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South Hall companys growing pains may benefit Flowery Branch
FriconUSA seeks annexation into Flowery Branch
A South Hall County manufacturer wanting to expand on this 11-acre site off Thurmon Tanner Parkway is seeking annexation into Flowery Branch.

Annexation request

What: Flowery Branch City Council

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: City Hall, 5517 Main St.

A South Hall County company’s plans for an $8 million expansion could mean an economic boost for Flowery Branch.

FriconUSA, which makes heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, has outgrown current space at Oakwood South Industrial Park off McEver Road and hopes to move to an 11-acre site off 4362 Thurmon Tanner Parkway just east of H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway.

The Thurmon Tanner property has a 20,000-square-foot building hooked to a septic system. To expand operations to 80,000 square feet, Fricon is seeking sewer service as part of annexation into Flowery Branch.

The company is set to request annexation, as well as rezoning to heavy manufacturing and industrial, at the Flowery Branch City Council meeting set for 6 p.m. Thursday.

The move would increase Fricon’s production, plus “the equipment (produced by the company) is very large and we’re out of space where we are now,” company marketing coordinator Maritza I. Barrios said.

Also, “with the move and expansion … we will begin an important transition to include sales throughout the USA,” she said.

Fricon now has 20 employees and projects to hire 30 more within the next three years, Barrios said.

The company plans to expand in two phases over the next three years, with the first phase — construction of a 25,000-square-foot warehouse — set to finish between August and December 2016.

The second phase calls for another warehouse and office building, Barrios said.

“We are excited to be contributing to the important growth of the manufacturing community around Thurmon Tanner Parkway as we grow as a company,” she said.

Thurmon Tanner, which runs between Phil Niekro Boulevard in Flowery Branch and Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 near Oakwood, has a mixture of uses but is largely industrial from the proposed Fricon site to Plainview Road — an area that includes the Tanners Creek business park.

The area could get a transportation boost, as plans call for construction of a new Interstate 985 interchange, or Exit 14, connecting H.F. Reed Industrial to Martin Road.

H.F. Reed leads to a heavily industrial area, while Martin Road travels past homes and subdivisions to another major traffic artery, Winder Highway/Ga. 53, which leads to Interstate 85.