A Dallas-headquartered wholesaler and designer of rugs and other home furnishings has announced it intends to open a new distribution center in northeastern Bartow County.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) issued a press release Thursday stating that Loloi, Inc. is planning to construct a 647,000-square-foot facility that will sit on 59 acres of land along Old Cass White Road.
The new development, which will have frontage on Cass White Road and Peeples Valley Road, is expected to bring an estimated 198 jobs to the local community.
"We're delighted to see another company choose Bartow County as its location of choice," said Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson. "It's a great investment with a lot of jobs, and it's a property, a parcel, that's been industrial for a long time — it's further evidence the market's heating up and a lot of people are finding out this is a sweet spot to be in."
According to D&B Hoovers, Loloi's annual revenue is about $53 million a year. The company has showrooms in Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, New York and High Point, North Carolina. Among other designers, Loloi has collaborated with ED by Ellen Degeneres, Justina Blakeney and Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines for their collections.
"I think it's a good fit for them," said Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor. "They've got good management and they plan on making a good investment in Bartow County ... we're excited that they're coming."
The GDEcD said the deal was put together in partnership with the Development Authority of Bartow County, Georgia Power and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
“Loloi is thrilled to invest in a brand new distribution facility based in Georgia,” their press release quotes Loloi, Inc. Founder and President Amir Loloi. “This infrastructural investment will help us better serve our customers and meet the growing demand for our product. The Bartow County workforce and logistics infrastructure are an ideal match for our business.”
Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development (CBCDOED) Executive Director Melinda Lemmon said the county has been working with Loloi on the investment since last summer.
"I think that Loloi is going to be a great long-term partner," she said. "There are a number of ways we've invited them to become part of the community — for example, getting Loloi involved in potential education partnerships or having them involved in Chamber of Commerce networking opportunities."
Right now the future home of the distribution center remains marshy, undeveloped land. Lemmon said Loloi's general contractors, however, are likely to begin the plan review process shortly.
"Those meetings can start almost any time and then, of course, once the permits are in place then we may start seeing activity on the property — I expect it will be soon," she said.
Lemmon said she anticipates construction to wrap up as early as the first quarter of 2019, pending no major weather delays.
Considering the size of the employer and the development, Lemmon said Loloi's project almost certainly qualifies for several statutory and discretionary incentives, such as fast-track permitting assistance and job tax credits.
"We also will be moving forward with a tax package [that] is in line with guidelines for a project of this size," she said.
Olson outlined a potential tax abatement scheme for the development.
"The taxes are never abated for what they already were, it's only an abatement of the additional investments," he said. "So after five years, they'd be at 50 percent or so, typically, of the building's value and 100 percent on whatever the personal property'svalued at."
While there's no official number for how large Loloi's capital investment in Bartow will be, Lemmon said she estimates the cost of the project being comparable to the recently announced, $25-$28 million Interstate Commerce Park planned for construction along Cass White Road.
As the Loloi project is still in the early phases of development, however, she notes the scope may change.
An online CBCDOED file shows the property at 515 Old Cass White Road is currently zoned for industrial use and was held by NAI Brannen Goddard, with a sales price listing of $2.7 million.
Lemmon said the property has been purchased by Loloi, but she does not know the specific details of the private real estate transaction.
Loloi's investment in the local community, Olson said, is another indication that Bartow County is becoming a hotbed for commercial and industrial developments.
"It's hard to find a parcel available in the metro region that you can put a 700,000-square-foot warehouse," he said. "You can't go down to Cobb County and find a parcel that big anymore ... we're at a good spot, logistically, and we've got available property that's ready to go."
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