While some leaders in Rome have worried out loud about job creation, one of the facts of life in the local real estate market is that industrial or warehouse properties do not tend to stay on the market long.

Rome neurosurgeon Dr. John Cowan confirmed that he sold a warehouse building at 19 Superior Drive in the Floyd County Industrial Park to Plaza Transport of Centre, Alabama, for $1.1 million.

“We don’t have a lot of manufacturing or industrial buildings,” said Craig McDaniel, an agent with Toles, Temple & Wright Real Estate who represented Cowan in the negotiations. “Any time one comes on the market there’s a lot of interest.”

Pete Lemons with Plaza Transport is originally from the Centre area but moved to Rome several years ago. He said he actually thought about buying some property and building a warehouse when Bill Temple at Toles, Temple & Wright showed him the property on Superior Drive.


Lemons said it took about three months to complete the deal.

“We feel like there’s a lot of potential there for expansion and we’re definitely interested in adding on,” Lemons said. “I think we could add another 50,000 square feet, and if not, we could build something new.”

Lemons is in the freight business at Plaza Transport with Jeff Chester and Tim Colbert. Much of their work is in cotton hauling but they also do some logistics brokerage all over the country.

Cowan’s Cortex Toy Company will continue to rent space in the building as will Five Star Vending Services.

“I’ve been a renter and landlord at the same time for some time now,” Cowan said. “I just felt like it would be simpler for me to cash out and rent it back.”

Cowan has been involved in the toy development and manufacturing business for several years and said the business is continuing to grow.

“We’ve had some international sales and we just signed with PBS to manufacture some of their toys for the next three years.” Cowan said some of the new toys being launched by the Public Broadcasting System will be unveiled at the upcoming Toy Fair in February.

Cowan also said that he has turned over the day-to-day operations of the toy business to a management team that has more experience in the market.

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