The long-awaited site plan for Rivian Automotive’s new multibillion-dollar electric car manufacturing plant in Stanton Springs North was released this week.
Rivian’s new site plan paints a startling picture of the unprecedented scale of the massive factory when fully constructed, spanning 2,000 acres in Morgan and Walton counties.
“We’ve never seen anything like it here,” said Shane Short, Walton County economic development director.
The expansive green pastures of former Verner family and Bowden family farmland in Rutledge will soon be covered with concrete, becoming the hub of industrial development heading into downtown Rutledge.
“A lot of Rivian’s buildings will be built on former Verner family farmland and Bowden family farmland,” Short said. “This will help preserve some of the green space and wetlands closer to I-20 and US Highway 278. The plant will be approximately three miles from the town of Rutledge.”
According to the recently released sitemap, approximately 13 million square feet of the Rivian plant will be built in Morgan County. The total project requires up to 20 million square feet of construction space.
Rivian’s new plant could be up to 20 times the size of Takeda’s pharmaceutical plant in Stanton Springs, which spans 1 million square feet. Even the Kia plant in West Point, Georgia is just 2.2 million square feet.
For a visual comparison, 20 million square feet of construction space represents 347 football fields. It would be three times the size of Disneyland and four times the size of Vatican City.
In addition to manufacturing warehouses and office buildings, roads, parking lots, access points and stormwater management areas will also be built in Morgan County for the project.
Rivian will invest up to $ 5 billion in the new plant, generate 7,500 jobs and produce 400,000 electric vehicles per year when fully operational. Site plan details were revealed after Morgan County Planning Director Chuck Jarrell filed two Regional Impact Development (DRI) statements with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, as the demands the law to move the project forward.
Jarrell said the Joint Development Authority (JDA) expects to earn $ 100 million in local tax revenue each year through the development of Rivian, which will be split among Morgan, Walton, Newton and Jasper counties, as well as the town of Social Circle.
Jarrell also noted that the development of Rivian will affect 26 landowners who control 43 plots of land in Morgan and Walton counties. Short said each landowner involved voluntarily sold their land to the JDA and no prominent estates were used to acquire land for Rivian development.
The site plan also provides for major road works in and around the Rivian Automotive plant. Jarrell has indicated that a traffic survey will be conducted in the near future to determine all the details.
As of now, the site plan calls for the construction of a new exit off I-20 to Old Mill Road in Rutledge. Other improvements include widening US Highway 278 and connecting Old Mill Road to Highway 278.
Short believes the Rivian plant will provide significant benefits to residents of Morgan County and beyond, and become a force for environmental protection and stewardship.
“In all my years of economic development, this is the greenest company I have ever come across. Their mission is to reduce the carbon footprint of our world, ”said Short. “But we are very excited about the jobs this will bring to the region… Rivian will provide career opportunities and generational benefits to thousands of families.”
Short and members of the JDA held a community meeting at Social Circle Middle School on Tuesday, January 11 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the new site map and other details of Rivian Automotive’s development. At the time of going to press, details of the meeting were not yet available.