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The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently welcomed Mike Bell, Director of External Affairs for Rayonier, as a guest speaker.  Bell began his presentation with a brief history of Rayonier, an international forest products company which has had a presence in Nassau County for more than 80 years.  The primary focus of his talk was about TerraPointe, Rayonier’s land development subsidiary, and two important projects that division has in the works in Nassau County:  the East Nassau Employment Center and the Crawford Diamond. 

The first encompasses some 24,000 acres adjacent to I-95 and running east to Chester Road.  The area, being handled by the state and county as a sector plan, has undergone some 19 public hearings and will be developed over the next 50 years.  While the plan includes residential parcels, retail areas, schools and recreation, the initial focus will be on developing 2,500 acres near A1A and I-95 as an employment center for corporate headquarters, office complexes and research and development companies.  Bell also discussed plans for the Crawford Diamond, an 1,800 acre site with dual railroad access west of Callahan.  He noted that this site will be suitable for industrial development because of its proximity to I-95, I-10, the Jacksonville airport, JaxPort and the Port of Fernandina.  Bell closed by saying that TerraPointe is partnering with Nassau County to roll out the welcome mat to new companies so that high-paying jobs can be created closer to home.