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The long-awaited site plan for Rivian Automotive’s new multibillion dollar electric car manufacturing plant in Stanton Springs North has been released to the public this week.

Rivian’s new site plan paints a stark picture of just how unprecedented the massive plant will be once fully constructed, spanning across 2,000 acres in both Morgan and Walton counties.

“We’ve never seen anything like this here,” said Shane Short, director of economic development for Walton County.

The sprawling green pastures of the old Verner Family and Bowden Family farmlands in Rutledge will soon be laid with concrete, becoming the hub for the industrial development inching toward downtown Rutledge.

“Many of the buildings for Rivian will be built upon the old Verner Family farmland and the Bowden family farmland,” said Short. “This will help preserve some of the greenspace and wetlands closer to I-20 and U.S. Highway 278. The plant will be about three miles from the city of Rutledge.”

According to the newly released site plan, approximately 13 million square feet of the Rivian plant will be built in Morgan County. The total project calls for up to 20 million square-feet of building space.

Rivian’s new plant could be up to 20 times larger than the Takeda Pharmaceutical plant in Stanton Springs, which comes in at 1 million square feet. Even the Kia Plant in West Point, Ga., only clocks in at 2.2 million square feet.

For a visual comparison, 20 million square feet of building space amounts to 347 football fields. It would be three times larger than Disneyland and four times larger than Vatican City.

In addition to manufacturing warehouses and office buildings, roadways, parking lots, access points, and storm water management areas will also be constructed in Morgan County for the project.

Rivian will invest up to $5 billion into the new plant, generate 7,500 jobs, and churn out 400,000 electric vehicles per year once fully operational. Details of the site plan came to light after Morgan County Planning Director Chuck Jarrell filed two Development of Regional Impact (DRI) statements with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, as required by law for the project to move forward.

Jarrell reported that the Joint Development Authority (JDA) expects to earn $100 million in local tax revenues every year from the Rivian development to be split between Morgan, Walton, Newton, and Jasper counties, as well as the City of Social Circle.

Jarrell also noted that the Rivian development will affect 26 property owners who control 43 parcels of land in both Morgan and Walton counties. Short said that every property owner involved as willingly sold their land to the JDA, and no eminent domain has been used to acquire land for the Rivian development.

The site plan also calls for significant roadwork in and around the Rivian Automotive plant. Jarrell reported that a traffic study will be conducted in the near future to determine all the details.

As of now, the site plan calls for a new exit to be built on I-20 to Old Mill Road in Rutledge. Other improvements include widening U.S. Highway 278 and connecting Old Mill Road to Highway 278.

Short believes the Rivian Plant will provide significant benefits for the people of Morgan County and beyond, as well as become a force for environmental protection and stewardship.

“In all my years in economic development, this is the greenest company I have ever encountered. Their mission is to reduce the carbon footprint of our world,” said Short. “But we are most excited about the jobs this will bring to the area…Rivian will provide generational career opportunities and benefits for thousands of families.”

Short and members of the JDA held a community meeting at the Social Circle Middle School on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the new site plan and other details of the Rivian Automotive development. As of press time, details of the meeting were not yet available.

Check our website for updates on this story at www.morgancountycitizen.com, or follow us on Facebook.

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