Sunday's Editorial

Coweta is obviously a good place to do business

We already know that Coweta County is a great place to live. Companies must be thinking it’s a pretty good place to open a business, too. 

Even during the worst of the great recession, growth in Coweta County never completely stopped. 

In the past year or so, things have really picked up. We’ve had the opening of NCG Cinemas near the Fayette County line, and the openings of the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital and Cancer Treatment Centers of America. 

Now, there are three substantial retailers under construction, a brand new auto dealership just opened, and at least one more dealership is on the way. 

Coweta County just approved a rezoning for a medical and retail development on 15 acres on Poplar Road. And, in March, the city of Newnan annexed a 6-acre tract off Lower Fayetteville Road for a proposed 45,000-square-foot commercial and office space complex. The Fischer Crossings development, long-stalled, is now under new ownership, and the owners are working through amending state regulations and conditions for their new plans. 

Though some shops in downtown Newnan have closed recently, including the venerable Scott’s Book Store, there are also new shops opening.

When engineer Neal Spradlin was presenting the plans for the Poplar Road development, he told the Coweta commissioners “we hear the economy is a little sluggish. That is not what we are seeing. We are seeing the economy turning around.”

With the recent opening of Newnan Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, the work on Academy Sports and Outdoors, JoAnn fabrics and crafts, and Jared Galleria of Jewelry — and the annexation under way for a new Nissan dealership — we agree. 

Spradlin added that the property owners didn’t feel the need to be annexed into Newnan because of the commissioners’ decision last year to reduce the county’s impact fees. 

The decision to reduce the fees, which were onerous and particularly punishing for restaurants, was an excellent one — and long overdue.

Better late than never. 

In many ways, Senoia is the poster child for thriving during a time when cities and towns across both the state and country are struggling. That’s thanks to the burgeoning film industry and the foresight of the folks at Historic Development Ventures, now known as Senoia Enterprises. They bought vacant land and buildings, restored buildings, and built new ones to fit in with downtown. Scott Tigchelaar of Senoia Enterprises often quotes this impressive statistic — in 2006, downtown had seven businesses. Last fall, there were 47. 

Senoia is a unique place, and a unique situation, and chances of that success being replicated in other areas are slim. But as Senoia continues to become a tourist destination, and film crews continue to flock all over Coweta, we foresee ripple effects. 

In Coweta in 2013, there is no doubt — the future is bright. 

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