Looking toward expansion: Local development authorities map out goals, difficulties for industrial recruitment
As Floyd County’s industries move toward expansion, the county’s three development authorities are constantly on the lookout for new land.
At this point Floyd County has the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority, the Development Authority of Floyd County and the Gordon-Floyd Joint Development Authority. Each of the entities serve a similar purpose, attracting business prospects to the area, and each of them is reporting an interest in local industries expanding.
Among those are several in southern Floyd County, like packing material manufacturer Sunrise Manufacturing. The company is currently based in a small building on 2.16 acres at 1900 Parrish Drive in the Gateway Industrial Park off U.S. 27. It is seeking to expand its operations and move to the Floyd County Industrial Park just down the road.
In the same area, the Kellogg plant on Old Lindale Road is also expecting to expand onto nearby property. These moves are coming after significant Summit Hill Foods and Kerry expansions.
That’s all good news, but — as the hamster wheel of economic development turns — that means they’re continuing to look for more land.
“We’re still trying to find as much property as we can,” Kendrick said. “We’re looking at property anywhere and everywhere for industrial development.”
Floyd County has its own nearly unique issue on that front; much of the choice property for industrial development is locked into conservation easements.
There are possibilities, however, including the potential to purchase some of the land currently owned by Norfolk Southern. Another comes from a temporary operation.
Bordeau Metals, a company contracting with the demolition group for Plant Hammond, will be taking larger chunks of metal from the former power plant and reducing them.
Why that’s important is, even though it’s a temporary deal, the company will be grading the area which can be ready for development once they’re done.
“The fact that we’ll get a site that will be pad ready is significant,” Kendrick said. And that site will be near F&P, which also has the potential to be ready for expansion.
NWGA Regional Hospital property
Other projects, which will take some time to bring to fruition, include land the authority already owns. For instance, the former Northwest Georgia Hospital property off Division Street.
Most of the buildings will have to be demolished on the 130-plus acres that were purchased from the state using $2.25 million approved by voters in the 2013 and 2017 SPLOST packages.
Currently, they’re maintaining the site and assessing cleanup. The authority received a $500,000 federal assessment grant in May. The grant funds will be used for, among other things, environmental cleanup assessment and planning purposes for sites like the former hospital property. However, Kendrick said, the assessment grant is like a stepping stone to other grants.
Even with the site in its current state, the authority is seeking to recruit new manufacturers to locate on the property. There’s also the potential that nearby industries could choose to expand using the available property.
North Floyd County
Steel is going up at the 425,000-square-foot Hillman Group distribution facility near Balta at 6785 Calhoun Highway.
Also, on the same property in Shannon, local officials held a ribbon cutting for a 236,600-square-foot industrial spec building, built by Plymouth REIT. The company is currently leveling another area of that property for an additional 180,000-square-foot finished spec building.
Just down the road, construction is beginning in earnest on Ball Corp.’s 750,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center on the former Floyd County Industrial Park land just below the Gordon County line.
The new construction is approximately five miles from the company’s beverage container and aluminum cup manufacturing plants.