Plum Creek Timber, out of Seattle, WA, and one of the largest private landowners in the nation, has begun developing a 2,000-acre “mega site” in south Georgia for future industrial use.
Speaking to stock analysts on April 28, Plum Creek CEO Rick Holley said the property, which he called the “Heart of Georgia mega site,” is in Laurens County, GA, about 100 miles west of Savannah and has excellent access to Interstate 16.
The company has begun zoning and mega site certification work, he said. “We expect this property to be ready to go to market within the next two years,” he said.
Plum Creek owned 6.8 million acres of timberland in 19 states at the end of 2013. Of that property, the company expects to sell, exchange, and/or develop about 800,000 acres of higher value timberlands over the next 15 years for recreational, conservation, commercial and residential purposes.
Plum Creek Development
The company has been particularly busy in the last several years in South, Holley said. In Columbia County, Fla., about 60 miles west of Jacksonville near the intersection of Interstate 10 and 75, Plum Creek owns 2,600 acres with state highway frontage and Class 1 rail line access. Holley said the company has secured more than 8 million square feet in industrial zoning for this property, which is known as the North Florida Intermodal Park. “The entitlements, designations and certifications we have secured combined with the location’s excellent access to road and rail transportation, make it a particularly attractive asset for a variety of potential tenants,” he said. The site is expected to be ready for the market by the end of this year, he said.
Plum Creek’s largest development opportunity is in Alachua County, Fla., and the city of Gainesville, Holley said. Plum Creek is the largest landowner in the county with 65,000 acres. Plum Creek plans a mix of land uses and has started the entitlement phase. It expects to have public hearings this summer and approval within the next 12 to 18 months, Holley said