Macon-Bibb industrial relocations and expansions in past 20 months total $800MBY RANDY SOUTHERLANDContributing Writer.
Industry is thriving in Macon-Bibb County. In just the last two years, the county has attracted more than $800 million in new private investment. Company relocations and expansions have generated over 1,100 new jobs, while retaining more than 700 by keeping local firms considering relocation. All that activity spurred the construction of more than 2 million square feet of new industrial and warehouse space, according to the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority.
A big driver in the growth of industrial real estate is an Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center. The 1-million-square-foot facility at Sardis Church and Skipper roads just off Interstate 75 is nearly completed. It represents a $70 million investment that is expected to produce at least 500 jobs with as many as 1,000 workers employed during the peak holiday season. Employees in Macon will pick, pack and ship large-sized items such as furniture, sporting equipment and gardening tools for Amazon customers.Macon has scored a series of wins bringing both household names like Amazon along with big, but less high-profile, brands to the county. Its location along interstate highways 75 and 16 and close proximity to the Port of Savannah make it an ideal distribution center for transporting products throughout the Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard. Irving Consumer Products is nearing completion of their new $400 million state-of-the-art tissue plant in Sofkee Industrial Park. Most of the company’s mills are based in the Northeast; this facility represents its first in the South. The company is a leading manufacturer of household paper and baby diaper products. Irving Consumer Products companies include Irving Tissue and Irving Personal Care. Irving Tissue produces premium household store brand paper products for many of North America’s top retailers, in addition to some of the top-selling tissue brands in the marketplace.