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Distribution center brings 108 jobs to Newnan-Coweta

A company that makes sure you get your fast-food orders filled at Chick-fil-A, Arby’s, Burger King and Captain D’s and your sit-down orders at Red Lobster and Olive Garden is setting up shop in the Coweta County Industrial Park, bringing 108 jobs to the Newnan area.

MBM Foodservice — one of the largest privately owned foodservice distributors in the nation, specializing in providing food to more than 25,000 nationally franchised restaurants — will spend $12.6 million to convert a spec building to its needs, according to a news release Thursday from the office of Gov. Nathan Deal.

The Newnan site joins other MBM distribution centers in LaGrange, Macon and Cordele, plus centers in 15 other states.

MBM will lease a speculative shell building in Coweta Industrial Park in Newnan, with upgrades expected to begin immediately, the news release says. Pattillo Construction will complete the building upgrades, which will include the addition of a freezer, cooler and dry storage areas to suit MBM’s needs. The company expects to begin hiring for the newly created positions during the first quarter of 2012.

“MBM Foodservice is among the many distribution operations in Georgia that have found success here because of the strength of our high-performing logistics infrastructure,” Gov. Deal said. “Georgia works aggressively to make certain that we remain a global logistics hub. Our position as a leader in this area makes doing business easier for companies like MBM and others that rely on a sound freight and transportation network to meet their customers’ growing needs.”

MBM Foodservice, based in Rocky Mount, N.C., is one of the nation’s largest customized food-service distributors for national and regional restaurant chains. The company services customers in nearly all 50 states and also internationally. MBM’s list of customers includes top restaurant chains, consisting of quick serve and casual dining concepts. The Newnan facility will serve as one of MBM’s main food distribution centers for its customers in the Southeast.

“We are delighted that MBM has chosen to locate a facility in Coweta County,” said David Brown, chairman of the Coweta County Development Authority. “MBM is a well-recognized name in the food-service distribution industry and is ranked by Forbes as one of the top 50 privately held companies in the United States. We appreciate the company’s commitment to our community, and we look forward to working with MBM for many years to come.”

“MBM choosing this facility is a strong endorsement of the leadership in Coweta County, the strategic location in Coweta Industrial Park and the talented workforce in the region,” said Larry Callahan, CEO of Pattiillo Industrial Real Estate. “Pattillo has had the opportunity to serve MBM before, and we know they are a first-class addition to Coweta County.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) partnered with the Coweta County Development Authority to manage the MBM Foodservice expansion project. GDEcD project manager EJane Caraway managed this project on behalf of the state.

“MBM’s expansion in Georgia goes a long way to validate many of the initiatives we’re managing to help our existing industries be as competitive as possible in all the strategic markets where they do business,” said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “This expansion is a credit not only to our logistics system, but also to our nationally recognized business climate that keeps Georgia top of mind for companies seeking to expand or locate here.”

Founded in 1947, MBM is one of the nation’s largest customized food-service distributors for national and regional restaurant chains.

MBM is recognized by Forbes as one of the top 50 privately held companies in the United States. The company has been a privately held family business since its inception.

Headquartered in North Carolina, MBM has gained an outstanding reputation for establishing world-class standards in the food-service industry. MBM services customers in nearly all 50 states as well as internationally.



Robert W. Morgan's picture

you know - the one the developer/major landowner built in the industrial park to attract business? Oh that's right - our developer doesn't have the cojones to do that - they had to be coerced into simply pregrading a site.
But then I wonder if MBM talked to our Development Authority to negotiate tax breaks from the city? Oh no, DAPC is focused on redesigning shopping centers and reducing parking spaces and city council has given them either $0 or $7500 to operate this year - depending upon who you want to believe.
Then I wonder how quickly city council and DAPC could get together to decide on tax breaks. Maybe they could put a professional package ahead of time to coincide with the construction of that spec building. Oh well, I guess not.
I wonder if our EDC had a chance to meet with MBM and show them our industrial park. Oh, I guess not since council has not tried to fill that position since Grisham left.
So I guess our mayor filled in and showed them around, right? Well no, he didn't brag about that, so I guess it didn't happen. Maybe he was in Orlando on city business.

