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PTC to get slice of studio revenue

New German company 'excited' to relocate to PTC; will provide special effects services

While Pinewood Studios hopes to be operational at its site in central Fayette County by January, Peachtree City already has a company on Huddleston Drive, East Coast Films, that prepares special effects materials for shoots all over Georgia, according to Matt Forshee, CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority.

“It’s a really neat project they’ve got there,” said Forshee, who was making a report Thursday night to the city council.

As far as Pinewood is concerned, the company plans to have key services offered on-site so they can be nearby. The studio is purchasing a large tract of land in unincorporated Fayette County at the intersection of Veterans Parkway (also known as the West Fayetteville Bypass) and Sandy Creek Road, adjacent to the Rivers Elementary School site.

As time goes on, Peachtree City will see additional studio-related businesses filter in, but in the meantime the studio plans to employ about 2,000 people directly. The economic impact over 15 years, even at a conservative level, is estimated at $2 billion dollars. Yes, that’s “billion” with a capital B.

In those first 15 years, Pinewood is expected to bring about $500,000 in additional sales taxes just to the city, Forshee said.

Pinewood Studios, Forshee explained, will not finance films. Instead it will be a one-stop shop for filmmakers and production companies.

Pinewood is hoping to have the first part of its first phase open by January 2014 with five soundstages, four additional buildings and two workshops, Forshee said. The reason Pinewood hasn’t made an announcement yet is that it is waiting to confirm the rezoning for the property, a decision expected to be made at the March 28 meeting of the Fayette County Commission.

“They’re waiting for he dominos to fall,” Forshee said.

The county’s planning commission has already recommended approval of the rezoning.

Forshee said he has been working on the project, initially dubbed Project Stargate, for over a year. He was able to reel in Pinewood officials after a brief visit to Falcon Field Airport and a subsequent fly-over in a helicopter over the site that the Pinewood crew fell in love with, nestled in a pastoral farmland-style setting of rural Fayette County.

In other business, Forshee’s cohort, Emily Poole, reported on a new company coming to Peachtree City that is moving its distribution operations from north metro Atlanta and will have a headquarters here as well: Kiddy.

The German-based company manufactures car seats, strollers, baby carriers and the like and is looking to make a splash in the U.S. market, Poole said. What is exciting about Kiddy is that its German manager is thrilled about coming to the city and specifically wants to help recruit other German companies to come here, Forshee said.

“He wants to help be a spokesperson to bring more companies from Germany to Peachtree City,” Forshee said.

“They really love our community’s way of life,” Poole added. “That’s what the biggest draw is to them. We are really excited to have them.”

Calpis, which manufactures additives for animal feed, is expected to have its groundbreaking in May for its new campus as well, Poole added. Calpis will start with a minimum of 50 jobs, with lab-type positions that will pay very well, Forshee said.

Poole, who works as the business retention specialist for FCDA which is a position funded by the city, also reported that she has worked personally with more than two dozen businesses to resolve a number of problems. One common problem is telecommunications issues along with workforce challenges, Poole said.

“We can help with training resources and funding for third party trainers,” Poole said. “I can help facilitate either a training program or funding for those different things.”



Hopefully Peachtree City will take this opportunity to move out of the 20th century and start re-investing in the city. The overall appearance of our city looks old and out-dated. Our main intersection (Hwy 54 & Hwy 74)is a disgrace. If the city doesn't re-invent itself and raise the bar we will be Riverdale before you know it.

We need leadership that understands how to create value, thus increasing home values and quality of life.

tgarlock's picture

We need visionaries and promoters, not a grumpy old man in process like me. Forget last time. Don't listen to the critics, there will always be spitball shooters here on the blogs. Go for it.

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock, PTC

tortugaocho's picture

Whatever the question is---- Darryl ain't the answer.

Mr. Garlock is right...we need Smart.

A business person with leadership, and executive management skills.

It's great to see Matt Forshee and Emily Poole working on Economic Development for Peachtree City.

Also, it was a smart move by City Council to have a salaried economic development professional such as Ms. Poole specifically assigned to Peachtree City's development.

2 new companies coming to Peachtree City announced within a few months apart!

This is what PTC needed; a professional economic development team at the county level with one professional specifically assigned to our city working at the State level and directly with smaller companies who come to us.

For your part and support that made this happen.

Don Haddix's picture

The FCDA is critical to PTC. Matt Forshee and I have had meetings on the mission for PTC.

Full credit here goes to Matt, the State and the businessmen involved for putting this project together. Matt did a great job.

It remains true the FCDA cannot do it all. There is just too much work for their limited resources. As you will see on the Survey, the citizens of PTC recognize this and want DAPC back.

