STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Stone County could be the home of hundreds of new jobs in the near future. The county is in talks right now with a couple of different companies who are looking to start their business in McHenry.
Stone County was named one of America's best places for development by the Trade and Industry Development Magazine earlier this year.
Executive Director of the Stone County Economic Development Partnership Jay Paul Gumm said, "Well, essentially you can get anywhere in the world from Stone County. Our access to both the ports in Gulfport and in Pascagoula and mobile. As well as, the upgrades they have made to the Kansas City Southern Rail Line and Highway 49."
Gumm said because of those routes, businesses the county is currently in talks with believe portions of land that sit off of East McHenry Road in Stone County are a gold mine.
Gumm said, "We have seven turn key buildings available there and 463 acres of available for development on 16 section school land."
The property was previously used by General Dynamics, a company that made parts for the military. Earlier this year that contract ended, and now Stone County is welcoming new businesses to fill the buildings, hoping to create hundreds of new jobs for South Mississippians.
"It gives us an opportunity to re-purpose that site and re-market it to just not one tenant, but to a number of tenants," said Gumm. "And that's what we hope to do. We are going to see more than one company on the McHenry east side."
Gumm said you will see manufacturing and warehouse distribution companies use the site.
"We've already become one of the fastest growing counties in Mississippi over the past 20 years. You're going to see Stone County continue to grow and we believe very strongly it's going to be a bigger economic engine than it was with General Dynamics," said Gumm.
On a side note, Gumm said the land on the west side of Highway 49 across from the Walmart in Wiggins has been purchased by a private developer and you should see retail businesses taking shape very soon.