I'm thinking we have some obstacles to overcome before the next job-creating announcement names Peachtree City. Doesn't anyone else see how amatuerish we are at industrial recruitment?

Live free or die!

Mike King's picture

As long as there is discord, folks having to have the last word, in fighting, inflated egos, and the like you can forget about business development. Business owners, entrepreneurs are looking for locales with forward looking administrations with which they can grow. Backstabbing diminutive politicians are not conducive to positive growth.

Randy Boyett's picture

Well said Mr. King. It has been impossible to have any reasonable development program due to one person. Hopefully, that is now contained so that it is irrelevant - now reasonable as well as practical development efforts will be put into place.

Randy Boyett

mudcat's picture

Agree that a Allen, Haddix, Dienhart alliance desperately clinging to DAPC would set things back even more, but we have avoided that. Now it is time for the ladies to approach Deinhart (or vice versa) with a sensible business developpment plan and take it to Eric for budget approval. No reason for Peachtree City to sit on the sidelines as the business climate gradually improves. Robert's post is heavy on the sarcasm but not inaccurate at all.

And if I may be so bold as to ask someone at the city - Betsy would be my first choice, but anyone can chime in here - What happens now when someone walks into city hall or calls on the phone asking about bringing a business to Peachtree City? To whom is that reffered?

Mr. King you received my write-in vote.

Randy Boyett's picture


I share your impatience - time to move now that the obstacle is cleared. But reality is that the election was 3 days ago. A solid plan, not some Village Center silliness, takes a while to put together.

But I am optimistic - I am betting we see a reasonable development plan presented this calendar year. I'd rather them get it right than shoot from the hip like some people and go off on unreasonable tangents.

If they get a plan out this year, I'll be impressed.

Randy Boyett

Mike King's picture

Thank you for the consideration.

My initial impression of what Council needs to do now is to muzzle the mayor, but since that is neither gentlemanly nor politically savvy Council must insure that Dandy Don is not allowed to go near the ARC. I say this realizing that most all of their work is done. The city can ill afford to give the man another pulpit.

Your idea of approaching Dienhart with their plan for development has substantial upsides including the fact that the two ladies have yet to allow their egos to subsume their thoughts while wielding the real power on Council. With Eric's experience and cooperation it can be seen that Mr Dienhart can either get with the program or be played like a yo-yo. His choice is clear, but coming out of Chicago with his similarities to and sentiment towards the mayor I predict a rough transition.

Randy Boyett's picture

Mr. King

Good insight. I wonder if Dienhart has been professional enough to reach out to the Council Women - or even Imker. All have a pretty good knowledge of what is happening in the City as well as what needs to be done. Hopefully he has overcome his embarrassment of making baseless claims and accusations and is actually moving forward responsibly to represent the citizens.

And I hope he had the good sense even before the election to sit down with the managers on the City staff to understand their perspectives of the priorities for the City. There is a good team on the staff. I really hope he did not just get his background from Haddix and believe it - that would spell disaster.

Randy Boyett

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Business owners looking to expand are also looking for quick answers from someone who has the authority to make decisions. Someone who is used to interacting with highly-placed executives or the actual owner of the company. That's about the only factor that can support the argument for an EDC - if the EDC is someone like John Boothby or Bob Lenox or Bob White or Todd Strickland or Scott Bradshaw.

Of course you could make the same argument for a DAPC if it is led someone like that as well.

Either requires city council to delegate authority and give up some control to someone who is likely smarter, more successful, better paid and even better-looking than any of the individuals on council. Hard to imagine it actually happening.

Live free or die!

Busy Bee's picture

than our mayor?

Randy Boyett's picture

You are right on - this has been frustrating. But I think we will see a lot of good things happen now that the distractions are gone.

Can you imagine having hired another EDC to work for the City and the election went the other way? That would have been an even shorter tenure than Joey. And the focus would then have been on wasting bond money on updating the Village Centers so that someone could have an EDC job in DAPC.

