The Development Authority of Polk County wasted no time last Friday as they finished up business in a short session for the month of February.
A brief on the forthcoming Manufacturer’s Roundtable coming up later in the month, getting board training scheduled and hearing a report on recent prospects from DAPC CEO Missy Kendrick were among the items the organization went over.
They also got a chance to discuss the future of what investment might look like in Polk County when it comes to providing pre-fabricated industrial spaces for big businesses who want to move in, or expand locally.
Board member Rocky Tillery during discussions in the Feb. 8 session asked whether the current SPEC building in Cedatown’s Northside Industrial Park could be divided internally, and some work done inside to provide a space that would be suited toward a company with a smaller footprint than the full 100,000 square foot facility. He pointed out the DAPC could generate rental revenue from a potential business in the scenario.
“You could probably pay the interest by renting it to people for warehouse storage,” Tillery said.
DAPC Board Chair Jamie Morris said the scope of work to provide truck access, parking for workers and the concrete floor were just some of the items that would have to be invested in if the DAPC were to pursue that plan.
“There’s several issues with doing that,” Morris said. “That’s not to say it couldn’t be done, but there’s a lot.”
What Kendrick added to the conversation is as an authority, the board needed to decide what areas they wanted to pursue with the SPEC building and how to approach its sale. She pointed out that converting a portion to warehouse space wouldn’t bring in additional jobs or large community investment.
“It’s a shift of what we’re marketing for,” she said.
The building finished four years ago remains up for sale, and Kendrick said the usual time frame for finding an investor on SPEC buildings was around five to eight years.
Morris added that “we’re in a good position because there’s nothing else around in the state.”
Added to that current construction labor and materials costs, and the SPEC building’s potential value for buyers looking to find a facility that only needs finishing touches for their specific needs even greater.
Kendrick said too that when the DAPC invests in their next SPEC building in Rockmart, they’ll probably look toward a smaller footprint to provide a wider range of uses for buyers.
Morris also added that on the Cedartown side, talks have been underway about changing development schemes to provide smaller footprint buildings but give enough area for a business to expand in the future when they move into newer industrial properties planned for the years to come.
In the immediate future, new neighbors are moving in this year in the Cedartown area with agreements given final approvals.
The DAPC finished up to move ahead with the sale of a portion of the Earley property to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 926 for their new training center, a move long in the works from Clayton County to Polk.
With the completion of formal votes and paperwork between all parties, they’ll be able to begin developing their portion of the site. Additional acreage from the Earley property is still available for sale, and loan renewal agreements moved forward as the DAPC seeks a buyer for the rest.