Ecommerce stores warehouse

A massive warehouse complex planned for the north side of Covington

COVINGTON, Ga. – A proposed 4 million square foot industrial park development in northeast Covington will be on land that has been planned for industrial uses for decades and could be valued at $500 million when fully built.

Its combination of uses could also lead to the employment of up to 3,000 people, a developer has said.

The Covington Industrial Park is the name given to a project for which the city government filed a Planned Regional Impact (DRI) development notice with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs on July 12.

The proposed industrial park development will consist of a total of 4.08 million square feet of buildings for warehousing and manufacturing when completed by 2030, according to the DRI.

The 478-acre site is located in an area north of Alcovy Road, south of Flat Rock and Gregory Roads, and east of Georgia Hwy. 142. Entrances are provided at the highway. 142 for the circulation of heavy goods vehicles, and new road signs are proposed there. The other entrance at Alcovy Road will be where other traffic will be sent, the developer said.

Construction is planned in two phases, including 2.4 million square feet in phase one and 1.6 million square feet in phase two, Covington chief planner Marc Beechuk said.

The developer is listed as Buford-based Newton Land Investments LLC, whose lead agent is John B. “Jay” Williams, according to information filed with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

Owners include Southpoint Land Co. LLC; JBW Investments LLC and JF Land Investments LLC, according to the DRI.

Eric Johansen of Universal Planning & Development LLC, which represents the developer, said demand is high for new storage space because of how the pandemic has helped change the way consumers shop for goods.

He said the planned buildings could be used for everything from warehousing and light manufacturing to e-commerce.

However, the first phase is planned as a speculative venture and will seek a tenant, rather than being built for a tenant.

Most of the site is owned by the Williams family and has been zoned for industrial use for nearly half a century, Johansen said.

However, he said the site is surrounded by government uses like the Newton County Sheriff’s Office headquarters on one side and residential uses in other areas.

“I don’t think anyone considered it industrial,” Johansen said.

Johansen said Covington is becoming a hub for industry along the I-20 corridor. The site is in a prime location near I-20 and a rapidly developing area that includes downtown Covington and Cinelease-Three Ring studios, he noted.

He added that the aim is to start work on an indoor promenade across the 478-acre site within 12 months. However, the developer must receive a number of zoning and other approvals before construction can begin on buildings and roads, he said.

Johansen said he requested the annexation of 55 acres of the site at the northern end of the site which is now in unincorporated Newton County. He said the annexation will help protect the site from other uses in the area.

According to the Georgian Ministry of Community Affairs, a development with regional impact (RID) is a “large-scale development likely to have regional effects beyond the jurisdiction of the local government in which they are located”.