THOMASVILLE — Three potential businesses recently looked at Red Hills Business Park. All three required natural gas — a service not available in the U.S. 319 North development.
Industrial parks in several neighboring towns provide gas service, said Shelley Zorn, Thomasville Payroll Development Authority executive director.
“It’s a good location. It’s ready with water, sewer, electric, road and cable/internet service,” Zorn explained, adding that the park is on a four-lane highway and two miles from the city.
Chris White, Thomasville Utilities superintendent, said that since Red Hills was designed as a business park, gas was not included because of the cost of extending gas lines to the site.
A gas line to the park would begin at a city facility on North Pinetree Boulevard off Ga. 3.
“That’s our gas point of distribution,” White said.
A gas line — probably an eight-inch —would go from North Pinetree to the park.
“It’s got to be substantial to serve a large industry or multiple industries in the park,” White said. “If you build it out, you would want more than one customer.”
The cost to install a gas line to the park would be in excess of $1 million. The park is more than four miles from the city gas supply.
The city must have a return on the investment, the superintendent said.
He said the city would not install a gas line to an empty park, but it would install one to an industry “that made financial sense.”
“My thought process is to go after state or federal money to get a gas line,” Zorn said.
The $5 million park was completed in late 2017.
A challenge presented by the park is its proximity to residential areas. Because of the park’s proximity to residential areas, certain types of industries are not suitable because of noise and odors, Zorn said.
She would like to have heavier industry in the rear of the 293-acre tract, which can be subdivided. The park is suitable for light manufacturing, distribution and warehousing, Zorn said.
“It’s open-ended,” she said. “We can subdivide it any way we want to.”
A small business set to open in the park opted instead for a downtown location.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820