Applicant Transwestern Development is seeking a rezoning request for the proposed Peeples Valley Road project while applicant Panattoni Development Co. Atlanta (PDC) is pursuing a rezoning request for the proposed development abutting Third Army Road. Both requests are scheduled to go before the Bartow County Planning Commission at a public meeting scheduled for July 6 at 6 p.m. at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center at 135 West Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville.
“The Third Army site is around 40 acres, the other site is somewhat bigger,” said Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson. “I think they’re just rezoning a portion of it, because a portion of it is already zoned appropriately for industrial.”
He said the proposed Third Army Road development — codenamed “Project Pony Express” — would consist of one building around 300,000 square feet. The proposed Peeples Valley Road development, he said, would consist of about three or four buildings, totaling "a couple of hundred-thousand-square-feet a piece.”
The parcel PDC Atlanta is seeking to rezone is technically located at 5648 Highway 293. County documents indicate the applicant is seeking the rezoning of the parcel from A-1 agricultural to I-1 industrial.
In a public notice, PDC representative Dayne Pryor said the intent is to rezone the vacant property so it can adjoin the larger industrial property to the south and create a new driveway onto Highway 293.
“Access to the site would be from Highway 293 and all truck traffic would be directed toward Interstate 75,” Pryor wrote. “Rezoning this site will enable the larger industrial development to the south to expand the access of vehicular traffic and disperse this traffic in a manner to increase safety and reduce congestion.”
Similarly, documents submitted to the County government indicate Transwestern is seeking the rezoning of about 33.74 acres from A-1 agricultural to I-1 industrial. A conceptual site plan submitted with the rezoning application, however, depicts just one building on the parcel — a roughly 247,500-square-foot facility surrounded by parking lots on three of its sides.
“I think they’re both targeting logistics-type uses,” Olson said. “That seems to be where the sweet spot is right now for our county.”
Olson said there is a particular company associated with the Third Army Road development, but a confidentiality agreement prevents him from disclosing any further details.
“I haven’t heard that there’s any particular company on the other project,” he said. “I think it’s more speculative, I may be wrong, they haven’t told us about a specific user.”
The Third Army Road project, Olson said, would call for a roughly $40 million investment and create “a couple of hundred jobs” for the community.
“We’re glad to see the jobs,” he said, “because the unemployment numbers are still kind of scary.”
He said he hasn’t seen any official figures for the proposed Peeples Valley Road development.
“You can estimate these kinds of buildings are $50-$60 a square foot to erect, so you can kind of do the math when you have the square footage,” he said. “It would be $20 million or $30 million of building, at least.”
Olson said PDC Atlanta wants the Third Army Road development “up and running” by the third quarter of 2021. However, he said he’s not aware of a specific construction timeline for the proposed Peeples Valley Road development.
He said he wouldn’t be surprised to see some blowback from nearby property owners concerning the proposed projects.
“I don’t think we’re expecting much on Third Army Road, that site is already zoned for commercial and that area’s got a lot of commercial down there,” he said. “The other one, I know there’s been some concern from the adjacent neighborhood to the parcel that’s up for rezoning. So I would expect the planning commission will take those concerns into consideration like they always do and talk to them about buffers or fencing or making sure the lighting is downward-shielded, that kind of thing.”
That developers are even demonstrating an interest in investing in the community, Olson said, bodes well for Bartow’s post-COVID economy.
“We’re coming off the pandemic in pretty good shape, at least based on our sales tax numbers and the economic activity,” he said. “We don’t seem to have been hit as hard as some other parts of the country, so we’re fortunate there.”
By and large, Olson said Bartow’s manufacturing base isn’t tied to industries experiencing the longest, lingering effects of the coronavirus-spawned economic downturn.
“I know Vista Metals, which does some work connected to the aviation industry, had to do some layoffs, but there were relatively few against the size of the economy,” he said. “We’re still in a corridor and a sweet spot in terms of location — the northwest area of Atlanta, everybody’s just suddenly said ‘Hey, that’s a good spot to be for logistics or manufacturing.’”
Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor is set to approve or deny the rezoning requests at a public meeting scheduled for July 8 at 10 a.m. at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center.
Bartow County documents indicate two large industrial developments have been proposed along Third Army Road and Peeples Valley Road.