2015 Economic Development Report

Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
2015 Economic Development Report
Gainesville-Hall County, Georgia
• Site Selection Magazine named Gainesville-Hall County 5th on its list of “2013 Top Metros by Number of Projects” in
metros with population less than 200,000.
• The 2013 Milken Institute Report rated the Gainesville-Hall County MSA among the “Best Small Metro Areas in the
U.S.” for the fourth consecutive year based on job and salary growth. Gainesville-Hall County was ranked 49th in the
nation and 5th for high-tech GDP growth.
• Northeast Georgia Medical Center is one of the nation’s “100 Top Hospitals,” according to Truven Health Analytics,
and “Georgia’s #1 Hospital” for overall hospital, medical and surgical care, according to a 2014 study by CareChex.
• Lanier Technical College was named Georgia’s Technical College of the Year for 2014. Lanier Tech was the fastest
growing Technical College in Georgia, with an 8.5% increased enrollment. Lanier Tech’s high-school dual credit
programs increased by 70%, to 361 students. The college’s job placement rate is 100%.
• The Lake Lanier Olympic Venue in North Hall County will host the 2016 Pan-Am Championships for Canoe/Kayak
and the 2016 Continental Olympic Qualifier for the Americas.
• Area Development included Gainesville-Hall County among its 2014 cities for “Year-After-Year Growth.”
• Forbes Magazine has rated Gainesville as a “Best Small Places for Business & Careers” for the last three years.
• Where to Retire Magazine named Gainesville one of the “Top 5 Places to Retire Affordably” in 2014.
Gainesville-Hall County, Georgia is a vibrant and growing, solid and diverse community located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge
Mountains. Surrounded by beautiful Lake Sidney Lanier, the area offers an unparalleled quality of life and a sound economic
future for business and industry. Gainesville-Hall County is home to 47 Fortune 500 firms, more than 300 manufacturing and processing concerns, and 45 international companies representing 19 foreign countries. Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Governor
Casey Cagle both call Hall County home.
Economic Development Division of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
Tim Evans, Vice President • Shelley Davis, VP Existing Industry
Amanda Lewis, Project Manager • Joshua Stephens, Project Manager
230 E.E. Butler Parkway • Gainesville, Georgia 30501
770-532-6206 Phone • 770-535-8419 Fax
Emails: [email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]
Website: greaterhallchamber.com
G r e a t e r H a l l C h a m b e r . c o m
January 2015
2015 Gainesville-Hall County, Georgia
• Gainesville-Hall County’s population grew by 1.3% per year from 2012-2014. The 2015 estimated population of Gainesville-Hall
County is 192,658.
• In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau identified the Gainesville-Hall County MSA as one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in
the United States.
• In 2014, Gainesville processed 265 single-family home permits, the highest annual total in the city’s history.
• The average single-family home sale price in 2014 in Gainesville-Hall County was $218,211.
• Housing developments such as Sterling on the Lake (894 acres in Flowery Branch), Marina Bay on Lake Lanier (385 acres in
North Hall County), Reunion (550 acres in Braselton) and Mundy Mill (400 acres in South Hall County) offer master-planned
communities with amenities.
• High quality retirement developments are located in Hall County. The newly opened Myrtle Terraces senior independent living
development has 84 units; Dogwood Forest now has 146 units; and Lanier Village Estates has 340 residences with extended care.
The Village at Deaton Creek in South Hall County is consistently ranked one of the fastest growing residential developments in
Metro Atlanta and Georgia, with 1,142 homes expected at completion of the final phase in 2015.
• Cresswind at Lake Lanier, a 214-acre development on the shores of Lake Lanier, claimed the title “50+ Housing Community of
the Year for 2014” from the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. The development will have 700 homes once completed.
• The City of Gainesville approved a new 200-bed assisted living facility, with 20 units for independent living, on Thompson Bridge
Road overlooking beautiful Lake Lanier.
• A new 199-lot, lake-side, upscale subdivision is planned for Ahaluna Drive near Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville. The
development, on Lake Lanier, will include 100 boat slips, a gazebo and a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse.
