Grading work already underway on 124-acre development

Ashley Capital investment to bring 'several hundred' jobs to Adairsville

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Two major developments are in the works for the Georgia North industrial park in Adairsville — and half of the proposed project could be completed as early as next summer.

Ashley Capital, a New York-based real estate investment firm, recently announced plans to construct a 766,000-square-foot building roughly a mile from Interstate 75.

"We are moving forward with construction of a speculative building there, with the hope of either a full-building user or multiple users, with a minimum tenant size of about 300,000-square-feet," said Ashley Capital Vice President Tim Schneider.

Construction on the building  is anticipated to be completed by July, said Adairsville City Manager Pam Madison.

"We are still in that review phase. We're awaiting some comments back from our engineering, they're doing their grading, installing their stormwater and sewer," she said.

Madison said she expects Ashley Capital to receive a building permit for the development within the next two-to-three weeks. 

At this point, she said the company has yet to ask for any incentives. Nor did Madison say she knew the total size of their economic investment in the project.

As for the potential end-user for the building, Madison said Ashley Capital has garnered the interests of several parties, but she could not divulge which particular companies have participated in those discussions.

However, she did say the company has assured her the completed project will be a huge economic engine for the city.

"They have some prospects in mind, but they're not at this point sharing those with us," she said. "They're not sure of the tenant at this point, [but] they are expecting several hundred jobs to be created by this development."

The cross-dock distribution building, Schneider said, is ideal for a logistics company. "But these are very generic buildings that could be utilized for manufacturing if that type of user came along," he said. "It's pretty flexible in what our desired tenant would be."

Schneider touched upon the issue of tax abatements and other financial incentives for development. 

"We have not been offered any incentives for the construction of the spec building, but I think that any large tenant that would come in would likely expect some sort of incentives," he said.

The massive, 700,000-square-foot-plus development is actually the smaller of Ashley Capital's two proposed projects on the property. The other, which is on the same tract and positioned closer towards I-75, would be a building well over 1 million square feet.

"The 1.1 million-square-foot building will be a graded site that's ready for construction of a 1.1 million-square-foot-building, which could either be a build-to-suit for a potential tenant or user," Schneider said, "or if we lease the 766,000-square-foot building, we would then make a decision on whether or not we would want to build a spec building on that site."

Schneider said there is no schedule in place for when construction on that building would begin and end.

"The 1.1-million-square-foot building depends on the demand for that space, so there's no timeline for that building," he said. 

Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor said he has yet to speak with Ashley Capital about "what's going on inside their plant." Nor did he say the county has had any discussions with them about any possible subsidies or tax breaks.

But he did say he has a preferred end-user in mind for the development.

"We're always looking for advanced manufacturing in our community," he said. "With that brings a better average wage, and those companies seem to have more invested inside their plant."

The Ashley Capital project isn't the only major economic development announced recently in Adairsville. In late August, a Developments of Regional Impact (DRI) application was filed for a proposed $45 million, 750,000-square-foot warehouse just across Highway 41 from Georgia North industrial park.

While an end-user for that project has not been publicized yet, Madison said the DRI has been completed. "My understanding is that they're going to start working on that in 2019," she said. 

As to what's making Adairsville such a hotbed of economic development, Madison cited several factors.

"We are just wonderfully situated between Chattanooga and Atlanta and we are an easy city to work with for developers," she said. "We've updated all of our codes so everything is very clear as to what the city expects in terms of development [regulations.]"

Taylor echoed those sentiments.

"If you locate in Adairsville, where these companies are locating, they're less than one mile off I-75, and that's a good spot to be," he said. "You've got a great community to live in with a well-trained workforce, you've got low taxes, you've got great leadership at the City of Adairsville … there's just so much potential up there."

Regarding his own company's decision to invest in Adairsville, Schneider said it simply boiled down to location. 

"We considered several sites up the 75 north corridor, which is an incredibly tight industrial market," he said. "The site that we acquired was the real driving force at the end of the day."