We had no inside PTC economic development going on until I reactivated them in 2008. Even being underfunded. DAPC did a fantastic job, as you see on the redevelopment of the Braelinn and Glenloch Shopping Centers and recruiting The Fresh Market, in example.

That set up the current Kroger expansion. Kroger noted to us that they would be following the impact of the redevelopment as regarded a potential expansion.

That type of economic development stopped when DAPC was dissolved by the three Councilmembers in 2011. Some of the projects under work then have continued and you are seeing some happening now. Some others were lost.

Those who think the FCDA can do it all need to think again. They cannot. Fayetteville knows that and they have a Downtown Development Authority, Main Street.

It is not nor should be a competition. Nor is it a one or the other choice. It has to be a partnership. Some fail to recognize the FCDA is a County entity, not a PTC entity.

Dar talks about getting the City going again. DAPC is a key tool in accomplishing that goal. Just building more commercial space is not an answer. We need jobs.

We also need to get the cost of living here down. As regards tax friendliness, we rank last place in Class B cities in Georgia. That is why everywhere around us has grown more than PTC.

Again, the answer is jobs and getting spending under control.

We need new a new Council majority, not one that thinks more debt and taxes is the solution.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mr. Haddix's days as mayor are coming to end. He has hog tied this city for 6 years and accomplished little with the exception of fighting with city council, bringing bad press to the city and most of all he betrayed the public trust by taking tax payers' money over a personal lawsuit.

His ideas are old and stale and he keep trying to re-circulate them over and over with no one listening. His blog offers nothing new, with little facts and reality.

Meanwhile, Fayetteville's Downtown Development Authority is a totally different beast than FCDA with different, defined goals which is to bring small retail-oriented businesses to the downtown historic area around the old courthouse square. If the mayor wants Ms. Poole to focus on small business to fill PTC retail space, he should speak to the city council and ask instead of preaching crap on this blog. That's actually at the heart of the problem....

When Haddix joined city council 6 years ago we had another mayor and council. When they didn't listen he repeatedly attacked them then he was were elected mayor, with a new council, and still no one listens to him so he attacks them. The majority on council rules as they are elected by the majority as the mayor. They represent the people too. Haddix has trashed and burned through 2 city councils and to this day continues to blame them!

As for tax friendly...he is promoting DAPC which is a "bonding authority". Yes, bonding as in issuing bonds putting more interest cost on the citizens.

Problem is he has his mind stuck on DAPC and he wants what he wants and will fight and attack everyone and anyone who in his way instead of thinking 'outside the box' and coming with different solutions to the issues, then, work with city council under the concept of building concensus to accomplish them.

Haddix has had his chance, his inability to lead and manage is apparent and its time to bring to a close his disruptive behavior and elect someone as mayor with new and fresh ideas who possesses leadership and team building skills.

When are you throwing your hat in the ring for the mayoral race?

No interest in running but I intend to financially support good candidates who run for office capable of working together for our city. There are 6 or 7 who are planning to run for mayor and/or council and all are highly qualified. Most are waiting to announce.

As for me, with 2 companies, one in Peachtree City and the other in Charleston SC, I split my time between both locations yet I maintain my residency in PTC. Unfortunately I don't have the time plus I surely know I am not qualified nor have the personality, temperament or patience for public office, so I assist by working with others in town in finding and encouraging good people to run and I will support them in any way.

How about you? Any interest in running for mayor?

May we ask who besides you is meeting with Matt and developing this mission? Is there a mission statement or plan you can share?

We need to recruit the white collar, industrial, and blue collar type companies to our fair city. If we can bring these in, then the shopping center type stores will fill in as needed. It isn't rocket science. Just hire someone good, and let them do their job before you run them off. We don't need a group of volunteers with no skin in the game spending my tax dollars. Hire a real salesman to work with FCDA and our city manager to bring in these companies.

Who said we need to get the cost of living down. You? The flawed poll? Maybe we want our taxes a little higher than elsewhere to keep the riff raff out. Everyone around us has grown? Perhaps. But I don't want to live in Newnan with the highway and loads of retail. I don't want to live in Fayetteville and deal with the crime on Hwy 85. I want the safety of PTC and I am willing to spend more to live here if we keep up with the amenities that made this city special.

It cost money to live in nicer areas. You keep taxes to low and you do invite in the riff raff...who don't spend money in restaurants, who don't spend money in stores, etc. If you want nice things you have to pay for them...Period! Under the right leadership, a small increase in taxes (only a $1.00 or $2.00 increase per month), will provide a better quality of life amd a better visual presentation for our city. I was recently in a small city north of L.A., it made our city look like a's embarrassing!

We, asa city, have the attitude, that an oil change just cost to much, so we don't do it (keep cost low) but what is the cost when the engine blows up? We are in fear of raising taxes while all along we throw $700,000 away on the Kedron pool...and no one says a word.

