Pressing forward with the goal of bringing long-term, high-paying jobs to the region, the Joint Development Authority (JDA) recently added another 665 acres of developable land for $23.9 million to expand Stanton Springs Industrial Park.

The new section of the park, Stanton Springs North, will be marketed to high-profile companies in the technology and medical field to bring even more lucrative businesses into the park.

“We closed on the new land last Thursday,” said Morgan County Commissioners Andy Ainslie, who also sits on the JDA, the four-county board tasked with overseeing Stanton Springs development. “We are very glad to have another 665 acres finalized. We will be looking for other tenants and putting another road leading into it. Our engineers said it should all be done in a year’s time.”

The new land will open up new opportunities for the four counties invested in Stanton Springs — Morgan, Newton, Walton and Jasper counties. More than 100 acres of the new land lies in Morgan County, which means once new businesses set up shop there, Morgan County will benefit from increased tax revenues and closer good-paying, long-term job opportunities.

“It’s exciting as we move north to continue our project,” Ainslie said last month. “We are looking to attract high-tech industries, pharmaceutical industries, and green industries to Stanton Springs and of course, to create even more long-term, good-paying jobs for the four counties.”

“The JDA is currently considering the future of Stanton Springs North, the property just purchased. The goal is to continue recruiting first-class developments that will bring much needed jobs and investment to the four-county region”, stated Alan Verner, Chairman of the JDA.

Social Circle annexed part of the land bought by the JDA into their city and will become a fifth partner invested, but will only profit from future tax revenues in Stanton Spring North, not the entire park, and nothing from land sale revenues.

“They have a five percent share on taxation of Stanton Springs North,” said Ainslie.

The JDA sold off the last of the original Stanton Springs land back in March to “Baymare” for an approximate $38 million, which has been widely reported to be a pseudonym for Facebook. The JDA approved a bond issuance in the amount of $42 billion for Baymare. Back in 2018, the JDA approved another round of phantom bonds for Facebook, also in the amount of $42 billion.

Shane Short, economic development representative for the JDA, stated that the company now called Baymare has "not yet chosen to make an announcement and has no immediate plans to do so. Although the JDA closed on the property, there are still final details that need to be worked out with the company and local providers.”

Facebook’s newest project will be the first at Stanton Springs to be located in Morgan County.

“This will be the first project that will be in Morgan County proper and we look forward to working with the county in the future and seeing this project come to life,” said Alan Verner, chairman of the JDA, at the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) in March. The JDA agreed to secure a $42 billion bond backed by the company which intends to invest that amount in developing their slice of Stanton Springs over the next 20 years. The JDA also moved forward on an approximate $38 million land sale agreement in which 628 acres will be sold to Facebook.

Facebook’s new project at Stanton Springs is expected to create a minimum of 300 jobs in addition to the 1,900 jobs created by the other industries in Stanton Springs Industrial Park, including Facebook’s first development, Takeda, and the Georgia BioScience Center.

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