Developers of a 769,000 square foot warehouse and distribution building in Adairsville say they are still getting serious inquiries in spite of the COVID-19 concerns.
Tim Schneider, vice president at Ashley Capital, said some companies have soft-pedaled their interest in the building while others seem to be stepping up their interest.
Ashley Capital is the same firm that purchased the old Mohawk facility on Burlington Drive in Shannon and renovated it before bringing in two tenants to fill it.
Schneider said his company has received a certificate of occupancy for the mammoth building in the Georgia North Industrial Park.
Melinda Lemmon, director of the Cartersville-Bartow Economic Development office, said the Ashley building was constructed in such a way that allows for a lot of creative configurations.
“We have several proposals out for the entire building,” Schneider said. “We have had numerous inquiries since the coronavirus crisis.”
Some of the responses have been delayed as companies focus on more pressing issues.
“For others, it’s actually pushing decisions toward a more immediate need,” Schneider said.
He said that companies looking at the Ashley building in Adairsville are primarily looking at it as a warehouse and distribution facility — but they’ve had one manufacturer take a hard look at it.
“We’re kind of like everyone else, trying to scratch our head and get our arms around it,” Schneider said of the COVID-19 crisis. “I think the next couple of weeks will tell us a lot.”
Lemmon said that a lot of due diligence work is continuing on the economic development front, although she wouldn’t be surprised if some decisions are delayed.
“Just last week we had three brand new projects, in addition to the ones that we’re currently working,” she said.
The reality, she explained, is that site selection consultants are involved on the front-end of searches. That means companies are not likely to open in any given location for between a year to two years after decisions are made.
Ashley owns nearly 220 acres in the industrial park.
They’ve already graded a pad on the east side of their first building, closer to Interstate 75, where Schneider indicated the company expects to develop another huge speculative building. The company is moving forward with plans to grade another 95 acres on the west side, closer to US 41.
“It’s such a fantastic site,” Lemmon said.
Meanwhile, the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission is conducting a Development of Regional Impact review on a proposed 1 million square foot warehouse and distribution center less than a mile away.
Panattoni Development’s project would be located directly across Ga. 140 from the Georgia North Industrial Park.
“There is a lot of activity, Schneider said.
He believes activity at the Cass-White exit on I-75 has shown that the region justifies continuing investment.
“I think (Panattoni) are a lot like us and see that next exit up as a great industrial development area,” Schneider said.