Movement is finally underway on developing a 240-acre tract of land just north of the current North Business Park in Cedartown as city and county officials continue to search for future industries to call Polk County home.
The land, referred to as the York Property, was purchased by the city of Cedartown in 2016 and sits just across Davis Road from the currently occupied parcels of the park along the Cedartown Bypass. The city secured a $328,306 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission in 2018 to help provide infrastructure to the property.
With federal environmental reviews and surveys finally completed, work can finally begin to expand the 320-acre business park.
The property extends from Davis Road north on an elevation up to the Cedartown water tower and west to Burkhalter Road.
A bid opening was scheduled for Feb. 23 to begin the process of finding a contractor for the project, which will include three different components according to Cedartown City Manager Edward Guzman.
The most expensive parts of the project will be the extension of the city sewer line onto the western side of the property as well as the extension of county water lines. The other component of the first phase will be the creation of two 100-foot entrance road stub-outs on Davis Road — a west entrance and an east entrance.
“Once we get through this and the grant money is administered and the grant’s completed then we can finally move forward to the next phases,” Guzman said. “It’s going to take a big collaborative effort between us, the Cedartown Development Authority and possibly the Polk County Development Authority as well to make sure we market this property as best we can to possible businesses.”
The ARC grant the city received cam with a 30% match, which comes out to about $98,500 dollars. A conceptual plan for the property developed by Georgia Power in 2016 projected six new tenants of varying size, as well as a buffer on the eastern boundary of the property that could be home to a solar farm in the future, similar to the one developed in the lower portion of the business park.
Guzman said they are dedicated to having the buffer between industries and tenants in the new portion of the park and the residents along Pine Pitch Road. He said while he is overseeing the work finally being done to the property, he knows he’s not the one responsible for its initial vision.
“I give (former City Manager) Bill Fann and the city commission credit for all that,” Guzman said. “I’m now in the chair that I’m in now. That’s just my job to implement that vision and see it through. And that’s what we’re going to do. We’ve got the property. We’re not going to let it go to waste.”
Guzman said they have had prospective industries look at the western portion of the property already and that having the infrastructure and entrance stub-outs complete will only increase their interest.
“There’s been something about this side of the property that’s been attractive for them,” Guzman said. “They see those two entrance road stub-outs and they can at least say, ‘okay this is the vision of what’s going to happen with this property.’”
While there is movement on new property for the North Business Park, there is still one existing part of the property that Guzman and others hope will be taken off the market soon.
A tenant for the spec building that sits just east of the main entrance to the property has yet to be found, but the Polk County Development Authority has come close according to Guzman.
The 105,000 square-foot brick and metal building, which was officially opened in November, 2014, can be doubled on site or expanded. The $2.3 million project was partially funded by $1.3 million from the 2008 Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax.
“Once the spec building sells, Cedartown is essentially out of major industrial land until we get the York Property prepared,” Guzman said.