Spec Building Sold for 850K

Spec Building Sold ImageThe Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County have sold spec building to the firm Strapack, Inc. for $850,000. The spec building is located on highway 22 in the Industrial Park. Built in 2007, the building is 62,500 sq.ft. and sits on 15 acres.

The real estate deal was finalized December 28, 2015, closing out the year on a positive note and as one of two projects realized in the 4th quarter of 2015. The unanimous vote by the Development Authority’s Board of Directors allows for immediate work by Strapack to prepare for operations to begin early in 2016. Strapack, Inc. will invest between $4 and $6 million in the purchase price and planned build-out development of the building.

Initially, Strapack, Inc. will employ 10 people and company officials have indicated plans for future expansion with additional job positions to be created. No tax abatement was given as part of the contract, so sale of the property will be an immediate benefit on the tax digest.

MILLEDGEVILLE — By the time an industrial site consultant reaches Milledgeville, the community has already survived an in-depth vetting process. Matt Poyner, executive director of The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County (DAMBC), has named Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas as some of the top states looking at Baldwin County. “That’s where the majority of these major site consultants work,” he said. “It lends me to think we are doing something right because our activity has increased from some of these major U.S. firms, as well as international locations.”

Locally-based Goebel Media Group started web development upgrades in summer 2012 shortly after Poyner became the executive director. According to Poyner, “It took four or five months to get it up and running and the site is top-notch.” Recent review of the site by a marketing representative evaluated it as standing tall among similar sites. “It is important to know that industry professionals identify our site as providing current, relevant data to site visitors,” he said.

For prospective companies utilizing online resources, the Internet can be a discouraging or advantageous primary investigative tool. The DAMBC puts considerable time and effort into the website as a tool to showcase the attributes of Milledgeville to business and industry. Web analytics from developmilledgeville.com show a 62 percent page view increase over first quarter 2013 numbers. The DAMBC can use web analytic information to tailor recruiting for specific national and international firms.

The development authority’s project load has increased dramatically. The state economic development connections are taking notice of Milledgeville’s potential, sending target manufacturing, aerospace, logistics, shared services and high water user companies to the community by way a Request for Information (RFI). Executive Director Poyner also points out, “By the time we are notified of a project, our community has been vetted multiple times through a process matching sites to project specifications. When we get an RFI, we’re one of the final candidates remaining of about 100 communities, or more, initially considered. That’s why it is important to have a good site with relevant information that encourages increased traffic and length of time on our site. I’m proud of where we are.”

Milledgeville-Baldwin County served as a host community March 18 for the annual International VIP tour coordinated by the Georgia Department of Economic Development. This was the first time in 29 years that Milledgeville made the tour. The hospitality and energetic community blew away 33 consulates representing countries in Europe, Asia, Canada, Africa and Mexico. “People getting their feet in Milledgeville is what we need,” Poyner said. “That’s starting to take off for us and we are in the conversation.” Recent Business Retention and Expansion Program (BREP) surveys showed current industries planned expansions and felt positive about Baldwin County operations. “It’s comprehensive service from start to finish. We want to provide the tools and support businesses need to grow and achieve success.” Poyner said.

Poyner urges the community to stay tuned for an upcoming uniquely innovative website upgrade.

Recent months have presented local residents a unique opportunity to share their thoughts on their community and the direction they would like to see the community take in the future.

Key local entities, including the Baldwin County Board of Education, the Chamber of Commerce and the Development Authority, are in the midst of strategic planning phases in an effort to formulate a new community vision and strategic plan.

The local Chamber and Development Authority have a partnership with other key stakeholders, including local governing bodies, colleges and the hospital, to develop a new strategic plan for the community.

One part of this process involves community feedback. Local residents can assist in this part by sharing their thoughts online. An online survey is available for the community to provide insight into what local residents think and how they view the community in which they live. Take a few minutes to weigh and help formulate a new vision for Baldwin County’s future. This is a chance for local residents to have a greater voice in where Baldwin County progresses to over the course of the next few years. It’s a chance to gauge what locals think is important and what they think should be areas of focus for the future.

The online survey, which launched Monday morning, can be found on the Chamber’s website at www.milledgevillega.com. Survey respondents also have a chance to enter to win one of five $50 gift certificates to local Chamber businesses.

