SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Surrounding communities continue to grow with the port of Savannah.
The latest example is Thursday’s official opening of the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub just outside of Rincon.
It marked the beginning of development at the 2,700 acre industrial park that’s owned by the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority.
The master developer of the sprawling industrial hub, OmniTRAX, has a lead-tenant.
A&R Logistics, which specializes in plastic resin exporting, is slated to occupy just over 600-thousand square feet of the first million square foot project.
They’re also moving their exporting headquarters to the Savannah area, and creating 70 skilled, high-paying jobs.
“And that’s what our aim is for the Development Authority, more of those high-skilled, high-paying jobs," said Brandt Herndon, CEO of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority.
Today’s groundbreaking was the third for an industrial park in less than a year in Effingham County.
Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority, Griff Lynch, was also at today’s groundbreaking and said, “You know the fact of the matter is, in Savannah it’s kind of filling up, right? We can see that. So we need the support from the surrounding counties...Liberty County and Bryan and so forth. So this is the beginning.”
As the first phase of the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub continues to grow and bring in more businesses, the impact on the surrounding community, which includes an elementary school, is not lost on the IDA or the companies coming in to occupy the space.
Herndon said, “We already have improved McCall Road. There’s going to be some other improvements to it, but we want to be very proactive and we want to make sure that we’re addressing the traffic concerns. We’re in the process of doing a traffic study right now.”
Herndon said the hope is when the Gateway Parkway connects to the yet-to-be built Effingham Parkway, it will pull truck traffic away from the more residential areas.
According to Herndon, the Effingham Parkway cost is about $50-mil, with funding coming from GDOT and the County.
Herndon said the contract for construction could be put out July of 2021, with a 26-month completion date.