Dalton, GA, (WRCB) -- Unemployment rates have been lingering around 12 percent in Northwest Georgia for far too long. But, Dalton City Officials say a new retail lot on Shugart Road could help jump start an area in desperate need of some good news.
"We need the money,we got families to feed, bills to pay and if you're not working you're not going to get anything done," said Dalton Resident Darryl Davidson.
Davidson's girlfriend is one of the hundreds that make weekly stops by the Dalton Career Center in search a steady paycheck.
The same steady pay check could soon be guaranteed on Shugart Road. The City said Realtylink is set to develop a 16-million dollar project featuring high end retail stores on the 12 acres in front of Wal-Mart and Home Depot.
Early estimates say it could create around 500 new jobs.
"200, 300, 500 jobs, would really make a big dent in our unemployment," says Cindy Martin of Dalton's Career Center.
Cindy is urging anyone involved in the project to contact her for future hires.
"We can set up the interview times, we're open from 7-5pm everyday, we'll extend our hours if they need to do it later in the weekends, we've done it before," said Martin.
Rumors circulating say a Kohl's will be the main retail store, but Kohl's has not yet responded to our phone calls.
Elyse Cochran of Dalton's Chamber of Commerce can't confirm that either but she says, this is all about progression, and they're taking note of how Chattanooga landed Volkswagen and Amazon.com.
"We want to say congratulations to the counties north of us, and Tennessee, but we're working very hard to position ourselves in the region to compete as well," said Cochran.
City officials and residents alike say they're ready to move on to a brighter future in Northwest Georgia.
"Times get hard, you get a little weak, but you can't stop, gotta keep going, and going," said Davidson.
Cochran also told me the estimated 300-500 jobs could go up, depending on how many and which other companies sign on to proposal.
Phase one of the construction is set for October of 2011.