The survey will be available for the public’s input over the next three weeks.

For more information about the strategic plan or the survey call the Chamber at 478-453-9311.

Source: Union Recorder

The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County is working active projects with 716 possible jobs and $200 million community investment attached.

In Tuesday’s Milledgeville City Council work session, Development Authority Executive Director Matt Poyner said three or four projects covering areas such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace and alternative energy are almost complete. Baldwin County will have to wait a little longer for the big announcements.

“We are dealing with companies that are extremely secretive in what they are doing,” Poyner said. “Their corporate structure doesn’t want to talk about this stuff.”

An advanced manufacturing industry project open since last October with 75 new jobs and $10 million worth of investment is included in some of the potential good news.

Poyner said business retention surveys aiming to identify problems, issues and challenges with local industry gave “a good idea of what’s going on.”

Currently, 42 companies employing more than 2,000 have completed the surveys. Poyner said he wants to reach 100 companies by the end of the summer.

These business retention efforts revealed more positive job talk.

Development authority officials have learned that over the next three years existing industry expansions are expected to add 344 employees and a $69 million investment to the area.

Existing companies and businesses are happy with their employees as well.

“One hundred percent of industrial companies gave our workforce positive marks,” Poyner said Tuesday. “That’s even better knowing that we have the businesses here, and the workforce they have meets demand.”

• Industrial Park

The 44-acre site near Highway 22 should be complete this fall. Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) dollars for acquiring property and providing infrastructure improvements fund the work.

Poyner said of the 460 industrial park acres only 16 are “pad ready.” This means the land is flat and includes the proper infrastructure for an industry to move right to the build.

The under construction land visible from the highway will add to marketable inventory, according to Poyner.

“By the end of the fall that site is going to be flat, so site consultants can say ‘we can put our building here.’ If you don’t have the inventory ready these days, you are behind the eight ball,” Poyner said.

• Broadband connections

Poyner joined an area broadband steering committee working on accessibility.

Large-scale industries require this serious connectivity, so local expansion would boost the community’s appeal.

Poyner said apparently Milledgeville isn’t utilizing a huge untapped line.

“It’s something we can market because it’s an incentive to companies,” he said.

• Workforce dollars

Working with the Middle Georgia Consortium board, a local association of workforce development agencies, business leaders and other local partners seeking to improve the labor success of Middle Georgians, Poyner looks to bring more of the state’s $104 million workforce investment dollars to Baldwin County.

The total is spread among 26 state boards. Middle Georgia receives just $750,000.

Poyner said $500,000 of that total goes to Macon and Bibb County.

“It’s a huge resource that no one is tapping into,” he said to Council Tuesday. “This is money we could use to help companies pay for on the job training. It’s a huge asset we aren’t taking advantage of.”

Based on population and unemployment, Baldwin County should pull a “bigger chunk,” according to Poyner.

• Rheem Building

The development authority is still working on the vacant building. Poyner said it would be sold to a private developer “with deep pockets” by the end of the year.

Source: The Union Recorder

Beginning in April, the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority will implement an extensive business retention program.

Reaching out to community businesses and industries by way of a survey tool is an important step, according to executive director Matt Poyner.

“This allows us to pinpoint areas of concern. We might learn about companies that have expansions or issues we can help with,” Poyner said. “This will be a far-reaching survey. It’s a huge spectrum.”

The survey consists of interviews between business leaders and representatives of the authority and four other participating organizations. In order to gather and analyze this information in a timely and efficient manner, the authority has partnered with the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber, Central Georgia Technical College, Milledgeville Mainstreet and Digital Bridges to assist in the survey process.

Poyner said the state’s business growth was in existing industry last year.

“New companies coming in are great, but if you can’t grow from within it’s difficult. I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a good thing for us to do,” Poyner said.

The confidential survey’s goals are to develop a clear understanding of personal views of the local economy and community, determine expansion plans, acquaint participants with available assistance programs and establish an ongoing channel of communication between firms and the local government.

The development authority plans to complete the interviews by July. Poyner said the business retention program should keep hands on the business community’s pulse.

Source: Union Recorder