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IDA opens its doors to home fixtures company
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The Effingham Industrial Development Authority is set to welcome a new tenant into its industrial park.

Halstead International, a flooring and bathroom fixture company, will open its doors soon in the Effingham Industrial Park off Highway 275. The company is headquartered in Connecticut. The company is a supplier for Home Depot.

IDA CEO John Henry said a date has not been set for a ribbon cutting for the company, but they will be moving into a building developed by Bonded Service Warehouse behind the industrial park’s water tower.

Halstead will have 15 jobs initially and could expand up to 45, Henry said.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure they’re successful,” Henry said, “and get them ramped up and hiring.”

The company also will do some warehousing, and Bonded Service had a 112,000 square foot facility built four years ago.

The IDA also is continuing its due diligence on the northern tract of its I-16 holdings, including the removal of endangered gopher tortoises. Henry said relocating the gopher tortoises could be done inexpensively.

Construction of a 500,000 gallon water tank for the north tract has been ongoing, and the project is near completion.

Rezoning of the IDA’s Research Forest Tract is expected to go before the Effingham County Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 27. The Coastal Regional Commission has finished its development of regional impact analysis of the rezoning request, which takes the Research Forest Tract from mixed use to more suitable zoning for future industrial and commercial development.

“There is some opposition forming,” Henry said of the IDA’s plans.

Henry added he and IDA project manager Ryan Moore met with a neighboring resident to discuss her concerns about the Research Forest Tract. Henry also said there was misinformation about the Research Forest Tract and the rezoning request.

“We addressed a lot of it,” Henry said, “but she’s still in opposition to it.”

Completion of buildout for the Research Forest Tract is 30 years away. The estimated value of the Research Forest Tract, once it’s finished, is $1 billion, with an annual estimated local annual tax revenue of $10 million.