A development code-named "Project Jump" took a leap forward last week, when the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority voted to buy 20 acres for it on Battlefield Parkway about two miles west of Interstate 75.
"It'll be a good thing for Catoosa County," said authority Chairman Randall Peters.
It's a secret what the new development will be, since all of the CCEDA's discussions were behind closed doors in "executive session" — and Peters wouldn't give a hint about what's coming, citing the developer's desire to keep the project under wraps for now.
"That will be out in due course," Peters said, citing the county development agency's past experience buying land along I-75 in Fort Oglethorpe for the Cabela's outdoors store and Costco warehouse store.
"Costco said, 'You will not release the information until we announce it. If you do, we will walk away,'" Peters said, adding that actually happened in another Georgia community that saw its deal to get a Costco warehouse disappear when local officials let the cat out of the bag.
"The local people let it out, and [Costco] walked away," he said.
Peters declined to identify the sales price of the two parcels just east of Pine Grove Road.
They're worth about $1.16 million, according to Catoosa County Tax Assessor's Office records. The authority plans to buy a 9.88-acre parcel east of Pine Grove Road owned by the Ringgold Church of Christ that's valued at $592,800 and a 9.47-acre parcel next to it owned by Brice L. Holland Trustee in Sarasota, Fla., that's valued at $568,200.
The CCEDA will discuss the project again at its Dec. 6 meeting, Peters said, and the County Commission would have to give final approval on the land purchase.
If the county buys the parcels, the purchase price won't be made public until the authority's meeting minutes are released next month, said Katie Sponberger, CCEDA economic development coordinator.