Loloi Inc. requests $5 million bond for distribution center equipment acquisitions

Development authority approves $39M in bonds for warehouse project

Members of the Development Authority of Bartow County voted unanimously to approve the issuance of up to $39 million in taxable revenue bonds for a warehouse project off Cass-White Road Friday morning.

Authority legal counsel H. Boyd Pettit, III said one bond resolution would provide up to $5 million to Loloi, Inc. for the acquisition of equipment for its roughly 647,000 square foot distribution center, which sits on a 59-acre tract in between Peeples Valley Road and the KOA Kampgrounds site. 

The Dallas, Texas-headquartered home furnishings designer and wholesaler broke ground on the project in July 2018. Amir Loloi, the owner and president of the company, said he anticipated the cost of the facility to be around $30 million.

“We also have a grant in connection with some of their equipment for the inside, the racking for the inside, and we’re still working with them to complete that,” Pettit said.

Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon said she expects the distribution center to bring about 198 jobs to the community over a five-year hiring period.

“Obviously, these bonds are solely the responsibility of the company,” Pettit continued. “There is no City/County pledge in connection with the repayment of these bonds. It has the standard language in it regarding indemnity to the Authority … I will be filing these bond documents with the court on Monday, assuming that you approve it.”

Which the Authority did, as well as a subsequent bond resolution associated with the same project.

Rumi Realty I, LLC — which holds the title to the real estate and is responsible for the construction of the Loloi, Inc. warehouse — asked the Authority for taxable revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $34 million. 

“That is in connection, obviously, with the development of that site,” Pettit said. “This property will be conveyed over to the Development Authority, pursuant to every lease-backed type project that we do.”

Projections from Lemmon indicate the Loloi distribution center would have an economic impact of about $52 million a year, factoring in annual sales and output from direct, onsite jobs. 

“It takes a while to develop relationships and tell our community story and make sure it’s a good fit,” she told the Authority. “We were glad to be able to introduce the opportunity for you all to consider.”

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement for “Project Bantam,” however, was a late scratch from the agenda.

“This is the project that we have talked to you some about that would likely be a customer of Vista Metals,” Pettit said.

He remained mum on the details, but Pettit said the project would be located in Adairsville and is expected to bring about 175 jobs to the county. 

“They will start breaking ground, I think, in the next month or so, once they get some permits,” Pettit said. 

Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson also gave a quick update on some proposed transportation projects in and around the Cass-White Road corridor at the public meeting.

The [Georgia Department of Transportation] has a project to put a roundabout on either side of the bridge, I think that’s scheduled for construction in ’21,” he said. “We’re looking at a project to develop a slip lane, basically, from Peeples Valley right on to the onramp, because a lot of traffic stacks up there … what we call ‘Cass-White Phase II’ is four-laning from the truck stops over to Great Valley Parkway, we’ve spent a couple hundred-thousand on concept reports submit to GDOT to get their approval, so that’s pending.”

He said he anticipates preliminary engineering on that project to be about $1 million, while right-of-way acquisition costs remain to-be-determined. 

“Then we would have sort of a shelf-ready project to go to GDOT and say ‘Will you pick this up and fund it?’” he said.

As for the proposed Rome-Cartersville Development Corridor project, Olson said he’s heard fluctuating dates for when construction will begin. Some projections tab the roadwork beginning as early as 2024 while others don’t see the asphalt pouring until 2027.

“But those projects can move around pretty quick, so if money becomes available, they take a project and just pull it in,” he said. “That’s what happened with Old Alabama Road — we thought we were out in 2024, they called us up and said ‘Another project collapsed or was delayed, so we’re going to push you to 2020.’”