The Development Authority of Bryan County, in partnership with TerraPointe, the real estate subsidiary of Rayonier (NYSE: RYN), held a groundbreaking ceremony today for Belfast Commerce Centre. Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and other state and local dignitaries were present to commemorate the event.
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and other state and local dignitaries break ground on Belfast Commerce Centre. Pictured (L to R): Griff Lynch, COO – Georgia Ports Authority; Steve Croy, Chairman – Development Authority of Bryan County; Commissioner Jimmy Burnsed, Chairman – Bryan County Commission; Casey Cagle; Paul Boynton, Chairman, President and CEO – Rayonier; state Senator Buddy Carter; state Representative Ann Purcell; Harold Fowler, Mayor – City of Richmond Hill; state Representative Ron Stephens.
The 1,100-acre industrial park, the largest rail-served site in the Savannah market, is approved for 10.5 million square feet of industrial, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, office and commercial property.
“With the potential to create more than 7,500 new jobs, Belfast Commerce Centre is an exciting economic development opportunity for the State of Georgia,” said Lieutenant Governor Cagle, “We must continue to work together to encourage business growth, attract capital investment, and create high-wage jobs for Georgians.”
Belfast Commerce Centre has two miles of I-95 frontage, 1.5 miles of frontage on the Riceboro/Southern Railroad Line, and direct access – 16 miles – to the Port of Savannah. It is an attractive location for major manufacturers and other companies that can benefit from the site’s location and transportation advantages. Further strengthening the site’s marketability, the Federal Highway Administration recently approved a proposed interchange at Belfast Keller Road that would provide direct access to I-95.
“Today, Belfast Commerce Centre, Bryan County’s first rail-served industrial park, is open for business and is ripe for significant industrial growth,” stated F.J. “Josh” Fenn, executive director of the Development Authority of Bryan County. “This will be an outstanding compliment to our successful Interstate Centre. Bryan County can now offer industrial sites on both I-16 and I-95, one of very few counties in the country that can offer industrial parks on two different interstates.”
As Georgia’s first recipient of a CSX Select Site designation, Belfast Commerce Centre has been certified as development-ready. This designation ensures the site has met a set of rigorous criteria and is ready for rapid development, reducing risk for companies seeking to expand or locate their operations there.
“Future industrial and commercial development in Bryan County will broaden and diversify our tax base, reducing our reliance on residential ad valorem taxes to fund local government services,” said Harold Fowler, Mayor of the City of Richmond Hill.
“We are grateful for the strong support from federal, state and local partners who have helped us reach this milestone on this important economic development project,” said Paul Boynton, chairman, president, and CEO of Rayonier, “I would like to especially thank our local partners in Bryan County and the City of Richmond Hill for their unyielding commitment to leverage the unique assets here at Belfast Commerce Centre.”
About Development Authority of Bryan County:
The Development Authority of Bryan County Serves as the Economic Development arm of The Bryan County Government and the Cities of Pembroke and Richmond Hill.
TerraPointe LLC, Rayonier Inc.’s real estate subsidiary, executes Rayonier’s real estate value creation strategy by acquiring and entitling properties for residential, commercial and industrial uses, master planning and permitting for future communities, and marketing of higher and better use properties.
Rayonier is a leading international forest products company with three core businesses: Forest Resources, Real Estate and Performance Fibers. The company owns, leases or manages 2.7 million acres of timber and land in the United States and New Zealand. The company's holdings include approximately 200,000 acres with residential and commercial development potential along the Interstate 95 corridor between Savannah, Ga., and Daytona Beach, Fla. Its Performance Fibers business is one of the world's leading producers of high-value specialty cellulose fibers, which are used in products such as filters, pharmaceuticals and LCD screens. Approximately 45 percent of the company's sales are outside the U.S. to customers in approximately 40 countries. Rayonier is structured as a real estate investment trust. More information is available at www.rayonier.com.