Walker county purchases land to develop for industry - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Walker County purchases land to develop for industry

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Walker County is hoping for an economic boost after purchasing more than 400 acres of land.  It will one day house an industrial and business park, bringing jobs to North Georgia.

The more-than 423 acres of land sits on the former Swanson farm on US 27.

Funding for the land purchase is a result of the November tax battle, to continue paying the special purpose local option sales tax" or SPLOST.

Residents in Walker County pay one cent on their purchases in order to fund projects throughout the county.

The county economic authority says it didn't have much allotted space for industry, which caused the county to lose out on one deal.

"These companies you deal with, they're looking for something that's already publicly controlled," said Larry Brooks, Development Authority Executive Director.
Brooks says they learned that the hard way, when one company chose Calhoun, Georgia because Walker County didn't have any space ready to go.
"It really represented a lot of jobs and we knew we really needed another strategy. It wasn't going to be enough to just sit back and say hey we'll find you a place to go," said Brooks. "So our forces went to work trying to locate something that would be large enough to handle a big application."
Thursday the county closed on property, 423 acres of land right off high way 27 for $4.23 million, with plans to develop it to bring in big business.
"Right now we're sitting in a pretty good place if there is a company that needs several acres, we would be able to accommodate them," said Brooks.
They say they already have few prospects.
"We've got three companies that have expressed interest in it," said Brooks.
And with the interest, means more jobs.

He says one company alone will provided nearly 200 and they hope to land all three.
"Sewer is already there, you've got rail that's already on the property. We've got high speed fiber optics in the property. So water, power, everything that would be a necessity is there," said Brooks. "If these don't come to fruition, there's gonna be someone out there that's gonna come along."

"We're not nervous about being able to put something on the property. We know that's gonna happen," said Brooks.

Names of the prospects have not been released.

They plan to begin development on the property by early summer and hope to have an access road cut into the property by fall.

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