West Nassau County Site Named 'Mega' Industrial Park; the Wooded Area Owned by Rayonier Could Become the Home to Industry
Bauerlein, David, The Florida Times Union
Byline: David Bauerlein
State Sen. Aaron Bean turned to Gov. Rick Scott and told him Nassau County is so passionate about job creation "that we will go into the deep woods and celebrate under a tent if it means bringing jobs."
Bean's description captured the scene Tuesday morning at Crawford Diamond Industrial Park, which covers about 1,800 acres of forest in west Nassau County where CSX and Norfolk Southern rail lines intersect.
Scott joined U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, state lawmakers and county officials as they hailed McCallum Sweeney Consulting's designation of Crawford Diamond as a "mega industrial park."
"This is going to be exciting," Scott told the crowd gathered under a huge tent near the Norfolk Southern line. "I'll do everything I can to promote this area and promote this specific project as I travel around the county and get more businesses here."
Several sites given the "mega" designation by McCallum Sweeney later gained large manufacturing operations such as automobile plants. But the label doesn't necessarily lead quickly to development.
For instance, McCallum Sweeney designated a 1,300-acre portion of Cecil Commerce Center on Jacksonville's Westside as a "mega site" in 2006 because it can support a large industrial user such as an automobile manufacturing plant. That part of the commerce center remains undeveloped.
Crawford Diamond is all trees now, but Nassau County has authorized 10.5 million square feet of industrial development. McCallum Sweeney's certification is a "stamp of approval" that will raise the property's profile when companies are scouting for places to expand, said Steve Rieck, executive director of the Nassau County Economic Development Board. …