BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – In a called meeting Wednesday morning, March 21, the Fannin County Development Authority (FCDA) announced a tenant has been found for the speculative building off of state Route 5 near McCaysville.
The FCDA will soon be entering into a lease purchase, pending final approval from OneGeorgia Authority (a funding source for the building), with Ed’s Supply, which is a supplier of equipment, parts, and materials to businesses. The company was established in 1957 and is currently headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennnessee.
The terms of lease purchase, as announced by FCDA Chairperson Billie Queen, will be for 10 years at $840,000 and the contract is slated to begin April 1. Queen also stated Ed’s Supply will be occupying the entire building. When built, the speculative building was designed to be easily modified to accommodate multiple tenants if business prospects so desired to only occupy a portion of the building.
According to FCDA Executive Director Christie Arp, Ed’s Supply will initially begin operation with six employees with the potential to grow to 10 employees in three years. The company’s overall capital investment will be over $1,000,000 and there are over $3,000,000 in sales estimated to be captured in Fannin County, which will include servicing at least four HVAC businesses.
The speculative building is located on 10.87 acres at 63 Kyle Road just off of state Route 5 near the company offices of Tri-State Electric Membership Corporation (EMC). The facility’s construction was complete in spring 2017 with a total cost of $723,000. The funding for the project included a $250,000 grant from Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a $200,000 grant from Appalachian Regional Commission, a $229,500 no-interest equity loan from OneGeorgia Authority and $43,500 from the FCDA.
According to Arp, the FCDA share derived from the sale of the old Levi’s facility several years ago and lease revenue from tenants at the FCDA’s Blue Ridge Industries facility on Ada Street.
The goal for the speculative building project was to attract new businesses to the area and secure a tenant that would provide quality jobs to the county.
“(Ed’s Supply is) already serving businesses in Fannin, so having them here helps better the businesses and employees already in the community,” Arp said of the forthcoming company. “They have great benefits and wages for their employees. They are bringing tax dollars into the community that would otherwise be going out. Ed’s Supply invests time and money into its people – from training and education to rewards and incentives.”
Also during the called meeting, the FCDA extended a contract with Atlanta Gas Light for the FCDA property off of Ada Street.
The property hosts the terminus of a natural gas line running from Ellijay, Georgia, that Atlanta Gas Light is currently in the process of “pickling”. Pickling is a common process used by natural gas companies where new lines are saturated with odorant. During the process, the inner lining of the pipe itself absorbs the odorant. The process is considered complete once the odorant level at the terminus is comparable to the level where the odorant is injected into the line. Because natural gas is odorless, it is necessary to pickle a new line before it is commissioned for use. A completely pickled line will naturally disperse the odorant that has been fully absorbed into the line.
On hand at the meeting was Chasity Durham, representing Atlanta Gas Light. Durham reported, at this time, there is not enough odorant saturation in the line and Atlanta Gas Light needs more time to complete the process.
The contract extension for the property, as announced by Queen, is for 60 to 90 days.
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Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.