In 2012, 24 new and expanded industries created 1,232 jobs, retained 742 existing jobs and generated $164 million in capital investment for Gainesville-Hall County. Global firms expanding their North American business included KIK, ProCare Rx, Bitzer, Yazaki, Elringklinger, Kubota, Atex, IMS Gear and Lupold. From 2010-2012, 62 new and expanded industries created 2,650 jobs, retained 1,260 existing jobs and generated $485 million in capital investment for Gainesville-Hall County.
New industry locating to Gainesville-Hall County included Bitzer, breaking ground on a 95,000-square-foot building at Tanners Creek Business Park to employ 120, people, and Atlanta Biologicals breaking ground just last month, also in Tanners Creek, with a new 36,000-square-foot life sciences facility as the company’s North American headquarters, research and development and production for specialized cell culture products. ZF Wind Power has invested $100 million in a 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and division headquarters in Gainesville Business Park, creating 215 new jobs, and Skip Barber Racing School moved its headquarters to Hall County, joining the school’s existing base location at Road Atlanta. ProCare Rx, a leading pharmacy benefits management company, opened a new 43,000-square-foot headquarters and operations center at Exit 20 on I-985 and will ultimately employ 160 people.
New and developing business/industrial parks in Hall County include Gainesville Business Park, North Gate Retail and Business Park, ProCare Park, Gateway Industrial Centre, and Mountain View Business Park. Pattillo Industrial Real Estate has nearly completed a 77,100-square-foot speculative building in Gainesville Business Park. Presco Properties has completed a 27,500-square-foot office/business service speculative building in Interstate Ridge Business Park at Exit 22 off I-985.
In the retail sector, construction will begin in 2013 on the new 700,000-square-foot New Holland Market Retail and Commercial Complex by Carolina Holdings near Exit 24 on I-985, at Limestone and Jesse Jewell Parkways in Gainesville. Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar is under construction in the Beechwood Crossing Shopping Center on Highway 53 in Gainesville adjacent to the recently completed Olive Garden and Cheddar’s restaurants. Highway 53 continues to be a successful retail corridor with over a million square feet in retail space. The opening of Thurmon Tanner Parkway will allow new access to retail development in Oakwood at Exit 16 and in Flowery Branch at Exit 12. Duncan Donuts recently added a location in Oakwood at Mundy Mill Road and in Gainesville at the corner of Jesse Jewell and Queen City Parkway.
Redevelopment efforts include the construction of a pedestrian bridge connecting Gainesville’s Downtown to Midtown businesses with proposed developments including the construction of a 13-story hotel, a six-level parking garage and two nine-story office buildings. Brenau University and the City of Gainesville reached a long-term agreement to create a Center for Brenau’s Graduate School programs and anticipates as many as 700 graduate students will enrolled at the center.
Midtown Gainesville is being redeveloped with the help of a TAD (Tax Allocation District) and an Opportunity Zone, and the cities of Flowery Branch and Oakwood are also redeveloping their downtown areas with approved TAD designations.
• Northeast Georgia Medical Center has become the first hospital in the world to receive two accreditations for heart and vascular services from the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence. Plans are moving forward for the development of a new, 100 bed inpatient hospital on a 119-acre campus in South Hall County/Braselton at River Place, with an estimated opening date of spring 2015. The hospital was again ranked #1 in Georgia, and in the top 5% in the nation, for heart care for seven years in a row according to HealthGrades® and is one of only six hospitals to rank #1 in all four cardiac categories for 2012.
• A newly released report states that the economic impact of Gainesville State College exceeded $206 million and is part of the combined economic impact of the University System of Georgia’s 35 institutions on their communities, which reached $13.2 billion in 2011.
• In 2013, Gainesville State College and North Georgia College and State University will merge to form the new University of North Georgia with a combined student enrollment of about 15,000.
• Lanier Technical College’s Manufacturing Development Center (MDC) at Featherbone Communiversity, has had 12 businesses graduate, and is currently assisting 13 start-up companies.
• The VISION 2030 Board of Directors has regrouped and formed more than a dozen work groups engaging more than 100 community volunteers to make the “15 Big Ideas” a reality. The board launched a new website (vision2030.org) and launches its new senior leadership program this fall. The Wisdom Project seeks to recruit and prepare citizens age 50+ to share their wisdom, experiences, and talents in creative ways through action and advocacy on behalf of Hall County.
• The Chamber’s five-year economic development plan for Gainesville-Hall County – HALLmark 2010-2015: The Next Generation – has 156 investors including businesses and industries across the community investing over $2.3 million in the program to ensure the economic viability of our region.
• Lake Lanier Islands Resort has been completely redeveloped with $70 million in capital and infrastructure improvements. The resort now employs 400 people and is included in a new Community Improvement District that will upgrade the road system, landscaping and add new running trails on Lake Lanier Islands Parkway.
• The Lake Lanier Olympic Center, home to the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, continues to host many national and international rowing and canoe/kayak events, including the 2013 NCAA Division I-III Rowing Championships.
• Road Atlanta attracts 320,000 visitors annually and will host the 15th Petit Le Mans October 17-20, 2012 drawing some 150,000 visitors from around the world.
Related Information Complete 2012 Economic Development Report