Coweta courting corporate office space development

by Clay Neely

Newnan and Coweta County officials are looking to spur growth by attracting corporate offices to the area.

Speaking to the Coweta County Development Authority Thursday, Newnan Business Development Director Hasco Craver IV said the region is currently exploring opportunities to bring corporate offices to the community.

“We have identified an opportunity in corporate office space,” Craver said. “We have a number of successful manufacturers, healthcare services, and IT providers, but a focus on developing corporate office space is an opportunity we have yet to target purposefully.”

Working with partners at Newnan Utilities, Georgia Power, Coweta/Fayette EMC, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, and the Coweta County Development Authority, a small task force was created and recently hosted eight project managers from the State Department of Economic Development, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Electric Cities of Georgia, Georgia Power, and Georgia EMC.

“The project managers deal primarily in corporate office projects,” Craver said. “The group was brought to Coweta where they were toured in order to showcase our region’s amenities.”

The task force cited that the region was “mature” to the point of successfully hosting corporate offices – emphasizing the health, residential, recreation, housing, and shopping opportunities, “all things that are typically needed in a community prior to attracting a corporate office,” Craver said.

While the project managers agreed that the region is ready to recruit and locate corporate projects, the prospected locations would ultimately be smaller than typical campuses found in more urban areas. While Craver feels the larger office spaces, which would be capable of hosting 1,500 staff members, aren’t in the immediate future, offices housing 75 staff members make a very feasible goal that lays the groundwork for larger campuses.

“We also sought to recruit headquarters of smaller international companies,” Craver said. “Our proximity to the airport and amenity rich environment makes it a very desirable location, even for many existing Atlanta corporations who may be seeking a second office for support services.”

The task force also showcased companies such as Yamaha and Yokogawa as examples of local companies that already possess a corporate office component to them, Craver explained. “These companies allow us to tell our story and that we’re capable.”

Another strategy the group suggested is targeting companies located between Montgomery and Atlanta. “Companies with strong growth potential and letting them know we’re interested.”

The attracting of corporate office spaces to the region would likely have a domino effect, citing that corporate offices like to cluster.

“It’s certainly a viable area of growth that we see unlimited potential for on our horizon,” Craver said.

Craver also addressed that the ongoing construction of the new Newnan public safety building is right on schedule – if not a little ahead. However, if the date of completion falls around Thanksgiving, it could prove to be problematic.

While there is potential for a fall 2014 opening, Craver expects a full transition in January 2015.

“You have to worry about the inevitable technical glitches that occur when you open a brand new facility,” Craver said. “If it’s in the middle of the shopping season, we don’t want to worry our personnel during the busiest part of the season.”

The season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for public safety officials, Craver believes. “With a heavy workload, it would be a tough task to make a full switchover during this period,” he said. “They need to be focused.”

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