Debusschere told a crowd of local government and business leaders that Balta is the largest floor covering firm in Europe and was actually the first company to develop outdoor carpet. “We’re bringing rugs to spaces they’ve never been used before.”
Apart from its presence in Europe, Balta has recently acquired Bentley Mills, a California-based firm that is a major player in the commercial carpet market in the U.S. Bentley Mills’s products have been used in the last nine presidential inaugurations and are a major supplier to the new Freedom Tower in New York.
The company revealed plans earlier this year to consolidate operations from Dalton and Calhoun to the new facility in Shannon. Balta anticipates having more than 70 employees at the 320,000 square-foot distribution center at some point after the first of New Year. Balta has a 12 year lease on approximately 45-acres.
Floyd County Commissioner Scotty Hancock welcomed the Belgian executives to Rome on behalf of the county. “With the widening of Ga. 140, we hope this area is going to become the economic hub of Floyd County,” Hancock said.
Rome Mayor Jamie Doss thanked the company on behalf of the city. “You’ve got new jobs, great people, and new industry for our city and county,” Doss said.
Following the ribbon cutting Hans Fossez, president of Balta Home USA, led the crowd on a tour of the mammoth plant
Property owners Hardman Knox and Phillip Hight of HK Shannon actually oversaw the Lazarus-like resurrection of the old ceramic tile plant into a modern, new distribution facility with room for Balta to expand. During the ribbon cutting, Knox said that Fossez immediately saw the vision of how the old building that was abandoned in 2006 might be rehabilitated.
Both Knox and Hight indicated they were working to bring additional business to the 172-acre tract which has rail access on the back side and is fully served by all utilities.