This city is poorly mis-managed.

tortugaocho's picture

I got it Dar...Raise taxes and then give the "Kedron Pool" to your for profit health club...Uh, think we'll pass on both.

If you loved your little suburb of LA so much, go back.

Sometimes we all get too wrapped up in our little City.

Dar simply said he visited another City and liked the way it looked...nothing wrong with that comment...

NUK_1's picture

I completely agree with DAR that maybe paying an extra buck or two a month isn't the end of the world. I despise taxes, despise increasing taxes, and hate government inefficiency and "new programs" that are also simply increased taxation. All that said, I don't mind paying for what I want, even if that means a little extra money sometimes.

This city looked a LOT better in the not-so-distant past and the 800K savings to get rid of a lot of Public Works' employees doesn't look like a great idea to me at all. Frankly, that was sold poorly and misrepresented by City Council and it sucks.

PTC went real ultra-cheap when they contracted out for the newest fire station on 74 and guess what it had from Day 1, Roof problems! Now, the Library is about to get it's THIRD roof. Oh yeah, let's not forget the total disaster on the new PD station on 74. Good grief....going the cheap route has been costing us taxpayers enough as it is. I'd rather pay up-front than get screwed later.

Stop being cowards and trying to hide behind surveys or sticking your finger in the air to see how the wind is blowing. Come out and state it very clearly: you want this, it costs THIS. Also, totally disregard the Steve Brown vision of PTC being a "retirement community" once and for all.

I don't give a damn about people on fixed incomes as it relates to living in PTC. What's the difference between the senior on a fixed income and someone on a fixed income from welfare? Maybe the senior is more responsible and MAYBE a better citizen but neither group makes PTC attractive to businesses or people thinking of living here.

I hate to ever say something like "raise taxes," but in PTC's case, you either do that or you cut to the bone in the FD and PTCPD and I've never got the impression whatsoever that the latter is possible from everyone I talk to in PTC, except Mike King :)

PTC Observer's picture

Increasing taxes for value is paying for that value. The examples you point out proves the old adage, "you get what you pay for".

Part of the reason that we need someone leading the city that has successful business experience is that they don't care if they are re-elected. That and the fact that they have shown that they can get results through people. I believe both Mr. Thompson and Mr. Garlock have shown such skill and ability.

With Pinewood coming to our area, we will need these traits more than ever. This massive development will draw thousands to our area to live, shop and start new ventures. It will change the face of Fayette County and PTC in particular, we will need leadership and not self-serving hyperbole. It's time for the amateur to vacate his office.

NUK_1's picture

[quote=PTC Observer]
With Pinewood coming to our area, we will need these traits more than ever. This massive development will draw thousands to our area to live, shop and start new ventures. It will change the face of Fayette County and PTC in particular, we will need leadership and not self-serving hyperbole. It's time for the amateur to vacate his office.[/quote]

It's way past time for leadership instead of asinine fights in the media or goofy surveys. I think we have an opportunity with Pinewood and also on the PTC Council for much better things in the future. It would be a real negative to let this chance go to waste because egomaniacs in office were too busy sparring in the press or here.

The day that Haddix exits as Mayor will be a mighty fine day for PTC in particular.

for all I care. Leave the 2 budget guys with 3 new people. We might then have a responsible government here.

NUK...I'm with you, I despise taxes. The difference in a city government (oppossed to a state or federal government), under the right leadership, you can obtain first hand experience and the benefit of your tax dollars. I would even argue that under the right leadership, it is not an increase in taxes at all, it's an investment. People with money (a good income) want to live in a nice community and more importantly those people understand it's not free. There is no big-picture thinking takes council six months and two public survey's to make a decision on gas golf carts. We were going to have a beautiful developement on Hwy 54 took years and years and years (lost tax revenue)and nothing ever happened because it was turned down over and over again. The Planning Commission told council they would end up with a gas station and a fast food place...the last thing the city should want. No No...that will never happen said the powers that be. Guess what's food and a gas station. We continue to step over a dollar to pick up a penny...short-sighted at its best.

I spend a lot of time in New Smyrna Beach and I feel the same way. They take care of the place. We used to do that here. We are lacking in leadership BIG TIME.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

The incumbent is a total idiot, the other 2 running are slightly better, but Dar has the chops to run something and manage people. Let's get behind Dar and get things working again instead of what we have now.

Live free or die!

THINGS are managed; PEOPLE are led!

The mayor went into hiding when the fire chief story broke. He was not leading people or managing anything... 2 time loser.

PTC Observer's picture

why don't you run for office and change things. This city could use some leadership and business experience. We certainly don't have it now and you can see it in the results.

While I don't know much about your philosophy, I do know that you have run a successful business here. That says a lot about your managerial and leadership skills. As to your ideas on governance I would like to hear about them when you decide to run for Mayor.