January 2015 • Page 2
• Kroger Marketplace, a 125,000-square-foot grocery,
retail and restaurant store, opened in March 2014 in
Gainesville. The development, located at Exit 24 and
I-985, is the largest Kroger of its kind in the Southeast
and is the anchor tenant in the 200,000-square-foot New
Holland Market Place retail shopping center. Taco Bell,
Senor Fiesta, Autozone, Verizon, Hulsey Dentistry and
McDonald’s are some of the recently signed tenants.
The project was developed by Carolina Holdings on
behalf of Pacolet Milliken Enterprises.
• Highway 53 continues to be a successful retail corridor, The Martin Family breaks ground for the new Milton Martin Toyota
dealership on a 12-acre site off I-985 in Oakwood.
with over a million square feet of retail space. Further
development of Beechwood Crossing on Highway 53 will proceed in 2015, including a new master-planned shopping center of
more than 250,000 square feet across from the Cheddars, Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings. The new center will begin with
new anchor tenants and include restaurants and outparce developments.
• Two new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market stores opened in early 2015 on Thompson Bridge Road and Browns Bridge Road.
• Recent census data indicates Gainesville-Hall County has a primary trade area serving a population of over 462,000 Northeast
Georgia residents and is the region’s only major retail center, offering Lakeshore Mall, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Super Target,
Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Belk, JC Penney, Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabric, PetSmart, Office Depot, Office Max, Kohl’s and a full spectrum
of the most popular automotive brand dealers.
• Gainesville’s Lakeshore Mall is being revitalized with many store improvements and new retailers including the new,
50,000-square-foot Dick’s Sporting Goods and a remodel for JC Penney’s in 2015.
• The new Thurmon Tanner Parkway extension is generating retail interest from I-985 Exits 16 and 17 in Oakwood to the highly
successful 500,000-square-foot Stonebridge Village Center on Spout Springs Road in Flowery Branch. Restaurants such as the
new Steak n’ Shake and Captain D’s, a hotel development, and the new Milton Martin Toyota dealership location are leading the
new retail activity in South Hall County.
• Highway 365 North is poised as a new retail and commercial corridor with access and infrastructure improvements.
2015 Gainesville-Hall County, Georgia
• Twenty-four new and expanded businesses announced 1,300 new jobs in 2014 and committed $150 million in capital investment
for Gainesville-Hall County. Global firms expanding their North American business included King’s Hawaiian, Jinsung TEC,
Kubota, Big Creek Foods, Tatsumi, Elringklinger and Innobots.
• Kubota is developing a new 180-acre campus on Hwy 365 in Gateway Industrial Centre with a $100 million investment and 650
jobs. Kubota already employs 1,300 in Gainesville-Hall County.
• Jinsung TEC of South Korea recently opened their new North American headquarters and operations in Oakwood South Industrial
Park. The company manufactures undercarriage systems for construction equipment .
• The Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network opened a new science laboratory and headquarters in early 2015 in the new Gateway
Industrial Centre to fulfill an important role for Georgia’s poultry industry.
• International business continues to grow in Hall County with 45 international
firms in the county. For many of these international companies, Hall County
serves as their North American headquarters.
• Procare Rx opened a 43,000-square-foot headquarters and operations center in
the new Procare Park at Exit 20/ Candler Road on I-985. Procare Rx is a
leading pharmacy benefits management company that employs 160.
• Pattillo Industrial Real Estate is actively marketing a 77,000-square-foot
industrial speculative building in the 175-acre Gainesville Business Park.
Pattillo, Majestic Realty, Radial Property Group and Presco Properties have
built speculative buildings in various industrial parks for expanding and new
industry in Gainesville-Hall County.
• Hall County’s Food and Agribusiness sector has, by a wide margin, the
Kubota Manufacturing of America currently
highest county economic impact in Georgia, with over $5 billion in economic
employs 1,300 people in Gainesville and recently
announced an expansion that will add 650 new
output and 17,642 direct jobs employed in the sector.
jobs and a $100 million investment.
January 2015 • Page 3
In 2014, Gainesville-Hall County had 24 new and expanded businesses that
announced 1,300 jobs and committed $150 million in capital investment.
• In 2014, Site Selection Magazine, Area Development and CNBC each rated Georgia tops in the nation for new business and
expansion. The International Economic Development Council rated the Georgia Department of Economic Development the best
state economic development agency in the U.S.
• Majestic Realty is planning a 300,000-square-foot speculative building for Golden Commerce Park in South Hall County.
