Speculation over what has been known for months as “Project WY” is over.
Weyerhaeuser will be building a new 7,000-square-foot regional timberlands office building on Perry Lane near the intersection with U.S. 341, the former site of the Georgia State Patrol post.
The announcement was made at Tuesday’s Golden Isles Development Authority, where board members explained how they helped Weyerhaeuser find the ideal location for a regional office.
Ryan Moore, president and CEO of the authority, said Weyerhaeuser officials didn’t want to go public with any announcement until there was certainty a deal would happen.
The company was unable to find property west of Interstate 95 to build a new office, which is why they reached out to the authority. Moore contacted county officials to see if they knew of any land in that area that might be available.
The timing was good because county commissioners had identified a tract of county-owned land that could be available for development.
“The stars just aligned,” Moore said.
The county Department of Community Development, with support from the county commission, helped with the deal, including permitting and identifying the workflow needed to deliver newly constructed office space before Weyerhaeuser’s existing lease expires.
“The Golden Isles Development Authority is committed to moving at the speed of business,” said Wayne Johnson, the authority’s chairman. “The board and staff are available to listen to your goals. Together we can identify solutions that support your growth in our community and beyond.”
Moore said projects always get a nickname when confidentiality agreements are signed. The agreements require authorities and government officials to provide the absolute minimum of information required by law until an agreement is reached.
The company’s reasons for secrecy include not wanting competitors to know they are expanding, to control communications to their employees and shareholders, and to prevent unsolicited proposals by suppliers and service providers.
“They were looking for a place to build. We thought we had a perfect site,” he said.
The work included working with county officials to rezone the site to sell to Weyerhaeuser.
“It’s just a great project, a great partnership with the county,” Moore said. “We’ve really accomplished a lot to get to this point.”
Another project announcement at the meeting was for “Project Peach,” which will be a 5,000-acre solar farm off U.S. 82 near the Brantley County line. The solar field will be built by Peach Blossom LLC with an investment of as much as $340 million, adding $16.5 million to the county’s tax digest.
The company will be submitting bids to sell power to one of the utilities, Moore said.
“Right now it’s timberland,” Moore said. “It’s a large capital investment.”