OmniTRAX involved in historic hub project in Georgia that will include rail, yard construction

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Affiliates of Denver-based OmniTRAX, Inc. and The Broe Group have signed A&R Logistics, Inc. (A&R) as lead tenant to anchor the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub (SGIH), a master-planned, 2,750-acre industrial park with the capacity to accommodate up to 18 million sq ft of industrial space. OmniTRAX is the master developer of the industrial park owned by Effingham (Ga.) County Industrial Development Authority (ECIDA). The 12-year A&R lease secures approximately 610,000 sq ft of the park’s initial 1 million-sq-ft build-to-suit project and includes an option to lease the remaining space.

“We are extremely excited to partner with A&R to kick off development of the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub with a rail-served facility that will serve A&R’s current and future needs,” said BREG Executive Vice President Reagan Shanley. “The project includes building Georgia’s first industrial switching railroad with dual Class 1 connections in more than 50 years and will help us drive Effingham County growth for many years to come.”

In addition to the build-to-suit A&R facility, OmniTRAX will construct more than 7 miles of park-serving rail infrastructure, a multi-customer centrally located OmniTRAX rail yard and a 200+-car dedicated rail yard for A&R. This rail infrastructure will connect SGIH tenants to the only two Class 1 railroads serving the southeastern U.S.—CSX and Norfolk Southern. With its strategic location near both the Class 1s and the Port of Savannah, SGIH optimizes logistics efficiency to deliver tenants some of the lowest operational costs in the country. Completion of the project construction and development is forecasted for late 2020.

“With the ability to accommodate industrial operations and corporate campuses, Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub will provide world-class operational efficiency and supply chain access to North America and the world,” said OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba. “SGIH combines the best of Savannah’s build-to-suit industrial land with dual Class 1 rail service, convenient highway infrastructure and easy, efficient access to the Port of Savannah. SGIH is poised to be the eastern seaboard’s premier industrial park, and A&R is the ideal anchor tenant to demonstrate the supply chain advantages that SGIH offers.”

A&R Logistics’ Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub facility will house a multi-line production center to support its logistics operations that serve leading plastics producers worldwide. A&R’s global export operations will include receipt of inbound materials, packaging and outbound shipment to international destinations.

“Our customers are some of the largest chemical companies in world with very complex supply chain requirements,” noted A&R Logistics President and CEO Mark Holden. “SGIH’s dual served park provides the ideal site and service to support our customers’ needs.”

Savanah Gateway Industrial Hub’s development supports the Georgia Port Authority’s freight growth goals by providing a major solution for the market’s dire need for warehouses and industrial property while further cultivating regional port-based commerce. The park development is the collaborative result of a large consortium of community partners from local, county and state officials.

With the nation’s largest single container terminal located 12 miles away in Savannah, SGIH’s development also is the gateway to economic and industry growth. The Port of Savannah consistently attracts the largest ships with the largest number of sailings and first stop advantages.

“At the Georgia Ports Authority, demand for rail service is outpacing the rate of growth for overall container trade, which itself has seen record volumes,” said GPA Chief Commercial Officer Cliff Pyron. “To stay ahead of demand, the Authority is conducting a $220 million expansion of its rail infrastructure. The Mason Mega Rail Terminal will be the largest on-dock rail facility at any port in North America, allowing Garden City Terminal to grow overall volumes without congestion at the truck gates.”

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