Construction is planned for the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2015.
• New and developing business parks in Gainesville-Hall County include Gainesville Business Park, Procare Park, Gateway
Industrial Centre and Mountain View Business Park.
• Gainesville-Hall County companies, including Alkermes, the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network, Theragenics, Atlanta
Biologicals and Merial, are among the top life science firms in the area.
• The Lanier Technical College Business Incubator is a public/private partnership housed at Featherbone Communiversity. Eighteen
businesses have been launched from the program, and 12 more start-ups are in development. Thirteen patents and three copyrights
have been developed. The Business Incubator provides entrepreneurs affordable space, access to professional services and
educational and technical assistance. Small businesses launched in the Business Incubator have been responsible for the creation of
more than 800 jobs since the organization opened seven years ago.
• The 2013 Milken Institute Report rated the Gainesville-Hall County MSA in the top 50 Metro areas for job growth and in the top
five for high-technology GDP growth.
• Rotating Engineered Products, Inc. will open its new headquarters, engineering, sales and production center on a new 10-acre site
at Gainesville Industrial Park West.
• Gainesville’s Georgia Chair Company celebrated 100 years of business in 2014 by announcing an expansion of business and an
expanded export market for the family-owned furniture manufacturing business.
2015 Gainesville-Hall County, Georgia
• Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) in Gainesville is rated #1 in Georgia and #2 in the nation for Overall Care by
CareChex, a national healthcare ratings organization. CareChex rates NGMC as #1 in Georgia for Women’s Health, Orthopedic
Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Pulmonary Care, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage, Neurological Care and Interventional Carotid Care.
• NGMC was rated in 2014 by Truven Health Analytics as one of the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals and the only hospital in
Georgia in the Large Community Hospitals Category.
• NGMC surpassed the $1 billion mark in local and state economic impact for the third consecutive year. NGMC generated
$1,104,610,897 in revenue for the local and state economy, according to a report released by the Georgia Hospital Association.
• In December 2013, NGMC received Level II Trauma Center designation.
• In spring 2015, the new Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton will open in South Hall County. In January 2015, a second
113,000-square-foot medical office building attached to the future 100-bed hospital opened, housing numerous physician offices
and a cardiac diagnostic lab. The existing 100,000-square-foot medical office building includes an urgent care center, imaging
center, physical and occupational therapy and 31 physician offices representing 27 medical specialties.
• In 2015, Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) opened “Corporate Plaza” – a new corporate support service center in
Oakwood with a central location between the Medical Centers in Gainesville and Braselton. The new facility will bring under one
roof as many as 500 employees who had been housed at several locations.
• Sixty-five new physicians joined the staff at NGMC in 2014. Almost 600 physicians, representing more than 50 specialites, are
currently on staff at NGMC. For four consecutive years, Northeast Georgia Health System has been honored as one of Metro
Atlanta’s Top 100 Workplaces by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
• Three physician groups based in Hall County – The Longstreet Clinic, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group and Northeast Georgia
Diagnostic Clinic – continue to add new physicians and services and are listed in Atlanta’s “Top 25 Physician Group Practices” by
the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
• The Longstreet Clinic, P.C., (TLC) is a fully integrated multi-specialty medical group owned and managed by its 160 providers
(Physicians and Advanced Practitioners). TLC occupies over 150,000 square feet across Northeast Georgia and has an annual
budget of $100 million. With 10 practice sites and more than 600 associates, TLC serves more than 2,000 outpatient visits a day.
In 2015, TLC will open a new Braselton campus that will expand primary and specialty care access.
• Good News Clinics recently expanded facilities and provides health and dental care to over 4,000 uninsured patients in Hall
County annually. Services provided in 2014 were valued at $3 million.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville has ranked as Georgia’s top heart
hospital for 10 consecutive years. The new, 100-bed Northeast Georgia Medical
Center Braselton will open in spring 2015 and serve the growing South Hall area.
January 2015 • Page 4
• Downtown/Midtown Gainesville is being redeveloped with the help of a TAD (Tax Allocation District) and an Opportunity Zone,
with recent improvements to historic buildings in the Central Business District.
• A second phase of the Midtown Greenway is planned to connect Downtown Gainesville and Rock Creek Greenway closer to the
Central Hall Trail, the University of North Georgia Gainesville Campus and Elachee Nature Science Center.
