Heavy machinery turned dirt on the 80-acre site even as Makita and Flowery Branch officials on Tuesday, April 20, celebrated the coming 600,000-square-foot plant off Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13.
“We’re very, very pleased to be in Flowery Branch,” said Joe H. Blackwell Jr., senior vice president of operations for Makita U.S.A., to a group gathered for a formal groundbreaking at the site between the Atlanta Falcons headquarters and Interstate 985’s Exit 14.
“We’re glad to have you here,” Mayor Mike Miller said.
The California-based, high-end power tool maker is planning to move distribution, customer service, factory service and training operations to the plant from its Buford location, Blackwell said.
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The Flowery Branch plant will have about 200 employees, mostly from Buford, but Blackwell said he expects some additional hiring likely will take place “as business dictates.”
The plant, which could expand up to 800,000 square feet, may open in January 2022, he said.
“We’re excited about this site,” Blackwell said, adding that a main selling point was the opening of Exit 14 in January 2020.
The plan is to ramp up manufacturing at the Buford plant.
“With the largest cordless lithium-ion tool system in the world, the adaption of our battery-powered products continues to accelerate from power tools to outdoor power equipment and beyond,” Blackwell said in an earlier news release.
And like many area companies in a tight labor market, “getting good people” is a constant challenge, he said. “You just have to be competitive in wages.”