“We’re hearing about adding land to the city and what that land should be zoned, not about how it should be used,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
PNK Group, which did not respond to requests for comment, has developed industrial parks in Georgia before, including in McDonough and near Savannah. Since 2022, the company has also filed DRIs for three other distribution centers, which have emerged as one of the state’s hottest uses for industrial land following the COVID-19 pandemic.
PNK Group was founded in Russia about 20 years ago and entered the U.S. market in 2017, according to an archived version of its website. Two entities with identical PNK Group logos exist today, one based in Russia and another with operations in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and with a home office in New York. The U.S. company also lists business dealings in Slovakia.
The project site near Madison was purchased by a company called I-20 & 83 SE LLC in February 2020 for nearly $2.2 million, according to county property records. A company called MS Park Construction LLC is the applicant for the DRI and is seeking the rezoning. According to DRI documents, MS Park does not own the land.
The site is a expanse of undeveloped forest between Ga. 83 and Indian Creek Road that is bisected by railroad tracks and the Fourmile Branch stream. Bob Hughes, the economic development director of the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce, said PNK Group could build a bridge to connect the parcels, although it would be costly.
He said the county does not plan to chip in to cover any of the project’s costs, adding that the county’s development authority declined to approve a property tax break for the distribution center.
“In the past, (Madison) has not really looked favorably on distribution centers,” Hughes said, citing resident concerns over truck traffic.
He added that the distribution center will be speculative, meaning it will not have any anchor tenants ahead of its construction.
Callahan said the mounting activity along I-20 near the Stanton Springs industrial park — which houses facilities by Takeda and Facebook and Rivian’s planned $5 billion EV factory — has prompted a lot of interest along the edges of Madison. She said at least a half-dozen developers have considered applying for annexation this year, but PNK is the first to follow through.
“This is kind of normal course,” she said.
The PNK project, if approved by city officials, is expected to be complete in 2026, according to the DRI filing.