Is Amazon coming to Appling? Company, county leaders all hush-hush on Columbia County's 'biggest project' ever

Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

GDOT work at exit 183 is coming, but what about rumors of Amazon in the Appling, GA area? (Source: WRDW)

APPLING, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – It’s being called the biggest project to ever come to Columbia County, but it’s all pretty hush-hush.

There’s plenty of development at exit 183, but there are also plenty of rumors.

So, what do we know?

The 183 exit will see a complete transformation. GDOT officials say it's for safety reasons and to support the growth coming to the area -- especially at the White Oak Business Park.

County officials won't say much, but people in Columbia County hope the rumors are true.

“I’ve heard the rumors,” resident Roscoe Perry said. “Possibility of Amazon coming to the area.”

Social media is filled with posts. Even two local realtors posted the site plan, congratulating the development authority and welcoming an Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Back in December, the planning commission was asked to approve a 105-foot height variance for a new client in the park. Jim Cox, planning commission chairman, says he's been told it's the biggest project to come to Columbia County.

A spokesperson for Amazon released a statement.

"Amazon has a policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation. The company is constantly investigating new locations to support the growth and increase the flexibility of its North American fulfillment network to address customers' needs, however, Amazon is not yet commenting on any specific plans in Georgia."

Robbie Bennett with development also can't confirm, but he does say with Club Car up and running, they're actively working on developing the 322 acres left.

He also says the new exit 183 plans will support growth at the park. Kyle Collins with GDOT agrees.

"It'll be able to support all the freight coming in and out, every day travelers, whether it’s residential or commercial,” Collins said.

They will rebuild and widen the bridge and add roundabouts on the eastbound and westbound sides. It'll also relocate Nature’s Way 700 feet to the North.

"So it's a much-needed improvement, I think folks would agree that travel this area,” Collins said. “There are some sight distance issues, some speeding issues and especially given all the advancements the county is making with the development plans, it'll only further support those."

So while it's still a little unclear what exactly is coming to Appling, we know for sure changes are coming to exit 183. The project is an $8.4 million TIA funded project. They expect work to start late spring/early summer and it to be completed at the end of 2022.

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