Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Cherokee County Board of Commissioners waives $175K in fees for new Rooker building

December 1, 2014

A large, speculative manufacturing facility is coming to Cherokee County.

Commissioners agreed at their meeting last week to waive $175,288 in impact fees for Rooker to construct a 304,000-square-foot industrial building at Cherokee 75 Corporate Park.

“The Cherokee Office of Economic Development has been working to recruit speculative building developers to the community. Almost 90 percent of our business prospects prefer an existing building over constructing their own due to timing, risk and other factors,” said Misti Martin, Cherokee County Office of Economic Development president.

Rooker, a real estate development, design and construction firm, has already conducted business in the county as the developer for Inalfa Roof Systems.

The firm’s new facility to be built will be an investment ranging from $10 million to $15 million, Martin said.

The building will be owned by Rooker and could be subdivided for two companies, if needed, once it is constructed. Two active prospects are already considering the future facility, which will be located on about 25 acres in the corporate park, located two miles east of Interstate 75 on Ga. Highway 92.

Since the corporate park is in the county’s Opportunity Zone, more business prospects are interested in moving into the area. More than 70 percent of the county’s business prospects want to locate in the Opportunity Zone in order to receive tax exemptions, Martin said.

“With so many business prospects looking to move into existing space, spec buildings are imperative. We still need build-to-suit sites, but it is even more important to have available buildings. There have been no spec buildings constructed since the recession in 2007 and 2008,” Martin said.

County Manager Jerry Cooper said the county having no available industrial buildings is a good and bad thing.

“When corporations want to locate here, they’re pressed with a tight time schedule, so this spec building — although it may fill up in the next quarter — it’s a good opportunity,” said Cooper. “We really need jobs and industry; it’s my recommendation to waive the impact fees 100 percent.”

Commissioner Jason Nelms said he agreed with Cooper.

“I think the opportunity costs of a $175,000 exemption is going to be far more influential to us. My hats off to Misti and others at the economic office for what they’ve accomplished down there in a short time,” Nelms said.

The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to waive the impact fees for Rooker.

The county’s economic development office focused its attention to recruiting spec building developers starting in 2010 in order to increase prospect activity and promote Cherokee County in the metro Atlanta market, Martin said.

“Having this spec building in Cherokee’s inventory will not only allow us to compete on the above mentioned projects, but could drive continued growth from other companies; both resulting in extraordinary economic impact,” she said.

Please click here to view the original story from the Cherokee Tribune.