Dalton, Georgia, has landed an expansion by an existing flooring maker along with a planned plant by a company new to the area in a pair of multimillion- dollar projects.
Each project will go on a new, 70-acre, privately funded industrial park, said Carl Campbell, the Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority's executive director.
Healthier Choice Flooring, in a $12 million investment, plans to build a 200,000-square-foot plant making padding used under carpet and hard surface flooring, Campbell said.
Plans are for Healthier Choice to employ about 25 more workers in "somewhat a consolidation," Campbell said. He said the company already has three facilities in Whitfield County.
Also, Reagent Chemical and White Flyer Targets, a maker of clay shooting targets, plans to build a 150,000-square-foot plant. Campbell said the jobs numbers and financial investment by the Ringoes, New Jersey, company aren't final yet, but he termed it a multimillion- dollar project.
"We always want to help our flooring industry grow. We want the best spot for them," Campbell said. "We also want to add diversity for the community, to insulate us from another housing downturn."
Craig Poteet, Healthier Choice Flooring president, is leading the development of the industrial park at Old Dixie Highway one mile south of the Dalton bypass.
"As the economy continues to expand, demand for suitable building sites throughout Georgia and specifically in Whitfield County has increased," Poteet said. "As we contemplated our own need to grow our business we looked for property for several years."
He said a lack of viable sites at market-level prices in Dalton made the search difficult.
"In the end, we decided that creating an opportunity for ourselves and others made sense," Poteet said about the company that for more than 25 years has made premium carpet cushion and acoustical underlayment for the flooring industry.
Brian Skeuse of Reagent Chemical and White Flyer Targets said the new facility will be its fifth state-of-the-art target manufacturing site in the United States.
"The Dalton, Georgia, facility will only strengthen our ability to provide gun clubs across North America and the world with the best targets possible," Skeuse said.
Campbell said grading of the industrial park and the plant sites is to start in about a month. He said both new plants should be operating in late 2019.
After the plants are built, the industrial park will have two tracts available, Campbell said.
He said both projects are to receive tax abatements as incentives.
Pat Wilson, commissioner for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said the company decisions speak "volumes to the quality of the workforce and our overall business-friendly environment in this region."
Lynn Laughter, Whitfield County Commission chairman, said officials are "very pleased to see this new rail-served park come to life."
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.
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