Getting the Gateway Industrial Centre in northeast Hall County primed for tenants has been quite the challenge.
Crews building roads inside the 518-acre park off Ga. 365 have battled a winter that featured snows and subfreezing temperatures. And the roadwork itself has called for navigating dips and rises in the land and crossing three creeks to grade an area between White Sulphur and Whitehall roads.
“There has been a lot of earthwork to get done,” Hall County civil engineer Jody Woodall said. “The topography in Hall County is rolling hills and that (area) is at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.”
If all goes well, and the weather cooperates, road construction could be finished in June, Woodall said.
Hall County is spending about $4.4 million to get Gateway ready for motorists, with Abit Massey Way, which juts off Ga. 365 into the park, completed early last year. The focus has been completing the White Sulphur-Whitehall connector, which will run parallel to Ga. 365.
And crews are working on White Sulphur as well, lowering its grade to meet the connector, and backfilling a box culvert between White Sulphur and Abit Massey Way, Woodall said.
Other culvert work needs to be done.
“With good weather, in about two months, the whole road will be to grade and we can start working on paving,” Woodall said.
The Gainesville-Hall Development Authority is developing the land in an effort with Hall County government.
A water line from White Sulphur Road to Abit Massey Way is installed and operational, and a water line from Abit Massey along the connector — or Gateway Centre Boulevard — should be completed by June, said Ken Rearden, Hall’s public works and utilities director.
A sewer project related to the park started this week and is scheduled to be completed by next March, he added.
Meanwhile, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce is trying to lure prospective tenants to the park, which has available sites ranging from 10 to 100 acres, said Tim Evans, the chamber’s vice president of economic development.
The sites “meet a lot of different industrial and commercial needs ... and (the park) is starting to show up in site searches,” he said.
“Now that the infrastructure is being completed and we have set dates and contractors on site, that really speaks well for us with prospective users,” Evans said.
So far, the park’s first tenant is the new Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network headquarters. Officials have said it is on track for a July 16 completion.
Executive Director Louise Dufour-Zavala said she expects the lab to move from its 50-year-old building off Oakwood Road in Oakwood sometime in August, with a grand opening/dedication possibly taking place in September.
The 38,000-square-foot, $9.6 million building is on 10 acres off Abit Massey Way.
It will operate on a septic system until the sewer lines are in place, Evans said.
The sewer system also will serve the 476-acre mixed-use Gateway Village development off Ga. 365, across from the industrial park.
The mixed-use development would consist of 186 single-family homes, 310 apartments and townhomes, and roughly 600,000 square feet of commercial and office space. Green space, including a trail system, also is planned.