How about it, Mr. Thompson?

Contrary to the mayor's comment that Peachtree City lacks growth due to our cost of living, I would contend that its due to him that our city has lacked growth and here's why..

1-He wasted valuable time fighting over DAPC for the past 4 years+.
2-He ran off Joey Grisham, a professional economic development manager because he didn't get his way on DAPC so he put his ego ahead of the city's future and ran him off!
3-He lacks communication and leadership skills so instead of working with developers to bring good projects to PTC he brought us a RaceTrac on 54 instead of what Trinity Development had proposed.
4-Low Temp on the south side at the city's entrance.
5-And lets not forget the bowling alley.

4 years of failed thoughts, fighting, and bad press!

We absolutely need a change in his office. He is an embarrassment to the city in every way. From the legal fees to his lack of knowledge about how a city should be led. Time for someone different. No Haddix, Fleish or Logsdon. All of our current problems stem from at least one of them. I also mkid from McIntosh. Not impressed. This could be 4 more depressing years.

That you are even trying to take credit for this. I am so sure you had nothing to do with it. In fact, it most likely happened in spite of your attempts to become involved. Please, just go away...

Contrary to what the Mayor thinks, FCDA is NOT a County entity; it is a quasi-government orgn, classified as a sub-division of FC. Its 9 member board is appointed by the FC Board of Commissioners and cities of Fayetteville, Peachtree City, and Tyrone.

Don Haddix's picture

Read the State Law, the FCDA is a 501(c)3 private corporation created and funded by the County and can be dissolved by the County. The Board is appointed by the County. In six years on Council we have never appointed a representative to the Board.

Development authorities are not nor ever have been referred to as a quasi governmental organization. It is not a sub division of FC. It is legally called an "agent of the authorizing body," in the law which here is the County.

I am certified to sit on both a DA and DDA. Most assuredly I am not incorrect here.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

What makes one certified to sit on DA and DDA?

Don Haddix's picture

Taking the training required by the State and administered by State, Carl Vinson Institute and GMA. The FCDA trains as did DAPC.

I also took all the additional training available on Land Banks and other entities a government can create to handle economic develop not permitted by cities. For us DAPC fits all our needs not met by the FCDA.

That is what many people do not understand. Governments are extremely limited in many areas of economic development.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

It's always needs with you. FCDA doesn't meet our needs. Needs Assessment. Back off and leave office gracefully. You stand no chance of reelection. You are getting ready to make Horgan's vote total look good in comparison. For the love of God- how much is all this training you are taking costing the city? How can you justify this expense when you will be out of work after the next election???

There is a reason why DAPC was shelved in the past and more recently 3 years ago by council.
PTC does not need another bonding authority. Look what happened with WASA!!!!! Council had to reign in WASA with a board takeover! Why do we need another independent authority that can easily get out control issuing more debt!

Bond Interest & Spend! It's illogical and not necessary! Meanwhile he calls current city council out if control with Tax & Spend but wants an independent bond authority that can issue bonds!

Peachtree City has Emily Poole at FCDA and its working! The first and last development manager (Joey Grisham) was run off by Haddix so Ms Poole is there but Haddix can't run her off!

DAPC is gone! 3 years and counting. Time to move on. Clearly the incumbent can't move on!

We need a new mayor to bring us out of this dysfunctional mess created over the past 6 years by this guy.

We need a professional as mayor, the same way we have Ms Poole and Mr. Forshee, professional development managers.

Suggest you engage Matt Forshee in a conversation about this matter the next time you meet with him. You might get surprised.

Don Haddix's picture

With Matt on FCDA, DAPC, expectations, etc. No surprises.

Give me an email address and I will send you a copy of the State DA Law. Plus I have friends and contacts in DCA who oversee DA and DDA's, including the FCDA.

I know the agreement signed between the cities and county. I know we can cancel any portion or all of it at any time we wish. I know the State law. I know we do not select who is on the FCDA Board for PTC.

It is not a Joint Development Authority.

What you said is not factual per any agreement, state or other law.

No portion of our City Budget pays for the FCDA. Its funding is set and provided by the County. Emily is an agreement with the FCDA, not part of the FCDA. We can stop the agreement with a 30 day notice.

As I said, give me an email address and I will send you a copy of the law.

We need a full fledged partnership to achieve all our needs. Fayetteville works with the FCDA and their DDA. They need both since the FCDA does not do everything.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

I am always right...say it a thousand times..repeat after me...

by certainly not qualified...

that it's not worth the time in trying to reason with you.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

The Pinewood people will seek out the movers and the shakers to help get things done and good old Donnie will be gone by then. He could queer the deal , if you know what I mean.

Live free or die!

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