Oakwood and Hall County government officials and business leaders, both local and international, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony opening Atlanta Biologicals’ new 36,000-square-foot facility Friday morning.
“It’s important not just for jobs but for the wealth of the county,” said Richard Mecum, chairman of the Hall County Board of Commissioners. “It doesn’t only bring taxes but, more importantly, it brings higher salaries.
“Companies like this are vitally important to the community.”
The German-based biotechnology manufacturer produces and supplies cell culture reagents to research companies across North America that aim to diagnose and treat human and animal diseases. It is expected to bring 30 skilled jobs to the region, and could grow to as much as 250 employees in the future.
The facility, which is planned to be fully operational in three to four months, is located in Tanner’s Creek Business Park off of Thurmond Tanner Parkway in Oakwood. The company decided to move its headquarters after 14 years in Lawrenceville when business grew beyond the capabilities of its facilities.
Company President Renate Gerle said the decision to relocate to Hall County was an easy one, citing the accessibility of the Tanner’s Creek Business Park, Oakwood’s progressive economic plans, the energetic local business environment and the beautiful surroundings.
“The opening of our completed state-of-the-art facility marks a new era for our company,” she said.
Members of Hall County and Oakwood city governments, who assisted Atlanta Biologicals through the relocation process, shared similar sentiments.
“Life Sciences is a growth sector of the Gainesville-Hall County Metropolitan Area and our economic development efforts,” said Kit Dunlap, president and CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “This new business just affirms how important a quality educated workforce is to our economy.”
Oakwood Mayor Lamar Scroggs said the relocation is another step in the long process of commercial growth in the area. Currently, 85 percent of the city’s tax base is business and commercial, something that the city has been slowly building for the last 40 years, he said.
Tanner’s Creek Business Park still has many unoccupied lots and remains a focus for development.
“We have good real estate with infrastructures already in place and we are willing to work with anyone who will come here and provide jobs,” Scroggs said. “Atlanta Biologicals is a first class business and its facility here is a testament to what we are about.”