By Barbra Murray
Georgia-Pacific has chosen the Peach State for the development of its newest softwood lumber mill. The company, a leading provider of paper goods and building products, will erect a 320,000-square-foot plant in Albany at a cost of $150 million.
The new facility will be located within the 225-acre Albany-Dougherty Industrial Park, roughly 175 miles south of Atlanta and 90 miles north of Tallahassee, Fla. “Albany was an attractive fit for this facility because of the talented workforce in the region; the cost of doing business; proximity to raw materials [including] trees; and access to rail and highways,” Fritz Mason, vice president & general manager with Georgia-Pacific Lumber, said in a prepared statement. “Plus, we have received a very warm reception from the leadership in Albany, Dougherty County, and the State of Georgia.”
Additionally, Georgia’s highway system provides trucks with two-day access to 80 percent of the U.S. market.
Georgia-Pacific plans to commence construction of the state-of-the-art lumber mill by year’s end. The project, scheduled to come online in late 2019, will create 130 full-time positions at the plant, support an additional 340 jobs in the state, and generate 440 full-time jobs during the construction period.
The lumber mill in Albany, where Georgia-Pacific has had a presence since 1981, will join the list of the company’s 18 plants currently in operation in Georgia, and add to the approximately $1 billion the manufacturer has invested in the state since 2012.
With news of the Albany plan, Georgia-Pacific has unveiled a total of three softwood lumber mill projects within the last 12 months. The company is currently building a 340,000-square-foot facility in Warrenton, Ga., for $135 million. Also underway is a $100 million, 300,000-square-foot mill on the site of the company’s former plywood plant in Talladega, Ala. Georgia-Pacific presently operates approximately 200 facilities in more than 30 states across the U.S., and there are more to come. The timing is right, as are certain locations.
“Raw material, transportation and infrastructure drive our locations,” Rick Kimble, spokesperson for Georgia-Pacific, told Commercial Property Executive. “As the housing market continues to slowly recover and the demand for lumber remains strong, we are evaluating similar investments throughout North America.” The primary consideration for these investments, he added, includes available work force; proximity to end-use markets; long-term regional raw material supply; and local transportation infrastructure.
Image courtesy of Georgia-Pacific