County closes on industrial park property

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Pearl River County recently closed on the property for the new Pearl River County Industrial Park.  Located on Highway 26 approximately .1 miles from I-59 in Poplarville, the new industrial park is located at the hub of a major transportation corridor with six airports, three ports and three interstates all within close proximity of the site. Formerly a wood chip mill, the 130-acre site will begin to see new development now that the property has been acquired by the County. 

The purchase of the Pearl River County Industrial Park in Poplarville would not have been possible if not for the partnership and dedication of the state legislators representing Pearl River County. During the 2022 Legislative Session, local legislators secured $1.6 million of funding through the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund (GCRF), funding from the BP Settlement Fund, for the purchase of the new industrial park land. Together with matching funds of $400,000 from Pearl River County, the purchase of the property marks the first phase of a multi-phase effort to make the property in Poplarville welcoming to new industry investment. The new industrial park will be located in Mississippi House District 106, which is represented by Representative Jansen Owen, and Mississippi Senate District 40, which is represented by Senator Angela Hill. 

“Having property for new businesses to locate is key to growing our local economy and bringing new, good paying jobs to Poplarville and Pearl River County,” said Representative Owen. “I’m proud that we were able to secure this important funding for the first phase of what will be a historic investment in Poplarville.”

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Senator Hill stated, “We were basically out of developable sites for new industry in both Picayune and Poplarville.  The location close to I-59 with existing utilities will facilitate faster development than a bare piece of property with no services.  All of these factors were considered in selecting the best location for the new industrial park.  We will continue to advocate for more BP funding to further make this site one that is highly sought after for good paying industrial job growth.”

The new Pearl River County Industrial Park was greatly needed for our region.  “This was a team effort and shows the dedicated partnership between our local government and our representatives in Jackson.  I am incredibly proud of this project and the extensive hard work put into growing our economy.  The new industrial park will create a brighter future and higher paying jobs for the residents of Pearl River County,” said Sandy Kane Smith, President of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors.  Prior to closing on the property, there was a severe shortage of available, publicly-owned, industrial property in our County.  In order to recruit new industry to our community, publicly-owned property is critical for a community to be competitive in the recruitment process. 

“The new industrial park will be one of the most significant assets for the future of our County.  The economic impact of the park will directly support and enhance the families in our community for generations to come through the jobs and private investment that will occur as a direct result of this project,” stated Lindsay Ward, Director of Economic Development for Pearl River County.  The industry sectors that will be targeted for recruitment at the new industrial park are distribution and warehousing, light manufacturing and heavy manufacturing with the potential to expand to the County’s other targeted areas of focus for recruitment including aerospace, the blue economy, polymers and healthcare.  Economic development is vital for a strong, healthy community.  With the recent purchase of the property for the Pearl River County Industrial Park our County will continue to be a place for families to work, live and play.