‘A lot in the works’: Development authority seeking new properties, NWGA Regional closing in early February
As behind-the-scenes work turns into land cleared and steel rising, local development authorities are seeking to continue that momentum.
That joint effort will be discussed at a meeting of members of the authorities during a day-long session on Feb. 18. The intent of that session includes devising strategies to work together to create opportunities for industrial recruitment in Floyd County.
Part of the discussion will likely cover how to move forward with the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property. The tentative closing date is Feb. 8 for the 130-plus acres centrally located in Rome off Division Street.
However, the planned demolition of most of the old buildings isn’t likely to begin until late 2022 or early 2023. The next step is getting the site Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development certification, which tells investors the site is ready for fast-track construction projects.
Warehouse space is located on the property and will be available for lease, Rome Floyd County Development Authority President Missy Kendrick said. The chapel will be preserved and used as office space, and plans are to retain one of the buildings as a possible childcare facility for the employees of industries that locate there.
The authority authorized the use of $2.25 million in funds approved by voters in the 2013 and 2017 SPLOST packages for procuring additional industrial property or improving existing properties.
Another large piece of property purchased with just under $4.2 million in SPLOST funds is located along U.S. 411, surrounding Bass Ferry Road. The 202.34 acres are ready to be marketed, Kendrick said.
The rest of what the authorities own right now aren’t the most sellable properties, she said, and that’s a topic they’re hoping to tackle during the February session.
North Floyd booming
If there was a heat map for industrial warehouse growth in Floyd County, much of the bright red and orange would be centered near one intersection — at Ga. 53 and Ga. 140.
A lot of that transformation will be clearly visible if you’re driving by the area in the near future.
The Hillman Group is already clearing land for its 400,000-square-foot distribution facility next to the Balta Home facility. The company is hoping to have that massive building up and running by the end of 2022.
On the same property — which is largely bordered by Ga. 53, Gaines Loop Road and Pinson Road — Plymouth Industrial REIT is planning not one but two large finished spec buildings.
The company is preparing to construct a 236,600-square-foot industrial building alongside a 180,000-square-foot building at 6785 Calhoun Highway.
The announcement this week of the second building is a particular coup for the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority. They’ve long sought a developer to invest in a speculative building, ready for occupancy.
Kendrick said most prospects are looking for an existing building to move into and this would fill that need for Floyd County.
Just across the intersection, there’s the Lowe’s Distribution facility and, more importantly, a significant planned expansion of the Ball Corp. facilities.
The Ball Corp. plan is to build a 750,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center on the property, located less than 5 miles from its recyclable aluminum cup factory.
“We’ve got a lot of things in the works right now,” Kendrick said.