COVINGTON — The Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton Counties is about to wrap up construction of a four-lane extension of Shire Parkway in Stanton Springs that is expected to generate interest in further economic development at the business park.
Funding for the $3.5 million project, which extends the parkway 3,000 feet, came from Facebook’s purchase of land in Stanton Springs from the JDA and from a $500,000 OneGeorgia grant from the state Department of Community Affairs.
Shane Short, economic developer for Stanton Springs, said extension of the parkway was a critical need for future development.
“With the closing of the Facebook deal, the JDA had no more property along the existing parkway,” said Short, who is executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County. “Everything on the left (of the parkway) belongs to Takeda, and almost everything on the right belongs to Facebook. So we had to extend the parkway so we could open up about 600 additional acres. … If we didn’t do this parkway, we