Savannah City Council approves additional annexing for Rockingham Farms Industrial Park
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A WTOC update on the development of a site that will turn into an industrial park in Chatham County - Rockingham Farms.
The site is right off Veterans Parkway and Buckhalter Road.
Savannah City Council voted Thursday to approve annexing an additional 20 acres of land for the development, as well as a zoning adjustment.
If you’ve driven past the site recently where this industrial park will eventually sit, you’ve seen it starting to take shape.
There’s a lot of land-clearing going on, preparing the area for what will eventually hold 10-million square feet of warehouse space.
The Savannah Economic Development Authority estimates the warehouses will create around 2,500 jobs, paying an average wage of around $18 an hour.
The public-private partnership over the Rockingham Farms development will also develop an interchange providing access to Veterans Parkway, and bring water and sewer services from the City of Savannah.
“It should be noted that the developer had signed a payment in lieu of taxes with the City of Savannah, for this project that will help cover the debt service on the bonds issued by the city,” said Mayor Van Johnson.
Our WTOC Investigates team has a look at that deal that the mayor just referenced. It says city taxpayers will back an infrastructure bond worth up to $38 million dollars.
Here’s a look at the terms. The funds will pay for city water, sewer and a new interchange on Veterans Parkway to the Rockingham Farms property.
As a part of the deal, the owners of Rockingham Farms will convey the interest of the land to the Savannah Economic Development Authority, a quasi-governmental entity which will then lease back the land for up to 20 years until the debt is paid off.
No tax revenue will be collected while SEDA owns the property. But once the property transfers back to private ownership, the development is expected to bring an additional $10 million in local tax revenue, according to the development agreement.
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