Business Facilities’ 2012 Deal Of The Year: Baxter Bio/Pharma Complex In Georgia Takes Gold

Baxter International’s decision to make a $1.3-billion investment in Georgia is the Gold Award winner in Business Facilities’ 2012 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition.

The Baxter bio-pharmaceutical facility, an integrated campus which will include three main manufacturing components as well as warehousing, utilities and lab support facilities, is expected to directly create 1,800 jobs with an economic impact of $6.2 billion.

Over a 10-year period, the bioscience complex will generate a regional economic impact estimated at nearly $13 billion, creating more than 8,700 direct, indirect and induced jobs. The campus will be located in Covington, GA in Stanton Springs, a 1,620-acre master-designed industrial park west of Interstate 20 at the intersection of Newton, Walton, Jasper and Morgan counties.
Baxter’s new biologics manufacturing facility will include an advanced plasma fractionation facility that will give the bio/pharma giant additional capacity for testing and purification of its medications. Products to be made at the Georgia site include immunoglobulin treatments for patients with immune deficiencies and albumin products used as plasma-volume replacement therapies in critical care, trauma and burn patients.

“This mega-project will anchor Georgia’s thriving bioscience sector for years to come, moving the Peach State into the front ranks of national biotech players,” Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said.

Rogers said BF‘s judging panel for the Economic Development Deal of the Year competition was particularly impressed by the regional cooperation that brought this project to fruition, and the flexibility shown by state and county agencies in tailoring solutions to meet Baxter’s needs. Baxter narrowed the location search to four candidates internationally in 2009.

The entities involved in landing the project included the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Joint Development Authority of Walton, Newton, Morgan and Jasper Counties, Georgia Power and the Technology Park of Atlanta.

The quick turn-around time between the site selection decision announcement in April of this year and construction of primary facilities in the Baxter project is unprecedented, Rogers noted.

“Baxter announced its decision in April and by August 1 ground was already broken on a 1-million-plus-square-foot facility,” he said. “Georgia’s willingness to cut red tape  will be followed by a ribbon-cutting on a world-class bioscience complex.”

Construction of the first manufacturing buildings at the new Baxter campus is expected to be completed in 2015, with full commercial production commencing in 2018.

Projects nominated for Business Facilities’ annual Economic Development Deal of the Year competition are asked to submit an Economic Impact Analysis for the project (using standard analysis methods including RIMS II, REMI or IMPLAN) and a narrative detailing how the project came together.

The judging panel, including industry experts and leading site selection consultants, evaluates the overall impact of the project and assesses the effectiveness and innovation of the location’s approach to landing the deal. Key factors in the evaluation include creative use of incentives, regional cooperation, partnerships with higher education resources, potential for growth and execution of overall economic development strategy.

Click the highlighted links to read about winners in SilverBronze and Honorable Mention categories along with the winner of BF‘s State of the Year Award.