Wednesday, March 26, 2008
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
WEST POINT - Bulldozers are everywhere in this west Georgia community, hauling away huge piles of the region's rich red clay.
Apartment buildings, restaurants and hotels are sprouting up in what had been lazy hayfields, thanks in large part to the arrival of Kia Motors Corp. The South Korean company opened a sleek new training facility here on Tuesday and will begin churning out economy cars when the main assembly plant opens in 2009.
The nation may be teetering on the brink of recession, but this rural region along the Alabama border - struggling since area textile mills shut down in the 1970s - is experiencing an economic boom.
'We have developers just coming out of the woodwork,' said Jane Fryer, president of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce. 'The impact for this region is enormous.'
Gov. Sonny Perdue cut a ceremonial ribbon to mark the opening of the training facility on Tuesday. Perdue called the planned $1.2 billion Kia auto assembly plant 'the single largest economic development project in state history.'