General Electric’s Power Generation Services will take over 33,000 square feet of the former GE medium transformer plant on Redmond Circle later this month.
GE will be transferring a warehouse and distribution operation to Rome from Richmond, Virginia.
The company has repurposed one bay of Building 3, closest to the Garden Lakes Baptist Church end of the property, cleaning the facility and putting down a new coat of paint on the floor. Cody Platt, the Rome facility manager, said Building 3 met two important criteria for the storage use: high ceilings and a large overhead crane.
Over the past few months, the company has refurbished 33,000 square feet of space that is equipped with 70-plus-foot ceilings and a 150-ton overhead crane.
The facility will house newly manufactured and refurbished machinery, such as rotors, compressors, discharge casings, turbine shells and generator fields.
The first GE equipment manufactured or refurbished at plants in Greenville, South Carolina, or Schenectady, New York, is scheduled to arrive in Rome on May 21.
Sabrina Quillian, materials manager for General Electric Power Generation Services, said in a press release the repurposing of the GE site in Rome makes good use of existing infrastructure and offers significant room for future expansion. “The business is planning for increased growth in refurbished parts, which could lead to more volume for Rome,” Quillian said.
General Electric logistics personnel from the primary warehouse southwest of Atlanta in Union City will operate the Rome facility on an as-needed basis so there will not be any new permanent jobs associated with the new operation in Rome.
The GE plant in Rome produced medium transformers for use around the world from 1952-1997. At one time the facility had nearly one million square feet under roof. The current footprint is closer to 850,000 square feet.
The building where the warehousing and distribution will take place was an addition to the original plant, built around 1969.
The production of medium transformers at the Rome plant involved polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs, which were used to cool the transformers. The chemicals were banned by the government in 1979 as a possible carcinogen.
The company continues to address environmental issues at the plant campus in conjunction with both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division because PCBs leached from the property.
While the buildings on Redmond Circle have been empty for nearly 18 years, GE has continued contributing to the Floyd County tax coffers. According to Floyd County Tax Commissioner Kevin Payne, the company has paid taxes on the land and improvements (buildings) along with a small amount of personal property amounting to:
- 2010: $238,017.72
- 2011: $269,274.86
- 2012: $229,670.14
- 2013: $232,091.80
- 2014: $229,902.92
The impact of the warehousing operation on taxes has not been determined yet.
General Electric is also continuing efforts to finalize the contribution of 123 acres east of the plant site to the city of Rome. The city plans to develop the property for passive recreational purposes.