Brothers in the Bond

By Scott Taylor, president, Carter

ScottTaylor2 WEST POINT, Ga. (Feb. 3, 2010) – What do the mayor of West Point, vice chairman of CB Richard Ellis and president of Carter have in common? We were all fraternity brothers at the University of Georgia in the mid-80s, and we now all are focused on economic development and bringing new jobs to our great state of Georgia. 

West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson was kind enough to invite CBRE Vice Chairman Sam Holmes and me to visit his city to see for ourselves the amazing success of the new $1 billion Kia plant and related economic development activity in the area. Sam and I were incredibly impressed with the vision, the planning and the execution that has gone into not only salvaging West Point but turning the area into a model to be followed for economic development.

Drew Ferguson While Ferguson, right, has to shepherd the city through the economic storm that we all are facing, the team in West Point is poised to leverage the wonderful assets it has in place and build on the success story of the Kia plant. 

In November, the first U.S.-built 2011 Kia Sorento CUV rolled off the assembly line at the West Point assembly and manufacturing plant that sits on 2,259 acres in the city. At full capacity, the plant will employ 2,500 people and with onsite and proximate suppliers expected to create an additional 7,500 jobs. The plant will have a capacity to produce as many as 300,000 vehicles annually.

HolmesSam1  We plan to continue the economic development dialogue and hope to conceive more ways that businesses in Atlanta can work with and help those in West Point and vice versa.

Sam Holmes, left, my college roommate, also reminded me that it was the first time he and I had driven over 5 miles together without adult beverages involved.

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