A smattering of cars dot the h.h. gregg parking lot in Morrow on Monday. Clayton County officials said the company is planning to build a new $18 million regional distribution center in Ellenwood. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)
ELLENWOOD — Appliance retailer h.h. gregg has a big plan for the Ellenwood area, a Clayton County economic development official has confirmed.
An $18 million plan to be exact.
The retailer will spend that much money to move its existing distribution operations in Ellenwood to a new facility nearby, at the intersection of I-675 and Anvil Block Road, said Economic Development Director Grant Wainscott. He added the new facility is expected to be more than 400,000 square feet.
The county’s economic development guru also said it will also allow h.h. gregg to eventually create an unspecified number of new jobs in the county.
“This is a new regional distribution center for them,” said Wainscott. “Right now, they’re already in Ellenwood in a much smaller facility, and this facility is going to allow them to stay in the area, keep the nearly 100 jobs that the company employs specifically for that facility and allow them to grow in the future.”
Although it hasn’t been officially announced, Wainscott confirmed the facility when asked about a tax abatement for the property that the Clayton County Board of Commissioners was expected to take up Tuesday night. Wainscott said h.h. gregg will take up about half of a nearly 50 acre undeveloped lot south of Anvil Block Road.
“We have for years, and frankly most counties do this as well, offered tax abatement for new investment. To help incent new investment,” said Wainscott. “So when we offer tax abatement as an incentive, it’s off of new investment that’s being created. It’s not some company coming to us and saying ‘I want to pay half of my taxes.’
He added, “It’s ‘I’m going to spend $18 million in the community, but there’s three other communities on our list and they’ve offered us X. Can you match it, or what can Clayton County offer to convince us to stay?’ We use it as an incentive to retain or attract new companies here.”
Because of the late starting time for Tuesday’s meeting, read Friday’s Clayton News Daily for additional details about how commissioners voted on the abatement.