Overall, it was probably really smart to let things settle down so that once a direction is started, it has time to take hold. I'd bet we are going to see a lot of good things coming now that the Village Center silliness is out of the picture. That was a distraction for political purposes that kept any reasonable measure regarding development from moving ahead.

Randy Boyett

NUK_1's picture

In this case though, PTC or FC was likely never considered at all. MBM is a food distribution company that does long-haul trucking all over the region and US. If you have a bunch of semis coming and going all the time, would you locate in Coweta, Fairburn, or Fayette County? Interstate access is the key for a distribution company and that's something FC just can't offer.

With the election over, now is a great time to move forward with a consistent vision in PTC of what businesses(besides all those with great jobs of course!)PTC can viably compete for and who is going to do the "selling." No more BS of voting to go in one direction and the minority view clouding the issues and getting in the way. It would also help that if there is going to be an ED, you hire someone who shares the same vision that has been directed by City Council.

I know these guys (MBM Meats) and have met with them up at their headquarters in Rocky Mount, NC. There distribution model requires easy access to the interstate. PTC wouldn't be considered due to location and the building would have to be significant freezer space or be easily convertible, not an easy task. I don't know of any significant freezer-capable location in town going back to the days of Hi-Brand Foods back in the 70's at the corner of 54/74. Anyone remember that? I think that was primarily a meat packing plant, but can't say for sure. I remember all the elderly women coming out with their white jackets and hair nets on at 5:00 p.m. Very sexy.

Aside from that, I don't know why anyone would be sad that we did not land a distribution facility! Who wants the road clutter and influx of Senoians to work there! We want smart people with MBAs and PhDs walking and riding on the bike paths in their Brikenstocks while feeding the birds! Where are all those smart and affluent Porshe engineers going to live! We need to get them--create a Little Germany here in our fine and pristine city!

Donkey Shine!

I'm not sure PTC would have been a good fit or even considered for this project. A distribution center needs quick access to an interstate to get the product on the road and with PTC being 20 miles from I-85 and about 40 miles from I-75, it's going to be hard to compete with Newnan/Coweta and Griffin/Spalding for distribution centers. While jobs are scarce I'm not sure that's what we want to focus on anyway as it puts more 18 wheelers on the local roads. I like the idea of focusing on high tech or companies supporting the medical/health field. And don't overlook creating a good environment for entreprenurial ventures. That's where the real job growth occurs. Convert some of those empty buildings in the Industrial Park to small business incubators.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Guys, the issue is not about a distribution center or interstate highways, it is about the process of business development. Newnan and Coweta have a process that markets what they have to sell - warehouse and distribution. Not only do they know what they have, they know how to market it and they have people in both the public and private sectors working hard to make it happen.

Peachtree City has some vague idea of "gee some kind of business growth would be nice if wasn't too dirty and we didn't have to cut down any trees" and not one single person or entity properly tasked or funded to accomplish anything. Some people even believe that the Fayette County Development Authority and the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce lose sleep at night dreaming up ways to bring business to PTC. Suggest you push the reset button on that thought.

Maybe PTC was not considered for this particular distribution center but that should not prevent a professional business development person or entity who represents PTC from getting face time with the site selectors and statewide developers who assist these companies with their search. After all, once this search is over the same people start working on another for a different client.

So ask yourself, do those site selection people have PTC info in their files from their last search? Do they remember the nice young man (or woman) they met who was so knowledgable about Peachtree City and so willing to help? Demographic and employment info at their fingertips? No, not now they don't. We don't even have an active developer with an advertising budget like we used to. What we do have is a somewhat deserved reputation for being anti-business with unreasonable regulation which doesn't help. We are sitting here expecting someone to seek us out 12 miles from the interstate to knock on our door and beg us to buy some land. And that won't work!

Live free or die!

