Massive industrial park near Rivian EV plant proposed east of Atlanta

Gov. Brian Kemp stands next to a Rivian electric truck while announcing the company's plans to build a $5 billion plant east of Atlanta projected to employ 7,500 workers, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Atlanta. Some residents oppose the plant, saying it will spoil their rural quality of life. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

A company is pitching a sprawling warehouse and industrial complex in Covington, east of Atlanta, that would nearly double the industrial space in Newton County's seat, and add to the region's explosive surge of distribution and light manufacturing space.

The proposed 4-million-square-foot industrial park, bigger than two Lenox Square malls, spans nearly 500 acres, according to state paperwork filed last week. Dubbed the Covington Industrial Park, the project includes e-commerce, manufacturing and general warehouse space - sectors that have been booming for years, but particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The industrial park, whose developer hasn't been publicly announced, would also be the latest gigantic investment by the industrial sector along the I-20 corridor east of Atlanta, and it would join the nearby $5-billion Rivian project in transforming the area. Marc Beechuk, the planning director for Covington, told the Atlanta Journal- Constitution the city and surrounding area is just beginning to see the effects of the industrial investment.

"The