County development officials are trying to find 50 acres for a company that wants to locate here from the Northeast and create potentially 350 manufacturing jobs.
“This is a company that is looking for a site in Cobb County, and they need about 50 contiguous acres in order to make the project a go for Cobb,” Development Authority of Cobb County Executive Director Nelson Geter told the board Tuesday.
Geter declined to name the company or the industry in which the company operates, but said the jobs would be relatively high paying, even for Cobb County, whose median household income is well above the statewide average.
“Those are good manufacturing jobs, above-average manufacturing jobs,” he said. “Matter of fact, they would be similar to the scale of a Lockheed.”
Geter said the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and county government are putting together a package detailing what acreage is available in Cobb as well as what kind of local and state incentives the company yet, would be eligible to receive. He expects to hear of the company’s intentions by October.
So far, Geter said he’s been unable to find a suitable site.
“One of the problems with Cobb is we don’t have enough contiguous acreage to do it,” he said.
One site in Powder Springs is large enough, but it has a creek running through the middle of it and a neighborhood behind it, said Brooks Mathis, the Chamber’s economic development vice president.
Mathis said companies want to eliminate risk. “You don’t want neighbors to be mad at you if you have trucks driving down on the road.” There is acreage in the northern end of the county off Chastain Road and 575.
“But I think it’s like $250,000 an acre,” Mathis said.
“So if you’re building a big plant that just adds up, and it’s just not competitive, so it works at maybe the Home Depot call center. It’s a good spot for them. But if you need a lot of acreage it’s just not a fit because it’s a lot of money.”
There is the Franklin Road corridor Mayor Steve Tumlin hopes to revitalize if voters approve a $35 million bond in November. But Geter doesn’t see Franklin Road as a good fit for a manufacturing company.
“They have to go into a light industrial area and that’s not light industrial, that’s residential,” Geter said.
Geter said a second company he’s speaking with is interested in bringing 75 manufacturing jobs to Powder Springs.
The Development Authority has offered that company $50,000 to help with the relocation process, but the company hasn’t accepted yet, he said.