Development Authority of Bulloch County Provides Update

Staff Report

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

The Development Authority of Bulloch County (DABC) has released an economic development and operations update regarding key projects and its ongoing plans for responsible growth. Since the development authority was established in 1985, it has been committed to expanding economic opportunities in the Statesboro-Bulloch County area by growing, attracting, developing, and supporting new and existing business in its community.

An important change in 2022 was the renaming of the Southern Gateway Commerce Park located at the I-16/Highway 301 interchange. “Our community lost a true leader, Bruce Yawn, earlier this year. Bruce was instrumental is so many milestones, in the DABC’s positive growth as a board member and later as board chair,” DABC’s CEO Benjy Thompson said. “He was committed to helping to further improve our county’s quality of life with exceptional, high paying jobs. To honor Bruce and his legacy, the Board voted to change the name of the Southern Gateway Commerce Park to Bruce Yawn Commerce Park.”

One of the DABC’s big wins for Bulloch County is the Aspen Aerogels facility at Bruce Yawn Commerce Park. “This was a project that was years in the making,” Thompson explained. “A lot of folks may not realize that in order to grow responsibly, many projects take several years to come to fruition. There are many key elements to consider, such as infrastructure, available land, the impact of changing market conditions, and more.”

The DABC actually started working on the Aspen Aerogels project in 2014 and in 2015, Aspen Aerogels selected Bulloch County for its new facility. Not long after Aspen Aerogels announced it was coming to Bulloch County, market conditions changed, and the company decided not to build. “We didn’t let that stop our efforts,” Thompson noted. The DABC kept in touch with Aspen Aerogels, and in February of this year, the company announced that it was going to invest $325 million in a new facility that would create 250 jobs. Aspen Aerogels will make insulation blankets for electric vehicle (EV) battery compartments at this site.

Other key projects for the DABC have included an important strategic win, TravelCenters of America TA Express, which features a fuel station and truck shop at the Bruce Yawn Commerce Park. According to Thompson, this is the first new commercial project located in the Interstate Gateway Tax Allocation District.

More recently, the DABC secured another large project for Bulloch County. In early November, Joon Georgia announced that it had selected the county for its new factory, investing $317 million and creating 630 new jobs. Joon Georgia is the first auto parts supplier for Hyundai Motor Group’s EV plant in Bryan County. Bulloch County was part of a regional team including Bryan, Chatham and Effingham Counties in securing the Hyundai Motor Group’s decision to build its EV plant in Georgia, resulting in the largest economic development project in the state's history. Hyundai Motor Group’s impact includes $5.54 billion and 8,100 jobs at the Bryan County Mega Site. Thompson added that other significant supplier activity will likely occur as a result of the EV manufacturer’s facility.

“In addition to these projects, we continue to work on the DABC’s Gateway Regional Industrial Park. Industries there continue to have a positive impact on our community,” Thompson explained. Industries at Gateway Regional Industrial Park include Walmart DC, Briggs & Stratton, Cardinal Glass, Great Dane Trailers, GAF, and WL Plastics.

To learn more about the Authority of Bulloch County, please visit