The Flowery Branch City Council gave the first OK Thursday to plans to annex and rezone 11 acres of unincorporated county land off Thurmon Tanner Parkway for an $8 million private business expansion.
A final vote will take place Jan. 7.
FriconUSA, which makes heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, has outgrown current space at Oakwood South Industrial Park off McEver Road.
And the need for sewer service to expand operations to 80,000 square feet has prompted the annexation.
The Thurman Tanner site east of H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway includes a 20,000-square-foot building hooked to a septic system.
The move would increase Fricon’s production and help the company transition to include sales throughout the nation, according to company officials.
Fricon now has 20 employees and projects to hire 30 more within the next three years.
The expansion will come in two phases over the next three years, with the first phase — construction of a 25,000-square-foot warehouse — set to finish between August and December 2016.
The second phase calls for another warehouse and office building.
Thurmon Tanner, which runs between Phil Niekro Boulevard in Flowery Branch and Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 near Oakwood, has a mixture of uses but is largely industrial from the proposed Fricon site to Plainview Road — an area that includes the Tanners Creek business park.
The area could get a transportation boost, as plans call for construction of a new Interstate 985 interchange, or Exit 14, connecting H.F. Reed Industrial to Martin Road.
H.F. Reed leads to a heavily industrial area, while Martin Road travels past homes and subdivisions to another major traffic artery, Winder Highway/Ga. 53, which leads to Interstate 85.