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Massive e-commerce company relocating to south Forsyth

 
POSTED: February 17, 2017 1:00 a.m.

SOUTH FORSYTH -- It appears an e-commerce company from the West Coast has chosen Forsyth County as its new home, though the specifics are not yet public.

Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development Robert Long updated members of the Forsyth Development Authority Tuesday morning on what is being called “Project Deuce,” since the name of the company has not been released.

“It’s an e-commerce project out of California that is looking to relocate,” Long said. “They’re relocating everything; it will be their corporate headquarters. It’s an e-commerce company, so all their IT support and that will be done here, their servers for their operation … as well as their various product lines that they have will all be here.”

Long said the company considered other cities in the Southeast and metro-Atlanta but decided on Wednesday to choose south Forsyth.

“They made the decision literally yesterday,” Long said.

An announcement of the project is expected on Feb. 28.

The property is located at 1295 Bluegrass Lakes Parkway and has been for sale and largely vacant for years. A post office operates in the building but is expected to move, and there are plans to gut and expand the building.

Long said the company plans to invest about $20 million for land and improvements, up from a previous figure of $15 million, and should bring 342 jobs — a significantly larger scale than most projects the county retains.

“Our average project last year was $5 million [in investments] and 30 jobs,” he said. “This is a significant project for us with four times the investment and 10 times the jobs for our average project last year.”

Since there is no interstate running through Forsyth, Long said the county is less suited for traditional shipping but has a niche of e-commerce companies and several local amenities that factored into the decision.

“It really comes down to the educational system we have, the quality of life, and our tax rate is 20 percent lower than our neighbors, our base tax rate,” he said. “People want to be here, and the president of the company and some of the executives coming from California, they want to be able to keep those folks.”

The development authority approved an inducement resolution, the first step toward a bond for property tax. An inducement does not put the county under any obligation.

“They had asked for a 12-year abatement based on our current policy,” Long said. “What they’re going to do is ask for no county taxes for three years and then start bumping it up 10 percent a year until year 13 when they start paying normal property taxes.”

In January, county commissioners approved moving forward with right of way abandonment for the unpaved and undeveloped portion of Jones Road.

Long said the development authority will have another meeting as the tax abatement moved forward.

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