Just south of the Tennessee-Georgia state border along Interstate 75, one of the largest industrial parks in the Chattanooga area is taking shape.
A development group that has already lured Volkswagen supplier Sesé Industrial Services and the container company Pods to the Enterprise South Industrial Park in Chattanooga has begun work on two other, bigger industrial sites in Catoosa County, Georgia, with the goal of attracting more than $100 million of new industrial development and more than 700 new jobs.
Known as the Cloud Springs I-75 Park, the new development is a joint development between the Chattanooga-based White Oak Enterprises and the Columbus, Ohio-based Tenby Partners.
The developers bought two sites along Cloud Springs Road from Brown Brothers Inc., which has used the properties for dirt pits to supply fill dirt to its construction sites, and are planning to build more than 1.1 million square feet of industrial and warehouse space for a number of tenants.
"This is a great location for manufacturing, and it offers a great untapped labor pool in Catoosa County," Rich Schuen, CEO of Tenby Properties, said in a telephone interview. "Over 80% of the workers who live in Catoosa County go out of the county to work, so it is very much a bedroom community with a great supply of available workers."
Catoosa County and the state of Georgia are also offering tax and other incentives to lure new companies into the new industrial park. Real estate and personal property tax abatements are in place on the property to help incentivize development, and the site is already zoned for industrial use.
"Catoosa County is well positioned along the I-75 backbone that supports economic development and quality of life for millions of people," County Commission Chairman Larry Black said in an announcement of the new development. "The Cloud Springs I-75 Park promises to keep more of our neighbors working right here in Catoosa County."
Jeff Londis, president of White Oak Enterprises, said the developers have been looking for industrial sites in the Chattanooga region for the past five years and approached Brown Brothers a few years back about selling the dirt pit properties in northern Catoosa County for an industrial park.
"It's very difficult to find a site in this region that accommodates buildings of these sizes, and we're just thrilled to have an opportunity to develop this new industrial park," Londas said in a telephone interview. "This is going to be a Class A product, and there hasn't been anything built like this in North Georgia in many decades."
Brown Brothers agreed to sell the site and has cleared and leveled the two sites for the new industrial park. Lontas said the first of the new buildings could be erected as soon as the first quarter of 2024.
Schuen said his company, which has already developed more than $1 billion of industrial properties across the Midwest and Southeast, is seeing renewed interest in manufacturing goods made in the United States.
Schuen said the Chattanooga area is at the center of the emerging "battery belt" of new automotive battery manufacturers in the region. Tennessee and Georgia have already attracted more than $20 billion of new and planned investments by electric vehicle manufacturers and the manufacturers of batteries used in EVs.
The site is a 40-minute drive from the Appalachian Regional inland port connected by rail to the Port of Savannah and is within a two hour drive to Nashville, Knoxville, Birmingham and Atlanta, which has the world's busiest airport.
Rick Partain, chairman of the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority, said the new industrial sites along I-75 "will serve as a pillar for the gateway to Georgia and will generate even more opportunities for investment and job creation."
The developers are working with the Georgia Department of Transportation to modify the highway right-of-way to cut the top of another hill down and show the new property to the more than 100,000 motorists who travel by the site each day along I-75.
Last year, Sesé Industrial Services moved into a 300,000-square-foot plant off Hickory Valley Road that was jointly developed by Tenby Partner and White Oak Enterprises in the Enterprise South Industrial Park in Chattanooga. Sesé has grown to more than 300 employees making electric vehicle axle components for VW's new ID.4 SUV.
Find out more
Read more about the Cloud Springs I-75 Park at adobe.ly/3YU7sPA
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6340.