SOUTH FORSYTH – The name of an e-commerce company moving to Forsyth County has been revealed.
Sports Warehouse will relocate to Forsyth and is expected to be operational by July 2017, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The business will be used as a fulfillment and distribution center and is expected to cost about $14 million in investment to move and bring over 300 jobs to the area.
“Sports Warehouse is a great fit for Forsyth County,” said Forsyth County Commission Chairman Todd Levent in the release. “Thanks to the tireless efforts and forward-thinking nature of county leaders, engaged citizens and a strong community, Forsyth County has the outstanding quality of life and public education system that will assist them in attracting executives and technical professionals to make this project a huge success.”
The company, coined as a “global retail supplier of sports and outdoor equipment,” also does business as Tennis Warehouse, Running Warehouse, Tackle Warehouse, Skate Warehouse, Inline Warehouse, Ice Warehouse, Derby Warehouse, Riding Warehouse, Art’s Cyclery, Racquetball Warehouse and Total Pickleball.
“We are looking forward to expanding our Tennis Warehouse and Running Warehouse distribution to such an active sports community. Both tennis and running participation are thriving in Atlanta, and The Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association and the Atlanta Track Club are two of the premier community sports organizations in the United States,” said Drew Munster, president of Sports Warehouse.
The project was formerly known as “Project Deuce” to keep the company name quiet until the deal was finalized. An official announcement is expected on Feb. 28.
The company will occupy a space in south Forsyth at 1295 Bluegrass Lakes Parkway and has been for sale and largely vacant for years. A post office currently operates in the building but is expected to move, and there are plans to gut and expand the structure.
Muster said the company’s “top priority is improving our customers' ordering experience.”
“The new distribution center will enable us to offer faster shipping and more convenient customer service hours to our customers in the South, Midwest and East Coast,” he said. “From our new facility in Forsyth County we’ll be able to offer free overnight ground service for most orders to Georgia and Alabama and much of Tennessee, as well other major cities such as Jacksonville and Charlotte.
“As a bonus, Atlanta area runners and tennis players will be able to take advantage of UPS’s recent addition of Saturday delivery for ground packages in the Atlanta area.”
New jobs will include positions in distribution, operations and customer service.
In previous meetings, the local school system and other amenities were listed as reasons for the company to relocate, especially for technical skills involving website and database development.
“Forsyth County has a reputation as a home for e-commerce and technology firms,” said James McCoy, president and CEO of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce. “Our community has a world class talent pool and a critical mass of other tech firms.”
Forsyth beat out several other locations in the southeast and Metro-Atlanta.
McCoy said Robert Long, the Chamber’s vice president of economic development, began working with the company in September 2016.
“Robert facilitated dozens of meetings with state and local officials that ultimately led to Forsyth County commissioners approving an incentive package for the client,” he said.
At a meeting last week, the Forsyth County Development Authority approved an inducement resolution, the first step toward a bond for property tax, for the company. On Tuesday, commissioners moved forward with right of way abandonment for the unpaved and undeveloped portion of Jones Road.
“We had options in other states and locations,” Sports Warehouse’s Munster said, “but Josh [Stevens with the Georgia Department of Economic Development] and Robert sold us on Georgia and Forsyth County.”