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Former jail site eyed for business park
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Forsyth County News


The Forsyth County Development Authority discussed possibilities for a future business park during a meeting Thursday.

Also at the morning session were County Commissioners Pete Amos, Jim Boff and Brian Tam.

The commission voted last month to let the authority explore options for a 33-acre county-owned site off Veterans Memorial Boulevard.

The property has sat largely unused since 2008, when voters rejected a bond referendum to build a new detention center and sheriff’s headquarters there.

Tam, who chairs the commission, said Thursday officials are open to suggestions for the site, which the county bought for $7 million.

“We’d like to work with the development authority and the chamber of commerce to find a use for the property,” said Tam, adding that could include selling or leasing parcels.

“Our goal is to start getting some sort of revenue stream from the property.”

Bobby Thomas, authority chairman, suggested the group encourage private developers to submit proposals "rather than this board be in a position of trying to develop the property.”

While county commissioners would have to approve any plans for the site, Tam said they'd "be open to putting this on the agenda immediately.”

Thomas said any plan used to develop the site should be “market driven.”

He added that medical, bio-technology and research and development firms could be a good fit due to the proximity of Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

Randall Toussaint, vice president of economic development with the chamber, agreed.

“We’re seeing a lot of companies in the medical field looking at coming to Forsyth,” he said.

The authority will revisit the matter next month.