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Goodwill eyes site in south Forsyth
Development authority backs bond resolution
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Forsyth County News

Other business
Also at its meeting, the Forsyth County Development Authority heard presentations from Suzanne Browne of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Kim Thompson of Fisher and Phillips LLC.

Browne gave information about establishing federal foreign trade zones, while Thompson discussed some federal Visa programs available to businesses bringing jobs to the U.S.

The trade zones offer benefits to international businesses locating in those areas, including exemption of import and export duties.

The development authority is considering a possible foreign trade zone for a proposed business park on a 33-acre site the county owns off Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Cumming.

Authority members plan to revisit the federal programs in future meetings before making any decisions.

-- Crystal Ledford

Members of the Forsyth County Development Authority have given their blessing to a bond resolution that could benefit North Georgia Goodwill.

The organization wants to build a second retail and donation site in Forsyth County.

The first is in the old Wal-mart building on Atlanta Road. The second, which could create about 40 jobs, would be on McFarland Parkway in south Forsyth.

During its recent regular meeting, the authority approved a resolution for $4.9 million in bonds for the project.

The measure will next go to the Forsyth County commission for review.

The authority's meeting also included a public hearing on the matter.

The bonds are not public and SunTrust Bank will “buy the bonds and put them on its books,” said Woody Vaughan, an attorney with King and Spalding, the firm handling the bond sale.

Roy Bishop, president of North Georgia Goodwill, said the $4.9 million would be used for “construction and fixturing out of the site.”

Bishop said the new store would be similar in design to those in Johns Creek, Roswell and Buckhead.

He also estimated that the site would bring in about “$2.5 to 3 million in revenue per year” based on figures from the other locations.

“We feel this is an exciting location for us and a great opportunity for growth,” said Bishop, who added that the Cumming store would remain open.

William R. Hamm, an attorney representing Marietta Real Estate Holding Company, spoke against the plan.

The holding company owns RBM of Atlanta North Mercedes Benz, which is near the proposed Goodwill site.

There are some concerns from RBM and other businesses in the area that the Goodwill store may violate some of the business park’s covenants, Hamm said.

However, development authority chairman Bobby Thomas said those issues are out of the realm of the group’s authority and would have to be dealt with at a higher level, likely Forsyth County Superior Court.

“This is not the forum to get those [covenant] issues resolved,” Thomas said.

Hamm agreed, but noted he “just wanted to make the group aware of the issues.”