Four industries express interest in Thomasville Caterpillar building

Four industries express interest in Thomasville Caterpillar building
The city purchased the building in July of 2017. (Source: WALB)
The city purchased the building in July of 2017. (Source: WALB)

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Development officials are working to bring hundreds of jobs into the Thomasville area.

The Thomasville Payroll Development Authority said they are currently talking to four industries about occupying the now vacant Caterpillar building.

Payroll Development Authority officials said this project could take some time. Getting big industry to come to the area could take several months --- or several years.

The Caterpillar Pillar plant officially closed in November of 2016.

Since then, PDA officials have been working to find the right industry to occupy the building.

"Economic development is a long process that could take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years," said Shelley Zorn, Executive Director.

What is exciting to Zorn is the amount of interest being shown in the building and the opportunities it could provide for the community.

"We're encouraged that we have so many prospects right now," said Zorn.

Four different industries have shown interest in occupying the vacant building: Food processing, furniture manufacturing, firearms manufacturing, and a distribution warehouse.

Zorn said the process for finding new industries is long.

"Usually what we get first is an inquiry. We can get that from the power companies, site consultants, or the state. Sometimes we get local leads and a lot of times, we get suppliers and customers of our current industry," said Zorn.

After that, the company will send representatives to do several visits, which also adds to the timeline of the project.

The main focus of the Payroll Development Authority is jobs!

Filling the Caterpillar building would mean hundreds of new jobs added to the Thomasville area.

"It's 168,000 sq feet and it's a high-quality industrial building. That is our number one goal right now, so we are very excited and would be happy to get the right tenant in there," said Zorn.

The Payroll Development Authority also spent close to a year talking with the Kimber Manufacturing company that manufactures high-quality pistols.

The company originally mentioned possibly providing 500 jobs in Thomasville.

Their Alabama announcement only says 360 jobs.

Ultimately, the company chose to set up shop in Troy Alabama as the state has close to 4 million dollars more in state incentives and a higher number of Computer Numerical Control workers.

Its all about getting the right industry fit for the building and PDA members hope to soon do that.

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