According to GSDA Executive Director David Luckie, the Cooper-Standard building was built in either 1991 or 1992 and originally belonged to Five Rubber, which manufactured rubber seals for cars. Through a series of mergers, the building ended up in the hands of Cooper-Standard, which moved out of the building in 2007.
The GSDA went to the Griffin Board of Commissioners Aug. 12 and the Spalding County Board of Commissioners Monday evening.
“Normally when we do a bond issue, we go to the city and the county and ask for their support,” Luckie said.
Under normal circumstances, the prospect would be named later, but it was pushed up due to the desire of the bank Norcom uses to close the deal quickly.
Luckie said the Griffin Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to support the GSDA.
“It means we’ve made them officially aware of the project and are issuing bonds in our name,” Luckie said.
He emphasized that neither the city, the county, the GSDA nor any taxpayers would be liable. He said the GSDA has the authority to issue bonds in order to bring business to Griffin.
“We say, ‘If you come to Griffin, locate out here, buy a building or buy land to build a building, we’ll issue bonds to help fund the project,’” he said.
He said the bonds, which for this project will total $4,000,000, will be issued in the name of the GSDA. Banks will purchase the bonds from the GSDA and Norcom will repay the banks. He said the GSDA operates as a “conduit” for funds and re-emphasized that taxpayers would not be liable for the cost of the bonds.
Luckie said the bonds would cover the purchase of the building, as well as some renovation. He said the new building will house the remainder of Norcom’s production capacity.
“Norcom will actually be moving the rest of its manufacturing operations to Griffin,” he said. “Their operations were originally located in Norcross. We’re very happy now to have their total company here in Griffin.”
Luckie said Norcom employs 210 people in Griffin. When the company transfers its remaining operations, some of its employees will relocate from Norcross and new jobs will be created here.
“We’re anticipating at least 15 to 20 jobs that will be brand-new,” he said. “This is in addition to the transfer jobs.”
Luckie said Norcom is a good corporate citizen, citing its annual Kids in Need giveaway of school supplies to teachers in the Griffin-Spalding County School System.
He fully supports Norcom’s aims.
“It’s a great project,” he said. “We’re also glad the Cooper-Standard building is off the market. We’re also thankful Norcom is bringing more jobs here.”