time,” Martin Moseley, chairman of the Peach County Board of Commissioners, said in an announcement. “The Middle Georgia Megasite will put the entire Middle Georgia region on the map and position us for significant investment and new jobs. An announcement like this is transformative for a rural community, and we are so excited to be a part of something of this significance.”
In an announcement, GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson said the “joint effort will create opportunities for the entire region, and the projects attracted to megasites create a ripple effect of growth that crosses county lines.”
The Development Authority of Peach County will own the site, and the OneGeorgia Authority must approve a lease or sale of the property to a “private entity,” Atwell said.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor