“We are ready for business and we stay ready,” said JDA Vice-Chair Tommy Strickland.
Approved at Tuesday’s regular meeting were several items, including a $3,200 change order for spring landscape services to ready Highland 75 for showing prospective tenants. The JDA also approved the replacement of an aging SUV used by the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development. The contract was awarded to the lowest qualified bid from City Motors of Cartersville in the amount of $39,600 for a 2013 Ford XLT Expedition.
In addition to landscaping and a new vehicle, Cartersville-Bartow County Economic Development will soon receive a new logo. The redesign is part of a complete marketing overhaul, including a new website and advertisements. JDA board members approved a logo Tuesday submitted by an outside marketing firm. Although the submitted design was given the board’s approval, it will return to the marketing firm before being finalized.
Cleaning up matters of board procedure, the JDA approved the ability for board members to authorize account transfers with the signature of at least two board members. Authorized signatures for JDA checking accounts were also updated to reflect board changes occurring earlier this year.
A mixed bag of news was presented to the board in an update of market conditions as perceived by staff and the real estate development firm handling Highland 75, TPA Realty. While site inquiries remain steady, the Atlanta market has seen a seasonal decrease in activity.
“From a global perspective, we have seen a bit of a slowdown in the greater Atlanta market,” said TPA Vice President Paul Michael. “I think this is a seasonal slowdown that we do typically see this time of year. Activity levels have significantly slowed down in new opportunities in the build-to-suit market, particularly on the north side of Atlanta.”
Michael did, however, follow up his analysis of current conditions with a statement of long term confidence for the Interstate-75 corridor north of Atlanta.
Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon also shared her view of current conditions, based on the amount of information requests and site visits for Highland 75.
“Certainly project activity, as [Michael] mentioned, has been down a little bit, but we still have a fair number of projects looking at the park,” Lemmon said. “That translates to a lot of questions. A lot of survey-type questions about the level of due diligence on the park, what is the property and community capable of — and hopefully at the end of the day we make the short list for a couple of projects and land some initial construction in the park with, of course, the end goal being jobs and investment. I think there are maybe one or two that are closer to a decision time frame than the others.”