Busy Bee's picture

Corporate site selectors typically have a short list of criteria that they use to screen potential sites, one of which is often the length of time required to complete a project. A site with a short build time would win over one that requires a longer time frame. They are usually looking for something within a certain radius of their target location. If they see that a site will require re-zoning,or needing sewer and water, or a lot of approvals prior to construction then they will skip it in favor of a site that is ready to build. Having a person familiar with the requirements of corporate site selectors who could plan ahead and make sure that we have sites that are ready to go before someone comes looking could go a long way towards enticing a company with decent jobs to relocate here. If your city is known amongst the brokers who work with commercial and industrial development as being ready, then you will improve your odds of having a company move here.

mudcat's picture

The other thing that cuts way down on the timeline and uncertainty is having a spec building like Coweta did. Anybody knows that if a building is already there so is the sewer the grading the zoning, etc. And building from scratch takes a year - modifying an existing building takes 90 days.

The idea that Peachtree City government could work cooperatively with both itself and the developer and the land owner or better yet just buy the land and build the building is beyond comprehension.

We don't do teamwork here.

I love the avatar! Is that the Mayor at the City Hall Christmas Festival?

NUK_1's picture

[quote=madmike]I love the avatar! Is that the Mayor at the City Hall Christmas Festival?[/quote]


Busy Bee's picture

All dressed up and ready to light the "Holiday Tree"

Oh wait - that was a different mayor, wasn't it.

suggarfoot's picture

and have thought pretty much the same thing many times. Coweta has got its stuff together.

They are thinking...we are reacting.

Are you serious? Depending on the type of industry, highways and interstates absolutely make a difference with site selection! All things being fairly equal, a distribution center or business that needs to ship its product out is going with the location nearest the interstate pretty much everytime. Not only to get its product out to market quicker but to also reduce transportation costs. And Coweta being split by I-85 is always going to have that advantage.

Look, there are lots of factors a company considers when relocating or starting at a new location. Tax credits and incentives get alot of press and can be useful but they rarely are the driving force with the final decision. Look at Sturbaum's intitative to get the Industrial Park reclassified as a Tier I area. If we got anything out of that, I never heard about it. And I'm sure we would have if it had happened.

Infrastructure and a trained workforce are among the top considerations. With the unemployment rate so high not only in Fayette County but in the surrounding area, that should not be an issue. And with QuickStart, a company can tailor training toward its own particular needs. But as I understand it, our Industrial Park doesn't have sewage throughout the park. If true, a huge disadvantage!

But I do agree with your observation about the lack of an economic development professional hampering PTC's ability to attract new business. Throw in a mentally challenged anti-growth mayor and his meddling wife along with a clueless council and you have the perfect storm for business and industry non-growth.

And I still contend there is a lot that could be done to foster and grow small business here in PTC. With very little funding, the city could take over one of the empty Industrial Park buildings and start a small business incubator much like Carrollton's Burson Center.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Next week the city council has an item on their agenda which has to do with disbanding DAPC.
Sounds like a haddix witch hunt to me, but what do I know.
So they kill DAPC to put down the mayor. Fine. He's nuts. But then what have they got in mind to replace DAPC with? Huh?

An incubator building? Good idea, but how many on council even know what that is and how it works? Huh? Huh? Answer me!

Live free or die!

Randy Boyett's picture


Just saw the agenda item - that should be an interesting meeting.

But I am wondering what benefit you think that DAPC has and will bring to PTC? I may be missing something.

Randy Boyett

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Especially if it were not wrapped up in political turmoil. Issuing bonds for a worthwhile project like the college campus in Fairburn is one example. Nevertheless, I don't see the current council giving up the control they seem to so desperately need. Haddix has some glimmer of the actual value of DAPC in his little reptilian mind but council ties him and the DAPC together and without any logic that they will kill it to kill him. Stupid political games.

Live free or die!

Our little experiment with the DAPC so far has cost the taxpayers $750K to bail out the Tennis Center's bad loans for building and expanding the Tennis Center. How much more money should we invest to see if they can figure out a way to do something right?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I think the past DAPC problems were simply a bunch of good old boys playing loose with the rules to accomplish what they thought was the desired result. Probably couldn't happen today with all the scrutiny and instant communication.

But disbanding them is a bit extreme and certainly political as the emboldened by the election city council kills them off just to put Haddix in his place. It makes about as much sense as shutting down the GM plant because a drunk driver was driving a Chevrolet. And of course disbanding DAPC makes the only viable option to have a EDC and fill that position and that's also something that didn't work last time. I fear they are not even going to do that. The easy way out for council is to kill DAPC, not hire an EDC and rely upon Fayette County Development Authority to fill up our empty land and buildings. Extremely irresponsible, but certainly the path of least resistance for a council inexperienced and disinterested in business development and economic growth.

