Georgia Trend Magazine

Coweta among areas seeing positive economic signs

by Staff Reports

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Gene Page/AMC

The Governor (David Morrisey, pictured above, guns down almost his entire army in the season finale of 'The Walking Dead.' Georgia Trend Magazine says the film industry has driven growth for Senoia and has been good for local business.

With filming and health care gains, Coweta County stands out among the areas of Georgia seeing momentum for economic recovery, according to the 2013 Economic Yearbook report just published by state business-focused magazine Georgia Trend.

“Finally, after a recovery that took its own sweet time to develop and progress, there are positive signs from all corners of the state,” writes Georgia Trend Editor Susan Percy. “Not every community is where its leaders would like it to be, but most are better off than they were a year ago,” she said.

Coweta developments are highlighted throughout the report, and the eastern town of Senoia gets a special focus in a report on South Metro Atlanta. which writer Jerry Grillo heads as “The Right Location: Zombies, logistics and heath care.”

Grillo notes in his piece that Senoia Mayor Robert Belisle doesn’t really go for the TV show story line of cannibalistic zombies, but it is what AMC hit show “The Walking Dead” leaves in its grisly wake that mostly interests him. 

The film industry has driven growth for the town and has been good for local business. “When the studio stays busy, our local businesses stay busy,” he told Georgia Trend. Raleigh Studios, formerly Riverwood Studios, is about a mile from downtown. Senoia — along with other parts of South Metro Atlanta, including Coweta, Clayton, Fayette, Henry and Spalding counties and the southern part of Fulton — is staying busy with productions stopping traffic, utilizing natural and man-made locations, or building their own as the film industry plays a major role in the area’s economic development.

Downtown Senoia businesses have recently been doubling as sites in TV town Woodbury in episodes of “The Walking Dead,” and have served as backdrops for other productions. And business has been booming.

Main street Senoia had seven businesses in 2000, and now has close to 50. And tourists are coming from all over the world to see where “The Walking Dead” is filmed, Raleigh Studios Atlanta President Scott Tigchelaar tells Georgia Trend for the report.

An added bonus for the South Metro Atlanta region is the “extended neighborhood” of the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson, Grillo notes. Warehouses and distribution centers and a growing college presence serve the state’s massive logistics industry.

And there has been rapid growth in health care.

Developments in health care across the South Metro Atlanta region are noted, including in Newnan where Piedmont Healthcare opened its new 136-bed, $167 million replacement hospital in May 2012; Cancer Treatment Centers of America opened a $150 million Southeast Regional Medical Center; and Alabama-based HealthSouth is looking to build a $26 million, 50-bed rehabilitation hospital. 

Georgia Trend’s report also notes that in Carrollton, Tanner Health System completed a $61 million, total renovation of its ER department, and Greenway Medical Technologies went public in 2012 and is in the process of adding 400 jobs. Greenway is described as one of the state’s fastest-growing companies in one of the region’s fastest-growing industries.

Also noted is that parts of West Central Georgia are experiencing a resurgence on town squares and in industrial parks, part of the “Kia juggernaut.”

Tables included with the report show statistics for Coweta, including:

Population — Coweta has had 4.2 percent average annual growth 2000-2010, and estimated 3.6 percent average annual growth 2002-2012. Population is listed as 97,191 in 2002 and estimated at 132,436 people in 2012. That ranks Coweta 17th among Georgia’s 159 counties for population.

Employment — Coweta had 1.1 percent average annual growth in employment from 2000-2010. Employment numbers show 28,048 employed in Coweta in 2002 and 30,589 employed in 2012. That ranks Coweta 26th in the state. Average annual growth for 2002-2012 was estimated at 0.9 percent.

Per Capita Personal Income — Coweta’s average annual percent change from 2000-2010 is listed as 1.7 percent. The projected percent change for the period 2002-2012 is 2.2 percent. Per capita personal income is listed as $27,793 in 2002 and $34,036 in 2012 — ranking Coweta at 32nd among the 159 Georgia counties.

The Simon S. Selig Jr. Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business provided statistical information for the 2013 Economic Yearbook. Population and income data for 2012 were projected based on 2008-2011 trends (income) and 2007-2011 trends (population). Per capita personal income estimates were calculated based on revised population and income data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Georgia Trend pointed readers to the Selig Center website — www.selig.uga.edu — for more information. 


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