SPLOST-funded land projects working toward accelerated construction certification process
As an EV boom continues in Bartow County, the interest in a 200-plus acre property near the border in Floyd County is high as the SPLOST-funded project moves through the site certification process.
“If we don’t sell this site before we get all the reporting done, we’ll move forward with the (Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development) certification process,” Rome-Floyd County Development Authority President and CEO Missy Kendrick said.
The GRAD process essentially allows certified sites to fast-track construction projects through advance due diligence. That due diligence process is currently underway. Almost all the environmental reports have been completed, Kendrick told the authority board Tuesday.
The Enterprise Corner site, located along U.S. 411 at 231 Bass Ferry Road, was purchased by the authority for just under $4.2 million in special purpose, local option sales tax funds in 2021.
Another SPLOST funded site, the Battey Business Complex, is also working toward GRAD goals.
The Battey site is the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property, located off Division Street. The development authority purchased the vacant 132.5-acre hospital complex from the state with $2.25 million from the SPLOST packages.
GEI Consultants is currently on site conducting an environmental cleanup assessment. That environmental assessment will cost approximately $100,000, leaving the rest of a $500,000 grant for other projects — including the former O’Neill Manufacturing location, a 7-acre tract off Anderson Street in North Rome.
Once the assessment of the Battey site is complete, the authority will be able to access $5.1 million in federal Housing and Urban Development grant funds for the cleanup and demolition of most buildings on the site. However, those funds will come as a reimbursement, Kendrick said.
That’s also part of the process in prepping the Battey site as a GRAD certified site.
These two properties are currently the two largest sites being marketed to prospects by the development authority, but others are also on the table.
The expansion of Prosperity Way to cross existing gas lines near the Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center site and a new Ball Corp. distribution center site add 50-plus acres of marketable property.
“We’re trying to market the property and have a few folks interested in it,” Kendrick said. “The challenge is to reduce risk for potential buyers… We’ve got quotes on (the paving project), it’s going to be expensive.”
But, she said, removing that risk is key. When a company in the market hears they’ll have to cross existing gas lines, she said, there’s a likelihood they’ll just move on to the next property. However, extending the road to the site opens up additional marketable land in a district that’s already prepped for manufacturers.