Ball packaging has agreed to purchase the nearly 67-acre Gordon County-Floyd County Joint Development Authority-owned Northwest Regional Industrial Park off Ga. 53 in Shannon for $25,000 an acre.
That works out to a total between $1.6 million and $1.7 million. The company has 120 days of due diligence to exercise its option to buy the entire park and then 30 days to close on the sale.
Chris Grimsley, director of plant operations for Ball, said the company has no specific plans for the property at this time.
“We’re just looking for potential growth in the future. It’s been a good 25 years in Rome and hopefully we will continue that down the road,” Grimsley said.
The company’s operations northeast of Rome have been expanding.
In 2016, the company received a $40 million bond package from the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority for an expansion of the primary canning plant off Hermitage Road. It also has warehouse space at the intersection of Burlington and Ga. 53 in the Shannon area.
The large industrial park, known at one time as the Star Fields softball complex, was purchased in 1997 by the Gordon County-Floyd County Joint Development Authority at a time when the state was pushing multi-jurisdictional partnerships and offering special tax incentives for joint projects.
“We are very pleased that Ball Corporation is expanding their presence in Northwest Georgia and we look forward to a long and beneficial relationship,” said Larry Roye of Calhoun, chairman of the joint development authority in a press release.
Floyd County Commission Chairman Scotty Hancock and Gordon County Commission Chairwoman Becky Hood both indicated their excitement with the sale. Hood said she was particularly happy that business enterprises continue to enjoy an extra $500 tax credit for each new full-time job created as permitted by the Joint Development Authority Act.
The joint development authority, following action by both the Floyd and Gordon County commissions earlier in the week, approved an amendment to the intergovernmental agreement which will get the authority out of the land business.
Floyd County will convey property that was not originally a part of the industrial park, but added to the total tract with SPLOST funds and will get back $107,368.77, the purchase price for the additional acreage. Floyd County will also be reimbursed $44,698 for legal fees that have been incurred by the authority through the years. Floyd County will also get back $6,250 for an official survey of the combined acreage and $27,200 paid for the property to be cleared a year or so ago.
If for some reason, the sale is not consummated, Floyd County could ask that title to the property be re-conveyed to the county.
The original intergovernmental agreement also stipulated once the land was sold, the proceeds would be used to purchase additional property for a second industrial park site. The profits from the sale will be equally distributed to Floyd and Gordon County governments to be used in any such manner as is legally permitted. A small amount of money will be kept in reserve for the joint authority’s ongoing operation.