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Groundbreaking ceremony signals industrial hub on the move
Griff Lynn
Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch speaks during Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony at the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
A&R Logistics
Pictured is a rendering of the facility to be constructed at the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub on McCall Road in Effingham County. A&R Logistics Inc. is a leading provider of dry bulk transportation services, warehousing and packaging, distribution, and third-party logistics solutions to numerous multinational companies within the chemical and plastic industries. - photo by Photo submitted
This is an exciting day for the region and for us all. A&R’s state-of-the-art export operation is the ideal anchor tenant to demonstrate Savannah Gateway’s world-class operational efficiency and premier eastern seaboard location.
OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba

RINCON — About 125 business and government leaders saw much more than heavy equipment and mounds of dirt at the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub (SGIH) on Thursday. They spotted tremendous economic potential for Effingham County and Georgia, too.

SGIH, the state’s first dual-served industrial park of the modern era, officially opened with a groundbreaking ceremony for its lead tenant, A&R Logistics. The company, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., has provided bulk logistics services for customers in the chemical and plastics industries for 50 years  

“The southeast Georgia market is very attractive for our export business because of they infrastructure, access to great team members and an overall low cost of operation,” A&R Logistics President and CEO Mark Holden said. “With our Savannah export facility, A&R will continue to be a leader in reliability and customer service to some of the biggest chemical companies in the world. We are looking forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship with both the community and the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub.”

OmniTRAX, a transportation and transportation infrastructure holding company, is the master developer of the 2,700-acre industrial park owned by the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (ECIDA). A&R Logistics, expecting to provide 70 SGIH jobs, inked a 12-year lease that secures approximately 610,000 square feet of the park’s build-to-suit project with an option to expand to one million square feet.

OmniTRAX is set to construct more than seven miles of park-serving rail infrastructure, a multi-customer centrally located rail yard and a rail yard that accommodate 200-plus cars for A&R Logistics.

“This is an exciting day for the region and for us all,” OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba said. “A&R’s state-of-the-art export operation is the ideal anchor tenant to demonstrate Savannah Gateway’s world-class operational efficiency and premier eastern seaboard location.”

As part of its agreement with ECIDA, OmniTRAX has made improvements to McCall Road and other area upgrades are planned.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a result of strong collaboration between A&R, the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, Georgia Ports Authority, the State of Georgia and OmniTRAX,” Shuba continued. “We are thankful for the tireless commitment invested by so many to make this achievement possible and are excited to bring other tenants and owners to SGIH.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson, who was unable to attend the groundbreaking, shared Holden and Shuba’s enthusiasm.

“The opening of the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub marks a new chapter for economic development in our state and we are thrilled that a great company like A&R Logistics will be its first tenant,” Wilson said. “Georgia’s expansive logistics network puts global and domestic markets within arm’s reach for manufacturers, processors and logistics companies operating in our state. As we continue to build on our success, I am confident that these two entities will help us attract business to this region and maintain our status as the number one state for business in the years go come.”

SGIH is just 12 miles from the nation’s largest single-container terminal, making it truly a “gateway” to economic and industry growth and a key link with the Port of Savannah.

“Working with the teams at OmniTrax, A&R, the State of Georgia and ECIDA has been a rewarding experience for all involved and will be a huge benefit in terms of jobs and economic growth for the communities of southeast Georgia,” Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority said. “We’re already planning for several more companies to join A&R at SGIH and to utilize the performance boosting capabilities of the Port of Savannah.

Broe Real Estate Group Executive Vice President Reagan Shanley expects more good news to emanate from SHIH soon. Broe is an OmniTRAX partner.

“As we break ground today, SGIH continues to attract strong tenant interest and we are engaged in active conversations with multiple prospects,” he said. “Savannah’s supply chain advantages are resonating with prospects and the park’s long-term potential is clear.”