Decades of work: Ball Corp. closes on last parcel at North Floyd Industrial Park
Ball Corp. has closed on the sale of the last available lot at the North Floyd Industrial Park, a move that finalizes decades of work at the 110-acre property located at the intersection of Ga. 53 and 140.
The company plans a 750,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center on the property to the tune of $51.8 million. The company has a large beverage container plant and a brand new recyclable aluminum cup manufacturing plant less than 5 miles from that site.
“We’re very excited that Ball is getting ready to begin construction,” said Jimmy Byars, chair of the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority, during the group’s meeting on Tuesday.
The deal is the culmination of decades of work at that site. The first tenant was the massive Lowe’s Distribution Center announced in 2011 and opened in 2013.
The Rome-Floyd County Development Authority and Development Authority of Floyd County had joint ownership of the land and had a revenue-sharing agreement.
When times got tough, Floyd County stepped in to pay interest on the bonds used to purchase the property. The total payments to date are approximately $2.5 million, County Manager Jamie McCord said. The sale pays off the debt on the site as well as eliminates the interest payments.
“For the last two and a half years we’ve paid roughly $750,000 a year on the bonds for the property, waiting on a sale,” County Commission Chair Wright Bagby said. “Kudos to everybody.”
County commissioners will decide what to do with the funds the county government used to pay the bonds, McCord said. He will present that question to commissioners. There is a potential that money could be reinvested for future economic recruitment by allocating funds to either or both development authorities.
NWGa Regional Hospital property
As for the Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property, Kendrick said they’re still waiting on their purchase contract to be signed by the state. They’re also seeking approximately $500,000 in grants to assist in the cost of cleaning up the property, much of it asbestos mitigation.
During the meeting, City Commissioner Wendy Davis, who chairs the housing committee, presented a proposal to use some of that property to alleviate the need for housing.
“Our housing situation is impacting our economic development,” she said. She proposed selling the existing homes for approximately $100,000 each and then selling the 30 to 35 acres near those homes as infill lots.
The 132.5 acres is being purchased using $2.25 million in SPLOST funds earmarked for economic development. She estimated the price of the standing homes alone would cover much of the cost of purchasing the property.
Davis estimated that homes on the site alongside the potential for infill could equal 46 homes on a segregable portion of the property. By taking that estimate and valuing the homes at $200,000 each, the city could add $9 million to its tax base, she said.
“There’s a lot of value, looking at those numbers,” Davis said.
Another member of the housing committee, Harry Brock, suggested the plan would create communities within the city rather than pushing for expansion that reduces the wooded areas of the county.
“We need to maximize the land we have now, using infill housing,” he said.
No action was taken concerning that proposal at the meeting.