On the other hand, if city council and DAPC think that their job is to focus on retail space and they are going to talk about landscaping and parking spaces, that would truly be a waste of time and money. DAPC only deserves to survive if they are given funding and a directive to pursue industrial and office growth and job creation. Anything else is just plain silly.

Like Randy says, should be an interesting city council meeting. Let's see if anyone up there truly gets it or they are just using this to hammer Haddix.

Live free or die!

but keep in mind the reason the EDC "didn't work the last time" was due to the individual and concerted effort of one person, Mayor Haddix. The EDC was doomed to fail. The fact that DAPC over it's 10 year existence has little to show for itself other than a drain of taxpayer money indicate it hasn't worked either.
The underlying point you are making is that the DAPC has the potential for being effective if it is run by the right people under the right circumstances. That idea has some merit and I have admitted before on these blogs that it is hard for me to give it a fair shake due to its past and the shear teenage girl giggle love the Mayor has for it.
For me, revitalizing or sustaining the DAPC in Peachtree City is akin to the idea of Penn State revitalizing it's "troubled-youth" boys mentoring program. Sounds like a good idea in a vacuum but after the history, I gotta say, "no way, not now, and certainly not in this town."

Mike King's picture

The key is to insure Council has to have an up or down say in all matters DAPC especially when it come to taxpayer funds. 3-2 decisions are too easy maybe 5-0 or 4-1 depending upon the size/scope of any particular project. Council must bear the ultimate responsibility just like the Tennis Center loan being a Peachtree City responsibility because no one doubts that previous Council was not aware of what was happening.

Certainly Haddix is not the individual to hold a position of EDC in that he could never convince a super majority of anything much less a bond referendum. The whole city charter needs a major overhaul and this DAPC thing seriously thought out.

Just my take.

Randy Boyett's picture

I understand your concern with the issues surrounding Haddix and how it has affected DAPC and development. It has the appearance that politics had handcuffed development and to a great extent is has as I see it.

The only thing an Authority has is the power to buy land or issues bonds. If bonds or land purchase is required there is a 1997 Agreement with Fayette County Development Authority to provide those functions for PTC. I notice on the Council Agenda that FCDA will present this coming meeting so I'd bet we'll hear more about that.

So if we have a vehicle to provide bond and land purchase functions, why do we need an Authority? All of us recently had our sewer bills increased over 50% by WASA and there is not one darn thing that the elected government can do about it. The powers of an Authority can be detrimental as well as positive.

So in this case it just looks to me that there is more risk than upside to DAPC, notwithstanding the political issues. If we get a professionally educated and capable EDC reporting to Dr. Pennington, he/she can work closely with FCDA to bring business to PTC. The fact is that the State of Georgia is going to work at the county level so we need someone that helps build that relationship so that we get the opportunity to show off PTC as the place to relocate when those opportunities arise. Right now it looks to me we don't get those chances to participate because of the concerns about PTC - see the censure for more details.

Randy Boyett

Robert W. Morgan's picture

so their presentation will be since they can do that, what do you need DAPC for. Clearly that becomes the cover they need to do their 3-2 vote. That is already decided. What happens next is tricky. Do you let FCDA handle the marketing for PTC industrial sites? Pathways is completely disinterested and not even staffed with an industrial or office person, so no help there.

They are probably thinking an EDC with a marketing budget will generate interest and the FCDA will close the deal. Not the best solution, but workable if the elected officials - especially the mayor stay out of the way. Of course the temptation will be to not hire an EDC or hire one without a marketing budget or to hire one on a one-year trial or some other short-sighted halfway approach that produces minimal results. Only real solution after killing off DAPC is to hope the council funds a marketing budget and gets an EDC that can educate council about business development. Then we can hope that Haddix's replacement is savvy enough to stick with the program and we can start seeing results in 2014.

Live free or die!

