Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Cherokee Office of Economic Development Receives Award For Large Community Deal Of The Year From The Georgia Economic Developers Association

November 21, 2019

The Georgia Economic Developers Association recognized the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) for “outstanding achievement in the location/expansion of business in Georgia” at its November Awards luncheon on Monday. COED was recognized for The Mill on Etowah project that started taking shape in October 2018 when the anchor-tenant was announced. On behalf of Governor Brian Kemp, Gretchen Corbin, President & CEO of The Georgia Lottery Corporation, presented the award to COED President Misti Martin, the project developers, along with a number of other Cherokee County officials.

Developers Penn Hodge and Grant Schmeelk had a vision to bring a true mixed-use redevelopment to Downtown Canton by redeveloping the Historic Canton Textile Mill. The initial estimated economic impact of the deal was $15,000,000 but at build-out, the development plans for an additional 350,000 square feet of hospitality and supporting residential space, bringing the capital investment up to $65 million. Keys to making this trailblazing project happen was the community’s ability to meet the expansion needs of a local, entrepreneurial brewery, Reformation, and also assist other existing companies find new space. This project will create a network of revitalization in the area leading to a quality of place, not seen before.

“We are honored to receive the 2019 Georgia “Deal of the Year” Award for The Mill on Etowah,” said Cherokee Office of Economic Development Chairman Marshall Day. “Thanks to the hard work, vision, and persistence of developers Penn Hodge and Grant Schmeelk, along with the City of Canton, The Mill on Etowah is soon-to-be one of metro Atlanta’s newest destinations.”

About the Award
This is now the thirteenth year that GEDA has recognized the major projects from the previous year. In what has become a major portion of the Annual Awards Ceremony – GEDA recognizes recipients in four categories:
• SMALL – a county with population 50,000 and under,
• MID-SIZE – a county with population 50,001 – 100,000,
• LARGE – a county with population over 100,000,
• REGIONAL – any multi-county effort.

The Deal of the Year Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the location or expansion of new businesses in the state of Georgia that meet community economic development goals and involve significant community program support, such as financial or permitting assistance, workforce development, state financial support, etc.

About GEDA
The Georgia Economic Developers Association is a nonprofit association of professionals, volunteers and supporters. The association provides networking and professional development opportunities for its members, and supports public policies that promote quality job creation and sustainable economic development throughout the state. For more information, visit