Distribution center sold

Rockefeller Group announced recently that it has sold a 222,618-square-foot speculative distribution center in Braselton to Cabot Properties.

Rockefeller Group sells Braselton distribution center to Cabot Properties

Rockefeller Group announced recently that it has sold a 222,618-square-foot speculative distribution center in Braselton to Cabot Properties. The building is fully leased to Duckyang America Inc., a Korean automotive equipment supplier who is using the building for warehousing and light manufacturing. Located on Broadway Avenue along the I-85 North corridor in the North Atlanta submarket, Braselton 85 broke ground in fall 2020 and was completed in March.

"Duckyang's lease at Braselton 85 and Cabot's purchase of the building shows that demand for new Class-A industrial space in Atlanta remains strong heading into the second half of 2021 and that Atlanta and its suburbs are a key distribution hub for both national and international companies," said Steven McGee, Director, Southeast Development for Rockefeller Group. "Braselton 85's location along I-85 where a number of major manufacturers have recently begun operations, made it ideal for Duckyang and investors like Cabot."

McGee said interest in the building was significant since the company purchased the site in 2019. The newly built modern state-of-the-art facility includes an ESFR sprinkler system, 26 on-site trailer drops, 134 auto parking spaces, 47 dock doors with two drive-in doors, 32' clear height, 185' truck court with 60' concrete apron and LED lighting. The project's proximity to Atlanta and the broader Southeast United States, combined with access to skilled labor, drove demand from a variety of prospective users.

Duckyang America Inc. manufactures and distributes cockpit modules, instrument panels and door trims for the automotive industry. The company took occupancy in March.

"Cabot is very pleased to be expanding our industrial portfolio in Atlanta where we currently have one building under ownership," said Michael E. McCarthy, Managing Director, Investments, Eastern Region for Cabot Properties. "We look forward to having Duckyang as a valued tenant for years to come and want to thank Rockefeller Group for delivering a quality building fully leased to one of the top suppliers to the electric vehicle industry."

Commerce qualifying set

Commerce has announced qualifying details for the Tuesday, Nov. 2, General Municipal Election.

Qualifying will be held Aug. 16-18 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, 27 Sycamore St., Commerce.

Commerce City Council offices up for election this year include:

•mayor pro-tem

•councilman Ward I

•councilman Ward II

The qualifying fee for mayor pro-tem is $90. The qualifying fee for the council seats is $81.

Seats up for election on the Commerce Board of Education include:

•school board District I

•school board District II

The qualifying fee for school board seats is $72.

Payment for qualifying may be paid in cash or check.

The last day a person may register and be eligible to vote in the General Election will be October 4.

Barrow BOC to reconsider Hoschton area rezoning

By Scott Thompson, Barrow News-Journal

The Barrow County Board of Commissioners is aiming to reconsider next month a request to rezone land in unincorporated Hoschton for a mixed-use residential and commercial development about a mile south of the intersection of highways 211 and 124.

The board voted July 13, following a closed session, to reconsider a request by Ridgeline Land Planning and developer Holt Persinger to rezone and change the county’s future land-use map designation for 53.2 acres at 1308 Lec Stone Rd. in order for 280 apartment units and 158 townhomes to be built while the developer would set aside roughly 8.5 acres for 130,000 square feet of commercial space.

The BOC voted 5-2 during a contentious public hearing in October to deny the request, following along with the recommendation of the county’s planning commission, amid strong pushback against the project from nearby residents.

The developer and the property owners, the Stone Living Trust, who are under contract for the sale of the property, filed suit against the county, and the parties have agreed to stay the litigation while the requests are reconsidered by the board. The developer is also seeking a variance on stream buffer setback requirements, from 100 feet to 50 feet.

Because “contract zoning” is not allowed in Georgia, the county’s agreement to reconsider does not guarantee that the board will approve the applicants’ requests. If it does, the plaintiffs have agreed to file for dismissal of the suit within 35 days of the decision. If the requests are not approved, they reserve the right to resume the litigation.

If the requests are approved, they would likely come with 19 conditions. Some of the key ones include:

•that a traffic study be prepared by a registered engineer in Georgia and submitted to the county’s planning department, and that the developer must comply with any and all recommendations, standards and requirements set by the county and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

•that the owner/developer dedicate right of way necessary to “safely realign” the intersection of Highway 211 and Freeman Johnson Road.

•that the commercial component of the development not include any mini-warehouses or storage units or “grocery stores smaller than 30,000 square feet.”

•that the residential portion of the development have restricted gate access.

•that the attached residential units be a minimum of 1,800 heated square feet with no vinyl siding.

•that there be a mandatory homeowners’ association and that the residential streets be privately owned and maintained.

•that there be amenities for residents — including a pool, clubhouse, fitness center, walking trails and open space.

The new terms and conditions will not be put before the planning commission, but will go straight to the BOC for an Aug. 10 public hearing and vote, county attorney Angie Davis said.

Gwinnett County names finalist for superintendent

The Gwinnett County Board of Education voted 5-0 at its Thursday (July 15) meeting to approve Calvin Watts — a former Gwinnett County Public Schools assistant superintendent and current superintendent of Kent School District in Washington state — as its sole finalist for superintendent. He would replace J. Alvin Wilbanks, who spent 25 years leading Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Watts, who was selected out of 27 candidates for the job, worked for 13 years in the Gwinnett County school system.

The school board is required by state law to wait a minimum of 14 days before taking a final vote on Watts’ employment. The board is expected to take that vote on Thursday, July 29, during a called meeting. Wilbanks is retiring on July 30.

According to a press release from Gwinnett County Public Schools, Watts pointed to his tenure as a leader in Gwinnett as a highlight of his career and praised Wilbanks’ time as superintendent.

“He spoke of the great legacy retiring superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks is leaving and said he looks forward to leading GCPS into its next chapter,” according to the release. “In saying how humbled and honored he is to be named as the district’s next leader, he shared his motto, which is to ‘reach and teach all students as if they had his last name.’”

Home invasion attempted at rapper Lil Durk’s Braselton residence last week

Rapper Lil Durk’s Braselton home in Chateau Elan Estates was the target of an attempted home invasion recently, according multiple reports.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said several suspects entered the home at the 2300 block of Northern Oak Dr. on July 11 at around 5:15 p.m., which led to a shootout.

Lil Durk — whose real name is Durk Derrick Banks — was with his girlfriend, India Cox, during the incident.

Neither Banks or Cox were injured, according to reports. It’s not yet clear if Banks, 28, was involved in the gun fight.

The GBI is investigating the case.

Banks, along with late rapper King Von, was accused of involvement in a shooting outside The Varsity in Atlanta in February 2019. Banks, who faces multiple charges from that incident, turned himself in May 2019 and was released on $250,000 bond.

Banks’ successful recording career includes the 2020 album, The Voice of the Heroes (released jointly with Lil Baby), which topped the Billboard 200 chart.

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