That's an easy answer, Dead DJ! I don't believe anyone of them knows the first thing about small business incubators or how they work. Nor does there seem to be any desire to learn which is even worse! Small business incubators are nothing new....been around for years. There are several communities around the state that have them besides Carrollton's Burson Center and they have a pretty good track record of helping start up businesses get off the ground and grow.

I'm on the fence with DAPC. If adaquently funded and with the full support of the council, sure, it could do some good things like small business development. But the reality is that support is not there at the present time nor does there seem to be anything in the tea leaves that says that situation is going to change. So right or wrong, stick a fork in's done and let's move on.

But to your point in an earlier post, sure we absolutely do need somebody at the wheel when it comes to making sure PTC is on the state's radar with economic development. But for crying out loud, that should NOT be Mayor or Mrs. Mayor Haddix! If council majority believes that an EDC is the way to go, then fine, roll with it. Give the funding and tools to the EDC to do the job and lets see what kind of results he/she achieves.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I'm fine with that.

Thinking more about this than anyone on council has done for the last 20 years, I must say that the incubator buildings, the 3-wall spec industrial buildings, the pre-graded industrial sites, the clustered ethnic restaurants, the dry goods recycling center and the virtual office spaces are way beyond the current council's comprehension and we need to stop talking about all that on here. They may get confused. Or worse - interested.

Instead, the city council will hire an EDC for $35,000 a year or they will say "let Fayette County do our work" and then sit back and wait for nothing to happen which it will.

Live free or die!

NUK_1's picture

I'm on the fence with DAPC. If adaquently funded and with the full support of the council, sure, it could do some good things like small business development. But the reality is that support is not there at the present time nor does there seem to be anything in the tea leaves that says that situation is going to change. So right or wrong, stick a fork in's done and let's move on.

But to your point in an earlier post, sure we absolutely do need somebody at the wheel when it comes to making sure PTC is on the state's radar with economic development. But for crying out loud, that should NOT be Mayor or Mrs. Mayor Haddix! If council majority believes that an EDC is the way to go, then fine, roll with it. Give the funding and tools to the EDC to do the job and lets see what kind of results he/she achieves.[/quote]
Totally agree with you.

Make a firm decision one way or the other and stick to it. No more of what PTC just went through and Hell No to just sitting around and letting the charming Don Haddix represent the City in doing ANYTHING related to development or luring companies to locate or start up in PTC.

Brown and Haddix have done a "great" job of making PTC into a wasteland for business and you have to either have a DAPC or ED or both leading the way to change this sorry image. You also need people like Haddix totally out of the way besides shaking a few hands and not saying much at all.

DAPC may get the axe next week due to the desire by some on Council in sending the strongest possible statement to Haddix that what he wants doesn't matter any more than what any other Councilmember may want, and that the rest of the Council has no respect for him or his tactics. I'm not sure that is what needs to happen actually, but I certainly can understand WHY it would.

Time to decide, and then move on. If Haddix doesn't like the result, too bad. He can be on the losing end of 3-2 or 4-1 votes from now until he loses in 2013. Unlike his always wrong perception of Mayoral powers under the PTC City Charter(as Ted Meeker had to clue him in on again), he's one vote. He can make a lot of noise that is detrimental to the City and Council, but, at the end of the day, he's one vote.

Randy Boyett's picture


I think you have good insight but there are a couple of finer points that I think make a difference in the perspective. First, I don't know, but I'd bet that the Newnan catch was by Cowetta Development. The state development will only work at the county level as there are too many darn counties for them to work at the City level. If I had to bet, it would be that Cowetta Development drive the sale.

So far as your view of the Fayette County Development Authority you are right on in my opinion.PTC is probably not their priority and we have nobody working with them full time. There needs to be someone in PTC getting their attention and working beside them to bring new business to PTC. In my opinion that should be a professional Economic Development Coordinator reporting to Dr. Pennington.

You and I both know the problem up to now. If an EDC had been hired he probably would have been run out of town pretty quickly. The "Reasonable Council Majority" now has takeoff clearance to put a professional development plan and staff in place. I am hopeful - and willing to hold my impatience for a few weeks to see what plan emerges.

Randy Boyett

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