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Massive warehouse complex planned for Covington’s north side
Multi-million-square-foot facility planned for area long zoned for industrial uses
Covington Industrial Park
The industrial park development is proposed to include 4.08-million square feet of buildings for warehousing and manufacturing on 478 acres with entrances planned at Georgia Hwy. 142 and Alcovy Road. - photo by Courtesy of the city of Covington

COVINGTON, Ga. — A proposed 4-million-square-foot industrial park development in northeast Covington will be on land planned for industrial uses for decades and could be valued at $500 million when entirely built out.

Its mix of uses also could lead to employment of up to 3,000, a developer said.

Covington Industrial Park is the name given to a project for which the city government filed a notice of a planned Development of Regional Impact (DRI) with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs July 12.

The proposed industrial park development will consist of a total of 4.08 million square feet of buildings for warehousing and manufacturing when completed by 2030, according to the DRI.

The 478-acre site is located in an area north of Alcovy Road, south of Flat Rock and Gregory roads, and east of Georgia Hwy. 142. Entrances are planned at Hwy. 142 for heavy truck traffic, and a new traffic signal is proposed there. The other entrance at Alcovy Road will be where other traffic will be sent, the developer said.

Construction is planned in two phases, including 2.4 million square feet in phase one and 1.6 million square feet in phase two, said Covington chief planner Marc Beechuk.

The developer is listed as Buford-based Newton Land Investments LLC whose principal agent is John B. "Jay" Williams, according to information filed with the Georgia Secretary of State's office. 

Property owners include Southpoint Land Co. LLC; JBW Investments LLC and JF Land Investments LLC, according to the DRI.

Eric Johansen of Universal Planning & Development LLC, which is representing the developer, said demand is high for new warehouse space because of how the pandemic helped change the way consumers buy goods.

He said the planned buildings could be used for everything from warehousing and light manufacturing to e-commerce.

However, the first phase is planned as a speculative venture and will seek a tenant, rather than it being built for a tenant.

Most of the site has been owned by the Williams family and zoned for industrial uses for almost half a century, Johansen said.

However, he said the site is surrounded by governmental uses like the Newton County Sheriff's Office headquarters on one side, and residential uses in other areas.

"I don't think anyone thought of it as industrial," Johansen said.  

Johansen said Covington is becoming a hub for industry along the I-20 corridor. The site is in a prime location near I-20 and a rapidly developing area that includes Covington Town Center and Cinelease-Three Ring Studios, he noted.

He added that the goal is to begin work on an internal parkway through the 478-acre site within 12 months. However, the developer must receive a number of zoning and other approvals before construction can begin on buildings and roads, he said.

Johansen said he has requested annexation of 55 acres of the site at the northern end of the site that is now in unincorporated Newton County. He said the annexation will help buffer the site from other uses in the area.

According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, a Development of Regional Impact (DRIs) is a "large-scale development likely to have regional effects beyond the local government jurisdiction in which they are located."