SPRINGFIELD — Now that the first domino has fallen at the 2,700-acre Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub (SGIH), county officials are hopeful more will soon follow.
During a Jan. 8 meeting of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, CEO Brandt Herndon said inquiries about SGIH space have picked up since lead tenant A&R Logistics broke ground for an approximately 610,000 square foot building in November 2019.
“There is a lot of activity in the market,” Herndon said. “As we all suspected, once the A&R deal was inked and dirt was being pushed around it would draw more interest and legitimize the park.”
SGIH is the state’s first dual-served industrial park of the modern era. OmniTRAX, a transportation and transportation infrastructure holding company, is the master developer of the park owned by the IDA.
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 can accommodate 200-plus cars for A&R Logistics, which provides bulk logistics services for customers in the chemical and plastics industries.
“With interest comes planning for the park, for infrastructure, so (OmniTRAX) is in the process of designing the switch,” Herndon said. “I think the intent is, when school is out in May, they will try to put in the rail crossing. They will go ahead and put that in the place and then, as school comes back in, work to connect the CSX (Transportation tracks) up to the Norfolk Southern (Railway) tracks. That way it wouldn’t disrupt traffic.”
A&R Logistics is located near the SGIH entrance near Blandford Elementary School on McCall Road in Rincon.
The Gateway Parkway and Effingham Parkway, a north-south roadway that will connect with Chatham County, will also connect in the area.
Herndon said he receives updates from OmniTRAX officials a couple times a day.
“They are moving forward at a quick pace,” he said. “(There are no other SGIH projects to) announce but there are several projects looking at the property, along with the other (IDA) parks, too. It’s not just at Savannah Gateway but several projects are looking at all the parks here.”
The IDA has multiple industrial parks, including one on I-16.