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Governor set to make major Clayton County economic development announcement

Nathan Deal

Nathan Deal

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal is set to make a major economic development announcement concerning Clayton County at the state Capitol next week, his office has announced.

The governor is expected to hold a press conference Monday at 3:30 p.m. to announce that a company will relocate to the heart of Morrow’s commercial corridors, bringing new jobs to the Southern Crescent. The announcement will be made in the Capitol’s North Wing.

Clayton County Economic Development Director Grant Wainscott said he is not allowed to talk about the details of the governor’s announcement. However, he teased that a “tremendous” amount of new jobs are coming to the county but he wouldn’t confirm the number that Deal will announce.

“This is such great opportunity,” Wainscott said. “It’s huge. This will be the biggest thing announced since I became the county’s economic development director. From an industry standpoint, this is probably one of the largest we’ve ever made (in the county).”

Wainscott, county Commission Chairman Jeff Turner and Morrow Mayor J.B. Burke are among the local dignitaries that are expected to attend the press conference.

Wainscott said the reason why he is hesitant to talk at length about the project before the press conference is that officials want to follow protocol and not go on the record with information that will steal Deal’s thunder.

Although officials are reticent, the fact that the governor will be the person who peals back the curtain is itself a major deal for Morrow and the county. In recent years, the city has been plagued by a flight of businesses to other communities — mostly in and around McDonough — as retailers followed population migrations.

There have been signs lately of turnaround in the city. Two months ago, Los Angeles-based Vintage Real Estate announced it had bought Southlake Mall and the old JCPenney space at the mall with plans to redevelop the area.

Wainscott said residents should expect the governor’s announcement to be the first of many such announcements concerning economic development.

“Starting with this announcement, we’re going to have one major announcement a week for the next six weeks,” he said.