Grant & Loan Awards: Thomas County
Equity grant funds of $500,000 will be used to assist with road infrastructure improvements to serve a new 300-acre industrial park in Thomas County. The establishment of the Park will enable the PDA to promote the availability of large industrial sites with access to Hwy 319. Other industrial parks in the County have no available sites of appreciable size or development potential. The new industrial park is strategically located with respect to Florida markets and the interstate highway transportation system. The selected site is located on a 4-lane highway less than 50 miles from I-75 and 30 miles from I-10. Due to initial costs of extending utilities to the Park, a two-phase construction program is recommended, with utilities extended to serve half of the total acreage initially. Interior Park road and drainage construction will also be undertaken in two phases with Phase I to include paving of 6,600 ft of roadway and related drainage improvements within the Park. Requested OneGeorgia funds would be used for a portion of those improvements.
EDGE grant funds to assist with site preparation and construction for the expansion of Senior Life Insurance Company (SLIC) in Thomasville. SLIC is a Thomasville based insurance company that has been in business more than 37 years. The Company is licensed to underwrite life and health insurance products in 20 states and the District of Columbia. It is a niche company which offers insurance products to senior citizens. SLIC has 75 employees in Thomasville and occupies 9,000 square feet of rental office space. In 2000, SLIC operated in Georgia and five other southeastern states and in 2002 and 2003, expanded to eight additional states, with two other state applications currently pending. With rapid growth, SLIC has outgrown its current facility, prompting management’s decision to expand its corporate headquarters in Thomasville or move to Florida. The Company plans to construct a 40,000 square foot facility on a 10-acre tract located at the intersection of West Jackson Street and U.S. Hwy 319 South in Thomasville.
Equity funds to assist in the construction of two 100-foot by 100-foot box hangers at the Thomasville Regional Level III Airport. New hangers will replace existing 40-foot by 46-foot wooden hangers which are over sixty years old. The current hangars are too small to house corporate aircraft and are in need of replacement. The construction will allow owners (private and corporate) to secure their planes. Four corporate jet aircraft can be housed in the new hangars. The Airport houses 62 aircraft with 24,150 square-feet of corporate hanger space with no vacancies and a waiting list of nine. The runway, terminal building and other improvements (apron expansion and lighting) make the airport an excellent economic development resource for Thomasville and the region.
EDGE funds to assist in the construction of a 31,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in support of the location of Bayly, Inc. (BI) to Thomasville, Georgia. Bayly, Inc., founded in 1865, specializes in manufacturing uniform headwear, or specialty hats, serving four distinct markets: police and fire departments, postal service, marching bands and the military. BI is relocating from Hollywood, Florida, where there are 30 employees. The company noted three factors in their relocation decision about south Florida included lack of skilled workers, business overhead costs for insurance and utilities and lack of a business friendly environment towards manufacturers.
EDGE funds to assist with building acquisition to house production, office and covered loading dock space. The Authority has applied on behalf of International Design and Display Group, LLC, specializing in the design and manufacture of displays for trade show exhibits, realty sales centers and other advertising venues. This project is in competition with Tallahassee, Florida. The proposed facility will create at least 30 new jobs in 24 months.
EDGE funds to assist with the construction of a 75,000 square foot building for a ground beef products manufacturing facility. The Authority has applied on behalf of American Fresh Foods LP, a joint venture between American Foodservice Corporation and Fairbank Farms. The company will produce case ready and other fresh ground beef products for the retail grocery and food service markets in the southeastern United States. This project will create 60 new jobs in Phase I with the second phase creating another 40 new jobs (100 new jobs within three years.) This project is in competition with Baker County, Florida.
Equity funds to assist with the construction of a new airport terminal building at the Thomasville Municipal Airport, a level III Regional Airport. The Regional Airport, often seen as the gateway to the region does not have adequate facilities or meeting space for visiting corporate executives of existing industries, industrial prospects or tourists visiting the surrounding areas. The new building will be constructed for functionality, safety to passengers and appearance. The building will contain approximately 3,650 SF and be handicap accessible.
EDGE funds to assist with the purchase of the former Helig-Myers building that contains 277,519 SF situated on a 29.9-acre site located in Plantation Oak Industrial Park to be occupied by American Signature, Inc. The company intends to locate a regional furniture distribution center as part of an agressive expansion. The company commits to creating 167 jobs within three years increasing to 213 jobs within 54 months (4 1/2 years) with private investment of $18.75 million. Thomasville is in competition with Orlando, Florida for the project.
EDGE funds to assist with the construction of a 30,000 square foot manufacturing facility to be leased by UWS, Inc. The company intends to manufacture step-bars for trucks in stainless steel and black powder coating. The company commits to create 49 jobs that will increase to 81 jobs within 36 months with private investment of $1.4 million. Thomasville is in competition with Perry, Florida for the project.
EDGE funds for purchase of machinery and equipment to be leased back to A. Duda & Sons, Inc. The company intends to develop a vegetable processing and canning facility in the former Sunnyland facilities. Thomasville is in competition with Florida for the project.
EDGE funds to acquire a vacant 22,000 square foot facility in Boston, Georgia that is large enough to house the existing operations plus a planned expansion. The Dillon Company cannot continue operations in their current facility due to commercial zoning problems. This expansion and move will allow the company to retain the existing 32 jobs and add an additional 17 jobs within 36 months. The Boston facility is in competition with Madison Florida for this expansion and move.
EDGE funds to assist with rehabilitation of a Moultrie meat processing facility for use by National Beef, creating 163 full-time permanent jobs at start up with an estimated payroll of $3.96 million within 24 months of sustained operation.