Ball Corp. has agreed to purchase approximately 109 acres at the intersection of Ga. 53 and 140 for a mammoth regional distribution center.
Just over two years ago Ball had agreed to purchase 67 acres in the Northwest Regional Industrial Park, off Ga. 53 in Shannon, for future growth. However, the site owned by the Gordon County-Floyd County Joint Development Authority ultimately did not meet the company’s needs.
The Rome-Floyd County Development Authority and Development Authority of Floyd County agreed to the new deal Tuesday morning.
It will lead to a 750,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center on the property. Ball’s investment in the new facility is expected to be $51.8 million and create 70 new jobs over three years.
Ball has a major beverage container plant and a brand new recyclable aluminum cup manufacturing plant less than five miles from that site.
The company will pay $35,000 per acre for the parcel. A cell tower and easement allowing access to the tower is located on the western side of the tract. It is not included in the sale.
The sale will pay off the debt on the site and eliminate the interest payments on the bonds used to purchase the site. Floyd County has paid approximately $2 million in interest since the purchase of the property, which also includes the Lowe’s Distribution Center.
When the sale of the property closes, any money left over from the debt payment will be split between the two development authorities.
Ball will make a payment in lieu of taxes, amounting to $64,813 annually for 10 years, to the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority.
The first three years, the company will receive a 100% tax abatement. The next three years Ball will get a 75% tax break, then a 50% tax break for years seven though nine and a 25% break in year 10.
Solar farm heading to Floyd County Industrial Park
The Development Authority of Floyd County also agreed to a 90-day option deal with Office of Solar Development LLC for between 20 and 25 acres in the Floyd County Industrial Park off U.S. 27 south near Georgia Highlands College.
Developers are seeking to put a four megawatt solar farm on the site, which has been largely undevelopable in the past. As part of the deal, OSD has agreed to a long term lease at $900 per acre for 30 years.
If the deal goes through, the new solar farm would produce enough electricity to power nearly 500 homes.
Partners sought for spec building
Missy Kendrick, president of the Rome Floyd County Development Authority, said she will be seeking proposals from parties interested in a public-private partnership for a new industrial building on the property adjacent to the Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center.
The proposal will specify the community is seeking at least a 100,000-square-foot structure and does not anticipate using more than half of the 52-acre site for the project.
Part of the public participation will involve construction of an access road to property.
“It’s exciting that we’ve got interest,” said Jimmy Byars, chairman of the RFCDA. “We tried this before and got no interest. But Missy’s already had some interest so we’re going to send it out to any and everybody.”
Byars also won approval from his body to spend up to $150,000 to evaluate and assess potential properties for economic development, including the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property.
Kendrick said the RFCDA will conduct a Phase II on the northwest Georgia Regional Hospital site to determine any environmental issues, as well as the possibility of doing a demolition survey to assess the presence of hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead paint, to determine the cost of clearing the older buildings and residences.
The sale of the acreage at the northwest corner of Ga. 53 and 140 essentially leaves the community without a large parcel for future industrial development.
“We’ve been working really hard (on land), we’ve been doing so for over a year now,” said Floyd County Manager Jamie McCord.