Cherokee Advisory Committee Speaks on Economic Development

The Cherokee Advisory Committee met on August 19, 2015 at Canton City Hall to discuss the economic development news happening in the City of Canton and across the County.  Matthew Thomas, Economic Development Director for the City of Canton delivered four key updates to Council members.

The first update is that the construction of Northside Hospital-Cherokee’s new replacement facility is scheduled to be complete by late 2016, with doors opening in early 2017. The facility sits on 300 acres of land and would offer access to 600 in-deck and 300 on-surface public parking spaces. Patients would have access to comprehensive range of services, including Radiation-Oncology, Maternity and Newborn Care, and Emergency Care. The project would solidify NH-C’s standing as Canton’s largest employer, with 1000+ workers.

The second update is that Universal Alloys Corporation (UAC), an aerospace products manufacturer with a facility situated in Cherokee-Industrial Park, was declared supplier of the year by Boeing in April 2015.  On the heels of that positive press, UAC announced plans to build a new facility on a 44 acre parcel in Ball Ground, GA. The new development would make use enterprise and opportunity zone tax abatements offered by Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Its expansion is expected to bring roughly 30 new jobs into North Canton.

The third update is that in addition to DCA tax abatements, the Atlanta Regional Commission awarded Canton $400,000 as part of its Livable Centers Initiative. Mr. Thomas informed members that the planning firm TSW has been contracted to develop a Downtown Masterplan. It is hoped TSW will have a completed masterplan this time next year.

The final update is that in the last three fiscal quarters, 9 new businesses, including 2 boutique firms, opened in downtown Canton providing roughly $175,000 in new investment. These numbers could rise, as a digital animation studio has expressed interest in purchasing the Jones Building which has sat vacant for nearly seven years. According to Main Street Canton Director Micah Fowler, the beautifully bricked building offers roughly 45,850 SF of space and is up for sale at $1.7 million.  If the agreement goes through, it would be an incredible step forward for Canton’s plans to develop a film post-production industry that could make use of the filming already occurring within the City’s jurisdiction.

The Council for Quality Growth believes the future of the City of Canton and Cherokee County is bright. City Manager Billy Peppers encourages developers and Council members with ideas on new things they’d like to try out to reach out to county and city officials. All ideas are welcome in Canton, including those considered to be “outside the box.”

Meeting was adjourned at 1 pm.