Originally created 09/08/01

Business park enters phase two



Developers of the Bobby Jones Business Park are moving forward on the property's second phase, making room for 11 new buildings at the light-industrial complex located off Barton Chapel Road.

The first of those buildings, the new offices of Barton Laundry Equipment Inc., is currently under construction. The 10,000-square-foot facility should be complete by Nov. 1, owner Ben Barton said.

Mr. Barton said he purchased his 1 1/2 -acre-parcel at the industrial park because of its proximity to Gordon Highway and the Bobby Jones Expressway. His new building also allows him higher ceiling space to stack the industrial-size washing machines and dryers he sells to hospitals, hotels and other commercial users.

"I'm basically doubling the size of my building," said Mr. Barton, whose previous building was in south Richmond County.

The Bobby Jones Business Park was developed in 1995 as a joint venture between Lamar Outdoor Advertising, one of the park's major first-phase tenants, and local commercial real estate company Sherman and Hemstreet Inc.

The 76-acre development, financed by SouthTrust Bank, is marketed toward smaller contractors, supplier-vendors and light manufacturers.

Sherman and Hemstreet President Hugh Connolly said recent demand for light-industrial property persuaded the joint-venture partnership to go forth with the second-phase expansion.

"The absorption rate is not hand over fist as it is in a residential subdivision, but the demand has been sufficient to justify the expansion," he said.

Lots in the second phase, which range in size from an acre to 4.4 acres, are between $43,000 and $71,000 an acre.

First phase tenants include Southern Power & Equipment, Thomas Utility Contractors, Channel Realty Co., Laidig & Sons Equipment Rental and Lirand Corp.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or bized@augustachronicle.com.