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New PTC economic chief faces big challenges, modest budget

Peachtree City’s new economic development coordinator is proposing to start with a modest $75,000 budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

With those funds, Joey Grisham will be starting up an operation that will focus heavily on retail recruiting to address vacancies in the city’s retail buildings.

The City Council had been expected to vote on the budget at a special called meeting tonight (Feb. 21), but the special meeting has been canceled, and all the postponed agenda items will be heard at the regular March 3 meeting.

The $75,000 proposal includes $42,000 for advertising, printing and binding, and $4,750 for education and training. Also since the position is new the city will spend just over $10,000 on a computer setup and other operating supplies for Grisham’s one man operation.

Grisham’s proposed budget breaks down into line item expenditures for each category, including a projected $2,000 in “marketing and recruitment” for efforts to lure suppliers of the new Sany heavy equipment manufacturer that is slated to open later this year as the latest large tenant in the city’s industrial park.

In a memo to council, Grisham contemplates that a potential overseas trip will be necessary as part of those efforts.

Another part of Grisham’s budget will add a software program to the city’s arsenal. The program provides detailed demographic information including the capability to draw comparisons to other regions.

As far as the retail sector goes, Grisham is inheriting a challenge. A large shopping center featuring a newly-opened Sam’s Club and a soon-to-be-open movie theater is certain to draw Peachtree City residents to spend their money and time there, along with sales tax dollars that city officials would rather keep here.

In some ways however the retail picture has become more rosy for the city in recent months as the city landed the Fresh Market specialty grocer to replace the vacant Baby Kroger store in the Peachtree Crossing shopping center.

Also, the Braelinn Village shopping center has undergone a complete exterior renovation that was officially opened this summer. The effort has attracted renewed interest from potential tenants and also has resulted in additional foot traffic there, according to reports from retailers who have been there for years.

What remains to be seen in the city’s funding of Grisham’s department is whether or not the Development Authority of Peachtree City will have any significant role in the city’s economic future. The budget includes no line-item funding for authority necessities such as a part-time staffer to take minutes, training for authority members and the like.



from potential tenants. I would hardly call one BBQ joint in 8 months to be called that. In the meantime, Atlas Fabrics closed, Popeyes closed, Blimpie Subs closed, Blockbuster has filed Chapter 11, and the eye doctor is moving out to his own new building.

Now a part time staffer is needed to take minutes? How about we buy Joey a tape recorder and call it a plan?

A trip overseas? What, there are no parts suppliers in these 50 states??

The Wedge's picture

I shop at that shopping center at least 3 times per week. There is much more traffic there since the makeover than the years that I have lived in PTC heretofore. All stores, including KMart are seeing more traffic. And the new TCBY store in the middle of the center is completely packed on most occasions. What they need is a bit of outside seating near that store and the area would be better off for it. Now let's look at your list: Fabric stores are a dying breed as hardly anyone sews anymore and large general retailers sell fabric. By demand and netflix has killed Blockbuster and I do not see it surviving nationwide. I never frquented Blimpies or Popeyes so I have no insight into those businesses. But I will correct your perception around traffic. It is more and tenants look for the best traffic to open new stores. No surprise there. Have a great day

right, I forgot to mention that new store. And that one is a plus and they will do well there. I still question the "renewed interest" as we are still at a net loss so far. Time will tell.

SANY is the largest China heavy equipment mfgr in the world. They know how to do it right - keep their suppliers at home to keep jobs there. So no, there are no SANY suppliers 'currently' here in the US. If Mr. Girsham gets even just one to come to PTC it will be a huge win. A huge loss if he doesn't? I don't think so.

No comments allowed under the new article today?

Hmmm... Well, let me say this. Yanping Gao is going to speak. SHE is the Consul General of the Consulate General of the Peoples Republic of China in Houston. Now that is impressive.

Five days later. Big ugly banner put up-store closing. Another one bites the dust.

When did Drop Dead Diva Drive get paved? And with whose dollars?

I'm shocked they held on this long. They flat out didn't want to compete for a lONG time.

