For years, area industrial growth along the Interstate 75 corridor has been focused near Cass-White Road just north of Cartersville.
It now appears as if the Ga. 140 interchange is the next hot spot along with the next exit north, at Union Grove Road in Gordon County.
Ashley Capital, which constructed a massive speculative industrial building in the Georgia North Industrial Park off Ga. 140 in Adairsville, has started work on a second speculative building there.
Adairsville Zoning Administrator Brady Hammonds said that, at this point, Ashely has only acquired a land disturbance permit for approximately 95 acres. The site is between their existing 766,000-square-foot building and U.S. 41. The company already has a 74-acre tract on the I-75 side of their logistics center graded and ready for construction.
“They have said they’re planning on four buildings,” Adairsville City Manager Pam Madison said. “They told us they have a tenant already but we don’t know who that tenant is.”
The city doesn’t know yet who two of the tenants are in the existing building either. Madison said she is aware that an internal build-out is underway for at least one of them.
“Hopefully we will be able to share good news of these companies soon, but we want to respect their timing,” said Melinda Lemmon, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow Office of Economic Development.
Also in Georgia North Industrial Park, Lemmon said Panattoni Development recently completed a Class A industrial building that helped Bartow retain “a very important employer,” Airman USA.
“The building still has space for a neighboring business,” she added.
Lemmon said she’s been amazed by the pace of industrial activity during the pandemic, indicating that the prospect list has grown in recent months. The key, she said, seems to be the need to get products to market from manufacturers and e-commerce facilitators alike.
That speed-to-market issue fueling some of the growth consequentially has increased the number of trucks on the roads.
Elyse Davis is Georgia Power’s Northwest Georgia manager for community and economic development. She said that, while manufacturing is still the primary industry sector across the region, the logistics network is now one of the top three.
About two miles up the road, just into Gordon County, a massive facility is under construction for Creative Flooring Solutions. Several other projects also are in the works on what used to be agricultural property.
“Any time there’s job growth, it’s a good thing,” said Kath Johnson, president of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce. “Our floor covering industry continues to grow, particularly in the (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) fields.”
The Creative Flooring Solutions facility alone is expected to bring as many as 300 jobs.
In November, TEKLAS, a Turkish manufacturer and supplier of electric vehicle parts, will invest $6.5 million in opening their first North American facility and headquarters in Gordon County, delivering another 120 jobs to Calhoun.
Johnson believes that TEKLAS may be the first of several suppliers to the electric vehicle industry that will locate in the region.
A Love’s Truck Stop was opened at the Union Grove Road interchange on I-75 last year and a new Buc-ee’s gas station is going up across from Love’s. Buc-ee’s general counsel Jeff Nadalo told the Calhoun Times the store is expected to open later this summer.
Beyond the interstate
It’s not just the interstate that’s drawing attention in the three-county region of Floyd, Bartow and Gordon counties, however.
The Gordon County Board of Commissioners approved rezoning from agricultural to heavy industrial use for a couple of tracts owned by OWR LLC on either side of U.S. 41 just north of Adairsville.
One of the parcels, on the west side, is also served by a major CSX rail line that connects to the Appalachian Regional Port north of Chatsworth. The inland port sends and receives freight containers through the port in Savannah.
The county government also approved rezoning in the same area for Thor Equities LLC. Thor’s 115-acre parcel went from agricultural to light industrial. The developers anticipate construction of a million-square-foot speculative building on that site.
All of the growth along the Bartow-Gordon county line is spurring a lot of interest in residential development in the Adairsville area.
Thacker Farm, a 64-home subdivision, is being built behind the Shaw carpet tile plant. Adairsville’s Madison said the developers are coming back with plans for a second phase with an additional 89 homes.
Another developer has inquired about as much as 600 acres in the Manning Mill community off U.S. 41 South.
“Four multi-family developers have contacted us,” Madison said.
The city manager said if just a part of the proposals come through, Adairsville is in for explosive growth.
In Rome and Floyd County, Mayor Craig McDaniel has stressed the importance of improving the housing market to attract new industry. But activity is still occurring.
Oldcastle Lawn & Garden, is the newest company to announce plans to build in Floyd County. It is going to be located on Ga. 53 near where Floyd, Bartow and Gordon counties come together. The mulching plant will add up to 50 workers at full capacity
The plant is likely to use Ga. 140, which is being widened to four lanes, to get its product into both the Atlanta and Chattanooga markets.
Rome-Floyd County Development Authority President Missy Kendrick said that the 110-acre site at the intersection of Ga. 140 and 53 still continues to draw considerable interest.
“I believe our economic development success in our region is due to a strong economy going into the pandemic year,” said Kendrick. “The growth in warehousing and distribution might be attributed to changes in buying habits due to COVID, but our expansions here are due to natural increases in market share and new product development.”
Rome is recognized for having a robust, diverse manufacturing base and Kendrick said she is seeing this in prospect activity for companies looking for new locations.
“If the economy continues to grow, our only barriers locally will be lack of land and available workforce,” Kendrick said.
The authority still has several tracts available in the North Floyd Industrial Park, which is home to the Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center.
The Joint Floyd-Gordon County Development Authority also has 63 acres available off Ga. 53 in Shannon. That parcel also has rail access.
And HK Shannon, owner of some 60 acres adjacent to the Balta Belgian carpet warehouse and distribution center has that property on the market.
Another private group, New Plymouth Calhoun, now owns another 60 acres just north of the Balta facility.