Houston & Peach

Peach, Warner Robins buy large land tract

Warner Robins and Peach County have joined forces to buy a tract of land for industrial development behind this tract on the south side of the Ga. 247 connector that was cleared years ago for commercial use but never developed.
Warner Robins and Peach County have joined forces to buy a tract of land for industrial development behind this tract on the south side of the Ga. 247 connector that was cleared years ago for commercial use but never developed. wcrenshaw@macon.com

Warner Robins and Peach County are now officially the owners of 432 acres slated for industrial development.

B.J. Walker, director of the Peach County Industrial Development Authority, said closing documents were signed Thursday.

Through the newly formed Joint Development Authority of Peach County, the city and county bought the land for $2.4 million from Legacy State Bank in Loganville with the aim of luring industry. The tract, which is in Peach County and Warner Robins, is located south of the Ga. 247 connector, just east of Interstate 75.

“This is just the start,” Walker said. “We’ve got several different strategies we are putting in place for improvements.”

The purchase is being financed through a bond. Peach County is responsible for 70 percent of that and Warner Robins will pay back the rest. The resolution approved by the City Council in support of the agreement commits the city to raising taxes up to 3 mills if necessary to pay back the loan, but Mayor Randy Toms said that would never happen.

He said that language was required to get the bond, but the city already has the money set aside from special purpose local option sales tax dollars slated for economic development, so paying it back will not be an issue. Ideally, the hope is that the property will be sold to industry and the loan repaid that way. But even if that never happens, Toms said the money is there to pay back the loan.

The tract is being marketed as the Georgia International Industrial Park. Walker said there is a master plan that includes the property around the tract. He said the aim is to work with those property owners to develop the larger area.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1

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