The hype is over and so are the crowds. I drove by SAMs recently and saw a 'normally filled' (whatever the heck that means) parking lot. Folks running around like a chicken with its head cut off saying we're losing millions in revenue are SO WRONG. Think folks. Those who use to go to BJs now will go to SAMS. Makes sense. Those folks won't be changing the dyanamics of the sales tax. Yes there will be a few hundred (? - probably lower) extra trips across the county line weekly but its not a flood. Get over it. I like PTC being kept small town w/o the hussle and bussle. When I moved here I knew I'd have to shop in Fayetteville or Newnan for my specialty items. I will gladly trade less folks wondering around PTC looking for easy crime targets for the best place to live in the country.

NUK_1's picture

I don't think people are really that mystified why they didn't try to open in PTC when there isn't a good location available. It's more the general anti-business attitude that has been pervasive in PTC with Brown and now Haddix and the inevitable tax hikes and significant service cuts that have happened and that will keep on happening.

As far as changing the dynamics of shopping and sales tax, yes it does. Where do you think all of the people going to Sam's are coming from? There's no way that all of the shoppers there were driving much further away to BJ's which is a pale imitation of Sam's in the first place....most were likely going to local grocery stores,etc. instead. Now they won't be going as frequently. I'd say over half the cars yesterday in the parking lot had FC tags.

What amuses me about this article is the first thing the new econ dev guy says he'll be focusing on his retail when you have a very anti-retail Mayor presently.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Maybe I'm out of touch or old school or something, but the way it used to work was that Industrial and Office users came first and that created jobs and that led to Residential growth. Then at the end of the train was Retail which was attracted here to serve the residents - retail developers and tenants count "rooftops" meaning households in the surrounding area to determine the viability of a group of customers for whatever they are selling. Now we have the worst economy in 60 years, people losing jobs, highest % of vacant houses ever, no one has any disposable income, restaurants and other retailers are closing AND ON TOP OF THAT WE HAVE NO GROWTH IN INDUSTRIAL, OFFICE OR RESIDENTIAL AND WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON RETAIL?????? Excuse me for shouting, but retail is shrinking nationwide big-time and we are really lucky to get what we did - TCBY and Whole Foods are big wins, but the losses are 10 times that in terms of square footage.

Besides, marketing to retailers is the responsibility of the shopping center owner and the management firm.

And of course we have the anti-retail, anti-business leadership and even a maximum square footage on retail that keeps out anything over 50,000 square feet. Looks like an uphill battle to me. Maybe he means focusing on existing retail to keep them in business by relaxing burdensome ordinances, heading off stupid proposals like the walking sign ban, using city tax dollars to advertise the city and hosting special events to attract shoppers from other counties. Ya think?

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PTC Observer's picture

And so it begins a new drain on PTC taxpayers pockets, $75,000.

When if the economy turns up, which will have nothing at all to do with Mr. Grisham, his budget will be increased because of the great job he did. We will have another do nothing position, doing nothing but spending our money.

There is not one blessed thing that Mr. Grisham can do to change the business environment of PTC.

yellowjax1212's picture

Hey, didn't we have a group of volunteers (pretty qualified and hard working from what I'm told) that did this job for less budget???
Oh, that's right Donnie and Dougie tried to ram through a huge budget increase to fund the group. That ticked off the "New Trinity". They stripped all of the money from the DAPC (telling them they could come beg the council for money on a project-by-project basis) and hired a staffer that they could control.
So now the new staffer's (I have nothing against Mr. Grisham - I'm sure he is a fine man) salary plus his requested budget will cost us, somewhere around $150,00 per year.
Could we not have just given a decent budget to the DPAC and let a group of seven people (already familiar with the business situation)do their job.
NO! Because its all about control and petty posturing amongst this council.
I risk sounding like sour grapes when I say these were not the people I voted for - BUT they were elected (most of them by wide margins). So this city has no one to blame but the voters who blindly believed that "Change for Change Sake" was the best way to go.
REMEMBER - Decisions Have Consequences. Do let anyone make up your mind for you - that's MOB RULE. Educate yourselves and make decisions carefully. In today's political climate we do not have many opportunities to correct our mistakes.

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