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Hyundai agreement big on both sides
Hyundai 1 052022
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Hyundai Motor Company President and CEO Jaehoon Chang sign the agreement between the state and company May 20, 2022 at the Bryan County Mega-Site in Black Creek. - photo by Jeff Whitten

The agreement between state and local officials and Hyundai Motor Group, which plans to build electric vehicles at the 2,967-acre Mega-Site in Black Creek, shows economic investment from both sides.

Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, has pledged to invest some $5.545 billion in its first manufacturing facilities in the world fully dedicated to making both electric vehicles and the batteries that power them. Hyundai’s presence is projected to spur another $1 billion in related industry at other sites in the area, officials say.

The manufacturer is expected to provide 8,100 full time jobs paying an average salary of nearly $59,000 plus benefits by 2031.

Those jobs and Hyundai’s continued investment in the Mega-Site facility will have to be maintained until at least 2048, according to the agreement between the Korean automaker, the state and the Savannah Harbor Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority, which was released July 22.

In return, the state gave Hyundai incentives totaling about $1.8 billion, apparently standard for a project of such scale.

The agreement between Hyundai, the state and the Joint Development Authority, which consists of Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham and Effingham counties, lists incentives ranging from a 26-year-property tax abatement to the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements and more than $60 million for a workforce training site dedicated to the Mega-Site.

Among the state investments is some $200 million in funding for a new interchange at I-16 and Highway 280, a site access road, a new frontage road and the widening of 280 from two to five lanes.

Taxpayers are also funding infrastructure improvements to the site ranging from water and sewer to additional rail capacity as part of “speed to market” incentives aimed at ensuring the project will be able to be completed quickly and meet the company’s goals.

Hyundai will begin paying an annual “leasehold ad valorem property tax payment” beginning with an initial $12.696 million in 2026, when initial construction on the facility is complete, according to the agreement. It notes that payment is more than 320 times the property taxes which would’ve been generated by the land based on its 2021 value.

Those leasehold ad valorem tax payments will increase over time to more than $23 million in 24 years, according to the agreement, which projects Hyundai will have paid more than $357 million in such payments over the 26-year period of abatement, according to the agreement.

Construction is projected to begin in 2023 with full production beginning in 2025. The facility will manufacture approximately 300,000 vehicles a year.

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