• The cities of Flowery Branch and Oakwood are redeveloping their downtown areas with Tax Allocation District designations.
Both cities are planning for substantial growth around the Thurmon Tanner Parkway corridor, as well as other areas throughout the
cities. Several new retail and restaurants locations have opened in both cities in the past year.
• A pedestrian bridge was completed connecting Gainesville’s Downtown with Midtown developments. Future plans include the
construction of a hotel-conference center, parking garage, and office buildings with retail and restaurants.
• Brenau University opened its Center for Graduate School programs in Downtown Gainesville and anticipates that 700 master’s
and doctoral students in physical therapy and occupational therapy will be enrolled at the center.
• A new micro-brewery has been approved for Midtown Gainesville next to the Midtown Greenway and is expected to open in 2015.
Three growler locations have opened in downtown Flowery Branch and Gainesville.
2015 Gainesville-Hall County, Georgia
• Sewer for Highway 365 North is under development with funding support from the infrastructure Special Purpose Local Option
Sales Tax (SPLOST).
• The City of Gainesville and Hall County are working together to develop Cedar Creek and Glades water reservoirs.
• In March 2015, voters will consider the SPLOST VII to invest a projected $158 million for road improvements, water and sewer,
building construction, library renovation, parks, 911 system upgrades, public saftey, fire and EMS, and other municipal projects.
• Lake Sidney Lanier, a 38,000-acre reservoir with 692 miles of shoreline, is a multi-purpose lake that provides drinking water for
60% of Georgians and recreation for 7.5 million visitors annually.
• The Savannah Harbour Expansion Project to deepen one of the nation’s most critical commerce routes to 47 feet will move
forward in time to solidify trade routes for newer, larger post-Panama Expansion ships. The effect will be to lower shipping costs
and transport times for regional businesses and many Hall County industries that utilize Georgia’s ports.
• The first of three phases of construction has begun at the new Cherokee Bluffs Park in South Hall County. Trails, a playground, a
disc-golf course, a 3-D archery range and an amphitheater are under development in this first phase.
• Gainesville’s Lee Gilmer Airport continues to attract corporate executive air travel, with two runways at 4,000 and 5,500 feet, an
Instrument Landing System (ILS), and 93 hangars; the airport now accommodates aircraft up to 100,000 pounds.
• The recently completed Clarks Bridge replacement project features a new pedestrian tunnel connecting the Lake Lanier Olympic
Venue on both sides of Clarks Bridge Road.
Brenau University awarded its first doctorates (Doctor of Nursing Practice) in May 2014,
seated its first candidates for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate in August 2014, and
received approval to enroll candidates for Doctor of Physical Therapy in spring 2015.
January 2015 • Page 5
• Business and industry leaders in Hall County are working with educators from K-12 and colleges to develop apprenticeships,
work-based learning and dual enrollment as components to a major workforce development initiative.
• Three Gainesville-Hall County higher education institutions – Brenau University, University of North Georgia (UNG) and Lanier
Technical College – are at a record high with enrollment of over 16,700 students.
• Lanier Technical College was named Georgia’s Technical College of the Year for 2014. One of 23 technical colleges in Georgia,
the institution was the fastest growing Technical College in Georgia, with an 8.5% increased enrollment to 5,240 students. Lanier
Tech also increased its high-school dual credit programs by 70%, to 361students. The college’s job placement rate is 100%.
• The number of bachelor’s degree programs available on the University of North Georgia Gainesville Campus has grown from
eight to 20, and in spring 2016, UNG will expand its high-demand nursing program to the Gainesville Campus.
• More than 35,000 students are enrolled in the Hall County and Gainesville City School Systems. The rigorous and globally
recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is available at four schools, including Fair Street Elementary School and
West Hall, Johnson and North Hall high schools.
• Lanier Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, is home to the Georgia Advanced Manufacturing
Technology Center, with technologies in automation, controls and robotics, and has maintained the gold-standard of accreditation.
• Gainesville City Schools includes eight charter schools and focused programs in math and science, language, leadership, the arts
and robotics. The Gainesville City School system offers open enrollment for parent choice.
