Georgia’s Newest Mega-Site Now GRAD Certified

Planning Meeting Photo

(pictured above) A strategic planning meeting last week at which The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville & Baldwin County Board of Directors, Milledgeville City Council Members, and Baldwin County Commissioners sat down for round table discussions about the new Sibley-Smith Industrial Park mega-site.

Georgia’s Newest Mega-Site Named Market-Ready
Sibley-Smith Industrial Park is now a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development site

Milledgeville, GA – The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville & Baldwin County (DAMBC) announced today the new Sibley-Smith Industrial Park has been named a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) site by GDEcD, the state of Georgia’s marketing and sales arm.

“GRAD designation for the Sibley-Smith Industrial Park means it can truly compete on a global stage for new industry and the accompanying jobs,” said Pat Wilson, Executive Director of Georgia Allies, and COO of the Department of Economic Development. “I fully believe efforts by the Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville & Baldwin County to attain GRAD status for the site will be beneficial.”

The Sibley-Smith Industrial Park, named for the former property owners, is approximately 1,643 acres and is considered a mega-site. It is one of only 11 mega-sites in the state of Georgia and considered by the DAMBC to be in the top 3 because of rail siding on site, accessibility from a four lane highway, and all utilities already are on-site or within minimal proximity.

The GRAD designation indicates the Sibley-Smith Industrial Park is market-ready. The designation also includes several tools to market the site, including:

  • Program benefits on the Georgia Department of Economic Development website
  • Highlighted listings on the industrial site databases of major electric utility Web sites
  • Continued presence on Georgia Allies electronic newsletter targeted to companies and location consultants
  • Site awareness for statewide project managers and Georgia Allies partners

“Having GRAD certification on the new mega-site means having a significant advantage over the competition to win new projects that create jobs,” says DAMBC Executive Director Matt Poyner. “While the GRAD certification process is extensive, having it means due diligence studies have been done and potential companies have confidence from qualified consulting firms that no known issues exist on the site and projects can proceed with reduced risk.” Currently, of the 10 other communities with mega-sites, 7 do not have GRAD certification completed.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects.

The momentum of 2015 continues with BIG news and opportunity for Milledgeville-Baldwin County. The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville & Baldwin County (DAMBC) have unveiled a project in this community many years in the making, Georgia’s newest mega-site.

The site, named the Sibley-Smith Industrial Park, is around 1,657 acres located in Baldwin County, Georgia, south of Milledgeville, and is zoned heavy industrial (HI). It is situated along US Hwy 441 bypass approximately 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) north of the US Hwy 441 business & US Hwy 441 bypass intersection. Norfolk Southern Rail and utilities are already on site.

“We are now officially home to the newest mega site in Georgia,” says DAMBC Executive Director Matt Poyner. “The dynamic collaboration of our City and County leadership, to help make this project happen, speaks to their commitment to a legacy of opportunity, job growth, and economic development in this community.”

This development by the DAMBC is a milestone to enhancing the attractiveness of Milledgeville-Baldwin County to prospective industry. In addition to rail and utilities already on the site, GRAD Certification is in process to be complete Spring 2016. Once certified, the site will have a significant marketing advantage because prospective companies know GRAD certification means extensive due diligence has been completed, and the ability exists to be up and operational in a much faster time frame.

Spec Building Sold ImageThe Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County have sold spec building to the firm Strapack, Inc. for $850,000. The spec building is located on highway 22 in the Industrial Park. Built in 2007, the building is 62,500 sq.ft. and sits on 15 acres.

The real estate deal was finalized December 28, 2015, closing out the year on a positive note and as one of two projects realized in the 4th quarter of 2015. The unanimous vote by the Development Authority’s Board of Directors allows for immediate work by Strapack to prepare for operations to begin early in 2016. Strapack, Inc. will invest between $4 and $6 million in the purchase price and planned build-out development of the building.

Initially, Strapack, Inc. will employ 10 people and company officials have indicated plans for future expansion with additional job positions to be created. No tax abatement was given as part of the contract, so sale of the property will be an immediate benefit on the tax digest.