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New CEO expects plenty of IDA activity
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SPRINGFIELD — There will be no lazy days of summer for the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (IDA).
Brandt Herndon, named CEO of the IDA on June 14, mentioned some of the immediate tasks at hand during Thursday’s IDA meeting.
“Typically, summers, you know, are kind of slow since people take a lot of vacations,” Herndon said. “I didn’t see that the last couple of years and I don’t think it will be the case this summer, either. I think we are going to be busy.”
Herndon, former vice president of the Savannah Economic Development Authority, spent his first week getting his IDA telephone and computer in order while also learning about numerous Effingham County projects and introducing himself various industry officials.
“This is all new to me,” he said. “I’m going to have to start from scratch.”
Herndon said he has received “a lot of phone calls from other people interested in coming up and looking at property, looking at opportunities up here, so (industrial growth) is definitely coming in this direction.”
The IDA, who features a variety of industrial sites, is eagerly waiting for the first domino to fall at the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub, a 2,700-acre rail-served master-planned development near the Port of Savannah. Mike Martin of OmniTRAX Inc., which will manage and development the hub as IDA’s partner, issued an update on the tract on McCall Road.
Martin, vice president of industrial development, said OmniTRAX is continuing an aggressive marketing campaign.
“All the marketing efforts that we have done in the past we continue to do on a regular basis,” he said. “We are just trying to get that first deal done. There’s not a lot to report today otherwise.”
Martin provided some encouraging news.
“With marketing, we have a new prospect that we are on the short list for,” he said. “It’s a manufacturing concern. We are the only site in Georgia that they are considering so that is also a good thing.”
Martin said a transloading company has also expressed interest in the property.
“It’s a company that we have worked with in various locations across the country,” he said. “They are already in Savannah and it is an opportunity for them to do some work here potentially. We are going to find out if it is a good fit for their customer.”

See the June 27 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.