Sunday, Mar. 26, 2023–3:40 p.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
In August of last year, Rome and Floyd County officials announced the purchase of 202 acres of land off Highway 411 for economic development. Since the purchase, plans for a huge electric vehicle plant at the Bartow Centre and other projects have been announced along the 411 corridor, making what is now known as Enterprise Corner an even more prime piece of land.
Missy Kendrick, president and CEO of the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority recently said that they are doing their due diligence to get the property ready.
“That includes wetlands delineation and some geotechnical work where they come in and do some soil borings to make sure to make sure they don’t hit rock, which would increase the cost of development exponentially,” she said. “We also have to do cultural resources and endangered species studies, all to make sure there are no obstacles to development.”
Kendrick explained why this due diligence is so important.
“When a project comes, they are looking for speed-to-market,” Kendrick said. “They are looking for a piece of property that they don’t have to do these types of studies and other things that would slow their project down.”
It’s also important for GRAD certification, which is Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development.
“That is a certification program that lets a prospect or a project know that the property had already gone through these due diligence phases,” Kendrick added. “It also shows that the chain of title is clear, that there are no environmental issues with the property and it is a certified ready piece of property for development. That’s the GRAD program that we will be entering this property into.”
Kendrick also gave an update on the Battey Business Center, which is the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital site in West Rome.
The development authority purchased the vacant 132.5-acre hospital complex from the state with $2.25 million from the SPLOST packages.
They received a $500,000 federal grant in May that can be used for environmental cleanup assessment and planning purposes, among other things.
Production crews were recently filming at the site, and that filming has been completed. Another production company has also shown interest in the property. Kendrick said the recent storm that we had did cause some damage at the site, including a tree that fell onto the fence.