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Manufacturer looking at vacant Acuity property
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A manufacturing company is looking at the long-vacant Acuity Brands building on Rockdale Industrial Boulevard in Conyers for possible new use.

Code-named “Project Snow,” the potential deal for the gigantic site was announced at the Feb. 18 Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council (CREDC) board meeting by Executive Director Marty Jones.

Details about the interested company and its plans are still confidential. Jones could only tell the News that the company is “industrial, manufacturing” and that a railroad spur line on the site is a selling point.

Jones code-named the project “Snow” because a consultant called CREDC about the property on Jan. 28, the day a snowstorm paralyzed metro Atlanta roads.

“He thinks it might work for his client,” said Jones, adding the picture should become clearer in about a month.

The lighting-maker Acuity moved out of the building at 1335 Rockdale Industrial Blvd., near the intersection of N. Main Street and Rockbridge Road, over three years ago. The site consists of more than 530,000 square feet of space on about 35 acres. 

Acuity originally planned to donate the building to the City of Conyers for reuse as a business incubator, academic space and new CREDC offices. But that plan fell through in 2011. 

The city-county boundary line runs right through the building, an oddity that has prevented the site from being placed totally within either a Conyers or Rockdale Opportunity Zone. The state-run Opportunity Zone program provides significant tax breaks for job-creation. Jones said the county has agreed to expand its Opportunity Zone to cover the site and that momentum for state approval looks good.

“That could be a key thing,” Jones told the board, adding later to The News, “It’s moving forward now and that will help market this building.”

Two other possible large-scale industrial developments, the previously announced Project Bold and Project Rainbow, are still in wait-and-see mode, Jones said. Project Bold would create 175 jobs and Project Rainbow would create 300 jobs.


In other economic development news:

-The CREDC board indicated it will say no to a request by Richard Oden, chairman and CEO of the Rockdale Board of Commissioners, to fund a trip to see how Philadelphia does economic development. For the past two years, Oden has gone on the trips via the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Leadership Involvement Networking & Knowledge (LINK) program, but a scholarship that paid his travel is ending. He requested that Jones join him on the Philly trip and that CREDC provide funds. The board could not vote because it lacked a quorum.

-The vampire TV series “The Originals,” whose production is based in Conyers, has been renewed for a second season, said CREDC Project Manager Gina Hartsell, who is the community liaison with filmmakers. 

- The upcoming AMC TV series “Halt & Catch Fire” also did a one-day shoot in a Main Street house this week, Hartsell told the News. The series is a tech-business drama set during the 1980s personal computer revolution.