Gainesville and Hall County officially welcomed one of its newest business members into the community Friday as the severed ends of a ribbon fell to the ground at ProCare Rx.
Founded in 1987, ProCare Rx, a national pharmacy benefit management company, moved its headquarters to Gainesville earlier this year from Duluth, bringing with it 120 employees.
Its office is the cornerstone of the ProCare Park, a 23-acre site on Candler Road at Interstate 985.
“We are glad to be here and are thankful for the opportunity,” said Roger Burgess, founder, chairman and CEO of the company. “As soon as we get the business flowing, I promise you, we’ll reinvest.”
Plans, as they stand now, show an involved future development of the corporate campus, including a six-story midrise office building and additional office, warehouse and retail space.
“It’s great to have (ProCare Rx) in our community, but even more so than that, it’s going to bring high-paying jobs and has a bright future,” said Tom Oliver, Hall County Board of Commissioners chairman. “I envisioned seeing a huge campus here one day.”
ProCare Rx bought the property after about six years of talks with county officials. Prior to the company developing the property, the site was a public park.
The park was eventually shut down because it “attracted all the wrong kinds of things.”
“This 23 acres was just sitting here and had to be policed regularly because there were all kinds of problems,” said Tim Evans, vice president of economic development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “We took a site that was not on the tax rolls — generating property taxes or jobs — and put it into productive use. All of that is now property that will help contribute to the city, county and school system through property and sales taxes. It’s a win-win.”
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a guest speaker at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said the project not only boosts prosperity for the community and state, but also shows how governmental agencies and private businesses can work
“What you’re doing is going to advance the prosperity for not only this community, but the state,” said Cagle during the ceremony. “It’s not just simply the celebration of a wonderful company. ... What it represents is an investment in this community that will create an ecosystem of collaboration.”
Along with welcoming in a new business and showing off plans for future development, ProCare Rx unveiled a veterans memorial dedicated to Sgt. Maj. Jon R. Cavaiani, a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and all of his fellow Vietnam veterans.
“I’m humbled,” said Cavaiani during the dedication, adding he hopes today’s veterans can receive a better welcome and care than he and his fellow veterans had.
“The reality is we have a lot of young men and women coming back and we have to make sure we give them a homecoming.”
Burgess, in fact, was a Vietnam veteran himself. One of his missions, he said, it to make sure veterans coming home now were not treated like he was upon his return.
“Since then, I’ve made it a personal agenda to make sure we never treat our veterans the same way again,” he said.