The Bryan County Development Authority has had its eyes on a nearly 300-acre tract of land for the past few years.
They finally were able to get it.
Jean Bacon, executive director of the authority, said the Development Authority has purchased 296.57 additional acres adjacent to their current industrial park located just off I-16 in North Bryan County. She said the land will be ideal for prospective businesses that are looking for large areas of land.
"The difference here is we work with prospects who are looking for large acres of land," she said. "And when I say large acres I mean 100-acre sites."Bacon said the newly acquired land was bought for $20,000 per acre, for a total of $5,931,400, from Haiseal Timber Inc. It is located at the very eastern side of the current 272-acre industrial park, with some frontage on I-16.
"We’ve been trying for years to obtain this particular tract and we’ve been able to do that," Bacon said. "The property is adjacent to our existing property, so that means water and sewer lines and the roadway are right there."
The second phase of the industrial park, Interstate Centre II, is in the engineering phases right now. Bacon said there is no time-frame for when the 505 acres will be completed, but progress is being made.
"We’re still pushing all the land we have out here," she said. "We have it available for whoever may need it. We just have more to offer now."
The additional land purchased brings the total acreage of Interstate Centre to roughly 569 acres, and nearly 1,074 total for all the land owned by the Development Authority. Though Bacon said there is a brochure that gives an idea about prices for the available land, she said the price of the newly acquired acreage will be decided by the Development Authority Board.
Bryan County Administrator Phil Jones said the new land means big things for the county.
"What it does is gives us more than ample room for growth for the next three to five years," Jones said. "It will bring employers to Bryan County and people won’t have to leave the county to go to work. That’s one of the biggest pluses for the county."
Jones said the majority of employees currently working in the businesses located in the industrial park are from Bryan County.
He also said the water and sewer system, which was just quit deeded back to the county after being under the control of the Development Authority for the past five years, won’t affect any current or future developments.
"(The Development Authority) will still have access to all the water they need, as well as any developer or builder," Jones said. "It won’t affect anything at all."
Though she couldn’t give any details, Bacon said there are a number of prospective businesses looking into locating at Bryan County’s industrial park.
"We’re working on a number of prospects now, and we get a respectable number of prospects, and we work diligently on all of them," she said. "Like everyone else we have a lot of competition, but we have an ideal spot."