DaimlerChrysler Plant to Be Georgia's Largest Project

Though DaimlerChrysler won't officially say it, Georgia officials will tell you Pooler is where the new van plant will be built. If you've driven by the site lately, it's pretty obvious something big is going in. For months they've been clearing out the land there, and believe it or not, Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) officials say they are only halfway done clearing this land they need to build the huge plant.

"We're talking about one building that will be about 2.2 million square feet," said Cliff McCurry, SEDA's chairman. "To put that into perspective, that will be sitting on a pad of 250 acres, one building sitting on 250 acres...that's pretty huge."

And it requires a huge amount of manpower. Right now, RB Baker is the construction company clearing out the land. Every day workers are moving about 600 truckloads of dirt into the site, filling up pits that were created during the construction of Interstate 16.

"When construction starts in early fall, you're probably looking at hundreds of contractors that will be involved in this project," said McCurry. "The economic impact is just enormous for this whole region."

There are also plans for a mile-long retention pond that we are told will look like a lake.

"The main thing you'll see right along the road there is what will be a mile-long retention pond, for the drainage for the parking lots, and all to go into the ponds in case of heavy rains," McCurry said.

SEDA says construction on the building should start this fall, and once the plant is built, it will mean big business for the area.

"You're talking about 110,000 vehicles being turned out by this plant, that's double what they initially projected it to be," said McCurry. "And now we're talking about a $1 billion construction project."

That will be the largest economic development project Georgia has ever seen.

Reported by: Elizabeth Garcia, egarcia@wtoc.com