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Tract's owners tout its potential
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Representatives of the Grandview tract extolled its potential as an industrial site to Effingham County commissioners — and said the time is right to extend water and sewer lines to the tract, they said.

Georgia Southern University’s Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development preliminary analysis of the economic impact of two potential manufacturing prospects showed those two projects would create 1,856 new jobs either directly or indirectly in Effingham.

“The initial analysis reflects on two (prospects), one of which has informed us this is where they want to be,” said Mickey Kicklighter, one of the Grandview owners. “The preliminary analysis is very positive. I was very excited about the number of jobs, just from those two industries.”

The other prospect used in the analysis has found the Grandview tract favorable. But there is a need for water and sewer lines to be extended — for about four and a half miles — to the tract. The county has approved funding for up to $12 million for 20 years for the extension.

Original estimates for the work have pegged the cost at around $12 million, though rough estimates also have been much lower.
And they have pointed out that such costs may never go lower than right now.

“If just two of the six (prospects) come, they would more than pay for the running of those lines,” Kicklighter said.

In the GSU analysis, the economic impact of the smaller of the two projects would be $92.2 million by 2014, increasing to $149.7 million by 2030. It would create 547 jobs in 2014 and that number would go to 633 by 2030.

The medium-sized project, if it also brought a headquarters operation to Effingham, would have an economic impact of $186.9 million in 2015 and $295.2 million in 2030. By 2015, it would lead to 1,051 jobs and to 1,199 jobs by 2030. Without a headquarters, it would have an economic impact of $183.7 million in 2014 with 1,014 jobs by 2015. By 2030, the economic impact would be $291.5 million and there would be 1,223 jobs.

“This is a very conservative analysis,” Kicklighter said. “We did not use any multiplier effect money on the tax revenue.”

Grandview’s developers have planned for as many as 10 projects to go on its 350 buildable acres.

“If the 10 total sites are developed, the return on investment would be 214 percent of the $12 million cost,” Kicklighter said. “This is just on Grandview alone.”

The study did not include the potential of neighboring tracts zoned industrial, one of 212 acres, another of 225 acres and another of more than 500 acres.

“The final report would include analysis of those and would be even more positive,” Kicklighter said.