Residential Growth Exploding Around New KIA Plant

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

WEST POINT, GA (WTVM) -  West Point, Georgia and the small towns surrounding it are basking in the glow of the national spotlight thanks to the new KIA plant.

In stark contrast to the nation's sluggish economy, thousands of jobs are being created in Troup County and right over the border in Chambers County, Alabama.

One of the area's biggest developers, the Greater Valley Group, is already reaping the rewards.

"We had a banner month this past month in filling our apartments, many of them KIA employees, team members," said GVG's Mary Susan Underwood.

The company has also built hotels and housing developments like Quail Run in Chambers County that will eventually boast close to 250 new homes.

But not everyone moving to the area is trying to be a KIA team member.

Others, like Drew Rennolds, are trying to cash in on the population influx.

Rennolds was selling real estate in Florida when he heard about the car manufacturer setting up shop in southwest Georgia. He now works for the Greater Valley Group.

"My wife and I actually took the step and moved up here because of everything that's coming- KIA, the Tier 1 suppliers, just everything as far as the economy is concerned," he said.

And he isn't the only one who sees the promise of a new day dawning in this region.

"We are seeing many people from up north from around Michigan and the Detroit area plus a lot of people from Illinois and Indiana and even California are moving here," Underwood said.

"I think that this area is a poster child for what can be good not just for the state but for the United States because you hear a lot about depressed market and economy and here, it's really picking up. It's coming. If we're not here, they're not going to have anywhere to live two weeks, six months, a year down the road once everything gets rolling," Rennolds added.

It seems as though it's full steam ahead for builders like the Greater Valley Group and KIA whose on track to start production later this year.