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SWGA competing with Florida for more jobs

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October 3, 2003

Cordele - It's a major project that could bring thousands of jobs to southwest Georgia, but first leaders have to get one tenant to sign a contract. The Cedar Creek Corporate Park in Cordele is competing with a Florida community for a major distribution company.

Construction crews have starting working on the Cedar Creek Corporate Park, but it's been in the works for years. Cordele Crisp County Industrial Development Council Executive Director, Bruce Drennan, says, "We've been working on this for at least three years."

The question now is, who's going to be the first tenant? Drennan answers, "It's a confidential project."

We do know a unnamed distribution company is trying to decide between Cordele and Mariana, Florida. It will bring hundreds of jobs. Drennan says, "The company is going to commit to around 450 to begin with it could grow within a three year period close to 700 is what they are estimating."

A spokesperson at Georgia Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade says they are working day and night to get the distribution company to move to Cordele. A spokesperson in Mariana, Florida says they too are taking aggressive steps. No word on when the company will decide. Drennan says, "We've been expecting announcement for the last month."

We were told city and county leaders were fighting over who will pay for the infrastructure, Drennan says that's not true. He adds, "This is the biggest project we've seen in a long time and everyone is cooperating very well with it."

The Cedar Creek Corporate Park is off GA 300 near I-75. Right now, IDC is working with three more distribution centers to start up on the more than 400 acres of land.

We could not confirm reports that Governor Sonny Perdue's office offered one and a half million dollars to entice the company at the last minute. Apparently that was the amount Cordele estimated it would cost to do certain projects, such as widening roads.

posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com