Grant & Loan Awards: Coffee County
Equity grant funds to assist with the acquisition of 188 acres of land for the development of Satilla Industrial Park which will serve Coffee and Atkinson counties as well as other rural South Georgia counties. Coffee County is located in South Georgia approximately 200 miles south of Atlanta. It has been reported that over 25% of Coffee County’s existing workforce comes from an 11-county region. The Satilla Industrial Park is located near the Satilla River on US Hwy 441 with 4-lane access to I-75 and I-16, southeast seaports and within five miles of the Douglas Municipal Airport. Based on past successes, the Authority expects this new development to meet requirements of industrial investments, strengthen prospective activity and grow jobs for the citizens of South Georgia.
EDGE grant funds of $4,000,000 will be used to assist with the re-opening of a chicken processing facility in support of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (PPC). In addition, Pilgrim’s Pride will re-open the Douglas hatchery; and the Ambrose feed mill. The economic imprint of Pilgrim’s Pride is enormous, not only to the state’s poultry industry, but to the hundreds of growers and suppliers across an 11-county region in South Georgia. PPC emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2009 with significant financial assistance from JBS USA Holding, Inc., based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. JBS is the world’s largest beef processor and now owns 67% of the common stock of PPC. Pilgrim’s Pride is now one of the largest chicken processing companies in the U.S. Products include fresh, frozen, whole, cut-up, pre-marinated and marinated chicken breasts, tenderloins and strips, delicatessen products, salads, nuggets, patties and bone-in chicken parts. PPC also exports products to over 90 countries including China, Japan, Russia and Kazakhstan. The Douglas facility will process 1.3 million chickens weekly.
Equity loan funds will be used to assist with the construction of a 100,000 square foot speculative industrial building in Park West in Coffee County. Coffee County’s spec building program has proven successful and has brought 2,283 jobs to the area. This will be the community’s fifth spec building and will benefit not only Coffee County, but the region as well, as it has been reported that over 20% of Coffee County’s workforce does not reside in Coffee County. The Georgia Department of Labor (DOL) located a new Regional Career Center in Park West and, as a part of its strategic plan, the Industrial Authority entered into a long-term agreement with DOL and private partners to construct a new Regional Workforce Development Center at the Park Entrance, which serves Atkinson, Bacon and Coffee counties as a source for regional labor delivery. There is also a marketing strategy and plan to market this speculative building to other prospective businesses for Park West.
SILF funds to support the expansion of Optima Chemical Group, LLC (OCG). Loan to expand the current facility on a 32-acre site in Douglas, construct a new building containing clean rooms for product isolation and packaging pursuant to FDA requirements and purchase new equipment. OCG, formed in 1997, manufactures custom industrial and organic chemicals, conducts research and develops new products for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, bioscience, personal care and foods/flavors industries. OGCâ€™s research and manufacturing operations can support projects from a pre-clinical stage to full-scale production application. Over the last five years the Company has invested over $11 million to add capacity including chemical reactors and needed support equipment to meet growing demand. As a result, OCG is experiencing significant growth which now requires an extensive expansion of its physical facility, core infrastructure services and the purchase of strategic pieces of production equipment needed to support additional production.
EDGE funds to assist with building acquisition for the location of Premium Waters, Inc. (PWI), a bottled water production facility. PWI will locate on a 56-acre site in the Perimeter West Industrial Park in Douglas. Situated on the site is a 102,000 SF speculative building that was built with OneGeorgia Equity funds in 2002. The company plans a 98,000 SF expansion to this building for a total of 200,000 SF. PWI is a subsidiary of Chesterman Company (CC), which is a Coca Cola Bottling Company. PWI, established in 1994, is one of the largest bottled water companies in the Midwest region. Its parent company, CC, is a family-owned business dating back 130 years. PWI sells water to the commercial, residential and retail markets including both branded and private label water products. Competitors include Coke (Dasani), Pepsi (Aquafina) and Nestle (numerous brands).
EDGE funds to assist with building acquisition costs. The Authority has applied on behalf of American Insulated Wire (AIW), a national supplier of quality wire and cable to electrical distributors and other manufacturers. AIW is a subsidiary of Leviton Corporation that was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The Company plans to locate in a 342,475 SF facility (formerly occupied by Tecumseh) that is located in the Southwest Industrial Park in Douglas. This project will create 250 jobs within two years and growing to 300 new jobs within four years. Private investment is projected to be approximately $25.4 million. This project is in competition with Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Equity funds to assist with the construction of a 100,000 SF strategic growth facility in the Perimeter West Industrial Park located just off Hwy 206 in Douglas. The applicant, having lost two major employers within the last year, indicates a strong marketing strategy including the creation of a local economic development council, a color brochure to further market the facility, along with marketing the facility through GDITT and other state agencies.
Equity funds to assist in the preservation and renovation of the original, unaltered WWII Army Air Corps flight school buildings located adjacent to the Douglas Municipal Airport. The buildings, strategically located on Hwy 441 South, will be available for leasing as professional/commercial office space to the aviation industry, business or various professions. The proposed renovation serves to discourage urban sprawl and promotes growth management while preserving the heritage of the flight training base. This project has potential to create 24 jobs.