An agreement with the Georgia Ports Authority to buy land for the inland port off Ga. 365 in northeast Hall County was formally approved by the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority Wednesday morning.
The price for the 108-acre tract was nearly $5.6 million, said Tread Syfan, lawyer for the Development Authority, which sold the land to the Georgia Ports Authority.
The Northeast Georgia Inland Port, which will be in Gateway Industrial Centre, will serve as a regional terminal for cargo heading from the Port of Savannah to area companies. It could open in 2021.
The authority’s Dec. 12 action was a ratification of a purchase agreement approved in an earlier executive session.
“We didn’t want to get out ahead of the announcement by the governor,” Syfan said of Wednesday’s vote.
The project was announced earlier this year, but state officials, including Gov. Nathan Deal, touted and gave more details about the project at a gathering with area business and government leaders Dec. 3 at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.
Construction is expected to start in August 2019 along a long, thin strip of land next to Norfolk Southern railroad lines.
The port will serve the Interstate 85 region of Georgia, “an important (area) for the production of heavy equipment, food and forest products," Deal said at the Dec. 3 meeting.
It could eventually employ up to 20 people but “will also act as an economic development tool, drawing new investment from business and industry to Hall and its surrounding counties,” the governor said.