Officials with the Georgia State Properties Commission (SPC) and a delegation of stakeholders from the Fall Line Regional Development Authority (FLRDA) have reached an agreement on a price to purchase more than 400 acres of state land at the intersection of U.S. Highway 441 and the Fall Line Freeway.
Land in the four corners of the intersection falls in Wilkinson and Baldwin counties and has been the subject of the joint development authority since the inception of the joint development authority in 2000.
The FLRDA plans to develop the properties to provide industrial and commercial space for businesses that would benefit from being located at the intersection of one of the busiest U.S. highways in the state and the long awaited Fall Line Freeway.
U.S. Highway 441 and the Fall Line Freeway run north to south and east to west, respectively.
FLRDA chairman Frank Wall said he anticipates a great potential for growth and is glad to see the parties involved reach an agreement.
“We've been working on this project for the past 14 years,” he said. “Now we are one step closer to it becoming a reality.”
Last week, Wall, along with Wilkinson County Commission Chairman Dennis Holder and Development Authority of Wilkinson County Director Jonathan Jackson joined with Milledgeville Baldwin County Development Authority Director Matt Poyner, Baldwin County Commissioner and FLRDA board member Henry Craig and Middle Georgia Regional Commission Deputy Director Laura Mathis to reach an agreement with the Georgia SPC.
“With regionalism being so important these days it is exciting to have a partner down the street that we can work with for the good of both communities,” Poyner said. “Jonathan and I have already been to Atlanta to meet with the Department of Economic Development about the property, and they are very excited about seeing two communities working so closely together.”
The site contains 477 acres of property that was part of Baldwin State Forest. The two counties will share in the purchase price of $581,000.
For Holder, the promise of the potential is vast. He expects high traffic volume and good returns on the investment.
“U.S. 441 is an alternate route to interstates 75 and 95 in the state,” Holder said. “The Fall Line Freeway will be an alternate to Interstate 20. With their intersection, you could be looking at great opportunities for economic development, possibly the next Commerce, Ga.”
Craig, who serves as a Baldwin County commissioner as well as FLRDA board member, said the project will be beneficial to the region around the intersection and to both counties.
“The combined resources and imagination our two communities use to develop this project will result in great dividends in careers and jobs for many generations to come," Craig said.
The Fall Line Regional Development Authority members include Chairman Wall, Craig, Paul Dean, Dale Epps, Ed Walker, Gary Snow, Roger Smith and Bryan Sappe. The Authority meets every other month in Irwinton or Milledgeville.
For more information call Jackson at 478-946-1122 or Poyner at 478-451-0369.