The Effingham County Industrial Development Authority and DP Partners Effingham, LLC (DP) announced a mutual decision Thursday to terminate the agreement for purchase and dissolve their development on the IDA’s properties adjacent to Interstate 16.
Specifically citing national economic trends, and their effects on the “big box” warehousing market, both parties decided that the plans for the development should be reevaluated.
“We have been watching this big box market for several years now, and it has slowed considerably due to economic conditions,” IDA CEO John Henry said. “We expect it to fully recover in the near future as the ports continue on their juggernaut. However, with unprecedented demand for properties from other industrial sectors, we believe that it would not be to anyone’s advantage to sit out this downturn in the big box market.”
DP’s Regional Manager, Jeremy Merklinger offered similar sentiments.
“We have been successful in attracting jobs and leasing property at our LogistiPort at Savannah development, however we have seen a reduction in square footage requirements,” he said. “Our decision to not move ahead on a speculative development allows for more flexibility at the IDA’s property. It is this flexibility that we believe will make this site attractive to a wider range of industrial prospects.”
Henry said that this announcement in no way alters his agency’s plans to move forward with development at the massive industrial complex being planned for the Interstate 16 properties.
“This is an unfortunate event, but we have to be flexible and play to the market or we could lose time, money and opportunity if we don’t keep our finger on the pulse of the market,” he said. “Our plans will change a little, but primarily from a marketing aspect. We have prospects that will certainly be interested in the property and we have other industrial developers with some interest that have a focus other than speculative development.
“Whatever we do with the property it will be done after careful thought to not only the type of development, but the type of jobs, wages, and the potential impacts for our entire community. We also certainly leave the door open for DP as market conditions continue to evolve.”
Said Merklinger: “We continue to believe in Effingham’s potential in the Savannah area, and applaud the commitment and work done by Mr. Henry and his team at the IDA, as well as Effingham County. DP will certainly continue our out-reach for build-to-suit prospects as well as market Effingham to manufacturers and to our network of tenants who are a good fit for this project. We believe that while the picture may have changed slightly as to the specific dynamics of the park, with the professionalism and tenacity of the IDA, it is destined to be a success for all constituencies of Effingham County and we hope to be a part of that."
For more details, see Friday's Effingham Herald.