• The Hall County School System offers families unprecedented public school options, with 15 programs of choice, including The
World Language Academy with its K-8 immersion language curriculum in Spanish, English and Mandarin Chinese. The
Da Vinci Academy provides in-depth learning in the arts, sciences and technology, in addition to a new Science, Technology and
Math (STEM) program.
• Gainesville City and Hall County Schools offer apprenticeship opportunities with local businesses through career preparation
academies at Wood’s Mill, Lanier Career Academy and high schools in both systems.
• There are 11 private schools in Gainesville-Hall County, including Lakeview Academy, Riverside Military Academy (RMA) and
North Georgia Christian School. Enrollment at RMA has reached 525, a new record high.
• Elachee Nature Science Center opened a nature-based preschool for 3 and 4 year olds. The innovative preschool is the first of this
type in Georgia and the Southeast, where children spend over 50% of their time learning outdoors.
2015 Gainesville-Hall County, Georgia
• Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville, a 168-acre preserve, has completed its $20 million campaign to develop the garden with a
visitors center, children’s garden, amphitheater and pavilions. The Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville is scheduled to open to
the public in spring 2015.
• Don Carter State Park opened in July 2013 in North Hall County. The first state park in Hall County features a visitors center,
cabins, RV and camp sites, boat ramps, a beach area, trails and amenities on more than 1,500 acres on the shores of Lake Lanier.
• Lanier Islands, a world-class 1,500-acre resort in South Hall County, received the esteemed Southern Living Hotel Collection
distinction and a 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. The resort recently completed investment in the Legacy Lodge Hotel
and Conference Center, golf course improvements, harbor development, an outdoor concert venue, a health spa and a new “Winter
Wonderland.” The resort is only 35 minutes from Atlanta and employs over 400 people.
• The Atlanta Falcons National Football League team is headquartered in Flowery Branch.
• Road Atlanta, a 2.54-mile International Grand Prix course, attracts 320,000 visitors annually. Road Atlanta will host the 17th Petit
Le Mans in October 2015, drawing some 150,000 visitors from around the world.
• Elachee Nature Science Center, located in the Chicopee Woods Park, consists of a 1,500-acre nature preserve with 13 miles of
hiking trails. The preserve serves as a plant and animal sanctuary and an ideal outdoor classroom. Elachee houses an interactive
museum that educates visitors of all ages and recently opened a nature preschool.
• Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) is outgrowing its 20,000-square-foot Gainesville location and will develop a new
50,000-square-foot, hands-on children’s museum in South Hall County.
• Construction will begin in 2015 for the Central Hall Trail, a multi-purpose trail for biking, walking and running that will connect
Gainesville’s Midtown Gateway to the University of North Georgia Gainesville Campus and the Chicopee Woods conservation area.
The Lake Lanier Olympic Venue will host the 2016 Pan-Am Championships for Canoe
Kayak and the Continental Olympic Qualifier for the Americas.
• The Greater Hall Chamber VISION 2030 program was initiated in 2005 when over 1,000 Gainesville-Hall County citizens came
together to describe the community they’d like to live, work and raise families with a “common vision.” The result is a blueprint
for success for Gainesville-Hall County – a set of long-term goals now in place called the “Big Ideas.”
• A public-private partnership has revitalized the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue for sprint canoe, kayak and rowing by providing the
resources for a new Venue Manager position and facilities maintenance.
• VISION 2030 Big Ideas include: a Harbor Town development on Lake Lanier, additional greenspace in Hall County and a
community diversity program. Initiatives include a senior leadership program, called The Wisdom Project, and an effort to expand
public art in the community. vision2030.org
January 2015 • Page 6
HALLmark 2010-2015: The Next Generation
• The Greater Hall Chamber has secured major investments in its aggressive, five-year economic development plan for
Gainesville-Hall County called HALLmark 2015-2020. Area businesses are investing $2.25 million in the program to ensure the
economic viability of our region.
• The benefits of HALLmark include high quality jobs, a stable and growing tax base, the protection of existing investments, and
an unparalleled quality of life. HALLmark’s five-year program goals seek to create 1,700 new jobs with $250 million in capital
investment, $60 million in new annual payroll, and to maintain the Gainesville MSA’s unemployment rate below that of the state
and nation. The Chamber’s Economic Development, VISION 2030, and Education programs are funded through HALLmark.