Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter called Wednesday a “high five day in every way,” during a brief press conference at City Hall following the announcement Medline Industries, Inc., will invest $78 million in building a 1-million square foot distribution center at the Belfast Commerce Center.
That investment is expected to pay off in 150 new jobs - though with shift work it could expand to as many as 600 - and construction on the facility could be completed next year, local officials said. By 2024, the company’s average salary is expected to be around $46,000, according to Carpenter. In more formal remarks, Richmond Hill’s mayor welcomed the new company to its new I-95 interchange, which continues to take shape.
“The city of Richmond Hill is pleased to welcome Medline to our community,” Carpenter said. “The location of Medline’s new state-of-the-art facility along Interstate 95 will allow it to serve as a landmark for our community as the area around the new interchange continues to develop into a vibrant addition to Richmond Hill, and we look forward to the jobs and capital investment that will be created as a result of this project.”
Carpenter said the company is No. 32 on Forbes’ list of largest privately owned companies and does business in 90 countries.
The company, which manufactures and distributes medical supplies, already has two sites in Georgia that employ a combined 800 people.
In addition to Carpenter, Development Authority of Bryan County Chairman Noah Covington and Raydient Places + Properties Community Development Director Bill Cunningham were on hand at the conference, which followed an earlier announcement from Gov. Brian Kemp.
Raydient, a real estate arm of Rayonier, owns the 123 acres the facility will sit on as well as much of the property around the new interchange, which it helped fund.
“From our perspective it’s a really great collaboration with the city of Richmond Hill, Bryan County and the Development Authority of Bryan County,” Cunningham said. “If not for the interchange, this site wouldn’t have been on their radar. We couldn’t be more excited about the use, and the user.”
Covington called the decision by Medline to locate in Bryan County “the result of a team effort, and I want to thank all of our state and local partners, specifically the city of Richmond Hill, Raydient Places + Properties, and Bryan County, for helping make this project become a reality.”
The center will be built not far from the new Belfast Keller interchange and is part of a larger development planned by Raydient.
“The way we looked at this, Belfast Commerce Park is a way for us to create good jobs in Bryan County,” Cunningham said. “Which in turn creates rooftops, which in turn creates retail.”
Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, who didn’t attend the conference, said he was “super excited” about the announcement Medline is locating to the community.
“I’m super excited for Richmond Hill and super excited for our county.
We’re looking forward to working with them.”
The decision by Illinois-based Medline to locate a center in Richmond Hill was first announced around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
In the release, Kemp said ““Georgia’s coast is an ideal location for companies like Medline who are looking for a readily available workforce as well as access to global markets through the Port of Savannah.”
Medline is the third company to build in Belfast Commerce Center.Global Freezer built a facility there last year..
In the release, Bill Ablington, the company’s executive vice president of Global Operations, said Savannah’s port and Richmond Hill “quickly rose to the top of the list. Georgia has been a welcoming state to grow our business and attract a best-in-class workforce.
We are proud to continue our expansion in the Peach State and be even more connected to our customers in coastal Georgia.”
The release said careers at the facility “will primarily focus on supply chain support, warehouse operations – including supervisors and managers – and other branch administration. Individuals who are interested in applying for a position may do so online at: www.medline.com/careers.”
Excerpts from the press release:
Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Bryan County will be home to Georgia’s newest Medline Industries, Inc.
location in the state. Medline, the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies, will invest over $70 million to build a new distribution center in Richmond Hill that will create 150 new jobs with capacity for more than 600 workers as the company grows.
Headquartered in Northfield, Illinois, Medline is a healthcare company that manufactures and distributes more than 550,000 products with more than 26,000 employees worldwide.
The company currently operates two facilities in Georgia. Its distribution center in McDonough and manufacturing plant in Lithia Springs together employ approximately 800 people.
The new one-million-square- foot facility will be built in Belfast Commerce Park, which is a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) site. The expected completion date is 2021.
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Director of Automotive, Aerospace, and Advanced Manufacturing Ashley Varnum represented the Global Commerce division in partnership with the Development Authority of Bryan County, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, and Georgia Ports Authority.
“We are excited that Medline is expanding their footprint in Bryan County,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “The GRAD site they chose in Richmond Hill is ideal as it offers Medline access to Interstate 95 and the deepwater Port of Savannah. I am confident Medline will succeed in Bryan County as they expand operations here in Georgia to meet the needs of their customers across the Southeast.”