A landscaping company is moving from Buford to Lula with hopes of expanding and starting a tree farm.
LDC Management Groups is relocating to a 19-acre property at Lula Road and Cemetery Road, which they hope to annex in to the city of Lula.
President Mark Cohea said the company is converting an old farmhouse on the property into an office. The new property, which the company has already purchased, will allow LDC to start a tree farm, which will have both trees for landscaping commercial and residential properties as well as Christmas trees.
“The Buford location, that was just an office and an area where we were able to keep our equipment,” Cohea said. “We’ve always wanted to do a tree farm and eventually put some greenhouses here (in Lula).”
The company currently employs about 25 people, but Cohea said they hope to double that number once LDC is settled in at the Lula location.
“As long as the economy stays the way it’s going, we’re hoping to add an additional five to eight crews,” he said.
Lula is also a better fit for the landscaping company than the “mayhem” of traffic and congestion found in Buford, Cohea said.
“The land was more affordable and we kind of dig the little town here,” he said.
LDC’s services include landscape design and installation, mulching, fences, water features and irrigation systems. Cohea said the company landscapes both residential and commercial properties, although he estimated about 80 percent of their work was on commercial properties.
LDC was founded in 1991 by Tom Richards. Cohea’s former company merged with LDC in 1995. Richards and Cohea left the company in 2000 to work in the motorsports industry, but they have since rejoined LDC and run the company with Russell Hulsey, who had purchased it when Richards and Cohea left.
Cohea said the company hopes to have a grand opening to meet the community when the property is ready.
Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin said the city can soon begin the annexation process so the property can be part of Lula, rather than unincorporated Hall County. The county would also need to approve the annexation.
Bergin said he was happy to see a new business coming to Lula.
“They’re going to be good stewards,” he said.