Standing on the front porch of her home holding son River in her arms, Lacey Barnes looked at the empty 32,000-square-foot warehouse across the street that’s been her neighbor since she and husband Brian bought their house inside the Lula city limits almost four years ago.
Soon, Barnes may start seeing trucks move in and out of the quiet residential neighborhood because a private-label sauce-making company is apparently interested in moving into the warehouse at 5711 Cobb St.
“It’s been vacant for at least two years,” Barnes told The Times on Friday. “I don’t mind the activity. We knew that was there when we bought the house. If it brings jobs, that’s good. Lula needs more business.”
Without identifying the company, officials confirmed at a City Council meeting last week that a possible deal is in the works, which could bring some 50 jobs to the city.
The commercial property zoned light industrial is listed for sale for $739,000 by Brent Hoffman of Berkshire Hathaway. The property also could be leased for $4,995 a month, according to information posted on Hoffman’s website.
Tony McGuire of Buford is the owner, according to Hall County public records. McGuire paid $410,000 for the property in December 2001.
Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin is keeping City Council and the public abreast of what’s going on with the property.
“I just want to communicate with the user of what we’re looking for,” Bergin said. “We’ve asked for improvements outside, and we’re concerned a little bit about traffic. My worry is more early morning and early evening, including Saturday. They have seven or eight trailers available.”
A resident at the council meeting asked how the property was zoned industrial in the first place with so many houses around it. The neighborhood is also home to several ballfields and parks.
Mayor Milton Turner explained by giving a brief history of the property. He said the facility was at one time a manufacturing plant. He said that when Lula adopted zoning regulations in 1976, the warehouse property was designated as industrial because there was an existing business that was already there.
“There were no houses built around it at that time, other than a couple (of houses) across from the ballfield,” Turner said.
Barnes said it would not bother her or her husband to see the warehouse revived.
“It’s good for Lula,” she said.