COVINGTON, Ga. — City officials and developers gathered Thursday, Sept. 9, in Covington to break ground on a potentially 167-acre development project by Ashley Capital.
Located off Hazelbrand Road, Ashley Capital intends to construct up to four industrial buildings to anchor Covington Logistics Park.
Mayor Steve Horton said he believed the development would greatly benefit the city and county on many different levels.
“I think this is a great opportunity for the city,” he said. “Something we’ve talked about is having a low percentage of Class A industrial space. There’s really not been a lot of opportunity for businesses to locate or expand here. By the time it’s all said and done, I believe this will be in the ballpark of around 1.7 million square feet of industrial space.”
Horton also believed the development would attract industries that would cultivate many jobs that are considered essential and high-paying.
“You know, something worth noting, too, is Ashley Capital chose this community and chose to be partners with us,” he said. “I really appreciate them for doing that, because they certainly didn’t have to. And I think that speaks well for this community.”
Horton said he felt the biggest reason Covington was chosen by Ashley Capital for such a project was not only for the sizable land and optimal location, but the “demand is ripe for it.”
Serra P. Hall, who is executive director of the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, concurred with Horton’s comments.
“The Ashley Capital development is an outstanding addition to Covington/Newton County,” Hall said. “We are in need of new buildings for our current inventory mix and Ashley Capital has brought their expertise to the table. Newton County has seen tremendous business interest during the 2020-2021 year. The commitment by the Ashley Capital team is one for recognition. This is a big project that will have a major impact on jobs and support for our current companies. The Newton County Industrial Development Authority is thrilled about the city's groundbreaking event and we look forward to the future with Ashley Capital.”
Construction of the first building, expected to be 322,560 square feet, is now underway and is anticipated to be completed by spring 2022, per site plans from Ashley Capital. It will include 68 dock spaces, 65 trailer spaces and 192 car spaces.
Specifications for a proposed second building would be 698,880 square-feet with 160 dock spaces, 182 trailer spaces and 321 car spaces.
Both buildings would set on a 100 acre site. There are two options for how the remaining 67 acres would be utilized, per Ashley Capital’s site plans.
Option A involves the construction of two separate buildings, one measuring 302,400 square feet and the other 411,264 square feet. There would be a combined total of 178 dock spaces, 207 trailer spaces and 364 car spaces.
If Option B were chosen, only one 659,680 square-foot building would be constructed. It would have 67 dock spaces with rail, 134 dock spaces without rail, 156 trailer spaces and 400 car spaces.
The 67-acre site is bordered by the CSX main line, which would provide availability for rail services for incoming manufacturers or distributors.
Ashley Capital is one of the largest privately owned industrial real estate investment/development firms in the U.S. Founded in 1984, it currently has offices in several major cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and more. Ashley Capital’s current portfolio stands at approximately 25 million square-feet with properties concentrated throughout the eastern half of the U.S.