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Development authority gives Gainesville, Hall permission to collaborate on industrial park

POSTED: May 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.

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A plot of land that was once doomed to be a spray field will blossom into an industrial park within a few years if construction goes as smoothly as it has for others in the area.

The Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority approved the intergovernmental development agreement that will allow Gainesville and Hall County to collaborate on the new industrial park at a meeting Tuesday.

"This authority will actually manage the development and sale of that land and work with Pattillo (Construction Company)," Chairman Philip Wilheit said.

Pattillo Construction is the largest private industrial developer in the Southeast and has built "literally dozens of parks across Georgia," said Tim Evans, vice president for economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Although it is too early to know what businesses will occupy the park, Pattillo CEO Larry Callahan said he estimates the park will accommodate between 10 and 12 buildings of various sizes and create 300 to 1000 jobs.

"There is a certain element of build out, and they will come," Callahan said, because the majority of companies looking for space want an existing building.

Among the industrial parks Pattillo has built in the state are nearby Oakwood South Industrial Park and Gainesville Industrial Park South.

"The character and leadership in Gainesville has always been something special," Callahan said of the appeal the area has for manufacturers. "You have to believe in the community."

Callahan said aside from the location, the "moment in time in international economics" is right because the exchange rate makes domestic manufacturing ideal.

"It’s been a plus for us," Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said of the park and called Oakwood’s work with Pattillo "a good partnership."

At 220 acres — or about 37 football fields — the proposed Gainesville Business Park is about the same size as the 250-acre Oakwood park.

Businesses currently in the Oakwood Park include Kubota Tractor, Elite Exhibits and Capital Lighting.

Assistant City Manager Patti Doss-Luna said in an e-mail that an estimated 400-plus jobs came with the companies.

Although Gainesville and Hall County have yet to decide how to split the earnings from the park, both can expect to see a return on their respective investments.

"We netted at over $1 million," Brown said.



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