Exactly six months earlier, Mincey Marble officials pleaded their case for a new building in a heated Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting.
On Thursday, the air was warm, but not from tense discussion, as company officials broke ground on a new 350,000 to 400,000-square-foot marble manufacturing plant — miles from the original, planned site.
“It’s been a long, winding road, but I think we’ve got where we need to be now,” Mincey president Donna Mincey said. “I think this place is beautiful, and we’re happy to be here.”
She, along with other company officials, pitched dirt at the 79-acre site in the Gainesville Business Park off Calvary Church Road near the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center.
Smiles continued as the company’s 82-year-old founder, Kenneth Mincey, climbed atop a piece of heavy equipment and began to steer it. Heavy grading already has taken place at the site off New Harvest Road.
Construction on the building should begin in earnest later this spring, with completion estimated to take place by the end of 2017. Mincey could start moving into the new building in early 2018, officials said.
Mincey announced in January plans to move operations away from its current base at 4321 Browns Bridge Road, as well as a plant off neighboring Hidden Hills Drive.
In making the move, Mincey also opted not to build a highly contested 100,750-square-foot plant that was approved in the fall by the Hall County Board of Commissioners after a long rezoning fight.
Company officials have said cost was a primary factor in deciding to move the company’s West Hall operations, including its headquarters at 4321 Browns Bridge Road and a facility off neighboring Hidden Hills Drive.
“Many of (the) company’s financial projections could not be determined until after the rezoning cleared the way for due diligence,” an earlier press release states.
Cost estimates for road improvements, for example, came in substantially higher than expected, the company said.
Another key factor in deciding to move was the securing of major new business contracts in late 2016 — after the rezoning — that “dramatically altered Mincey sales forecasts for the new year and beyond,” the release states.
Moving to the new site “provides much greater flexibility for future expansion.”
The building will cost between $15 million and $20 million.