Monday, May 06, 2024

Oconee County Commission To Vote On Concept Plan For IMI Corporate Campus In Gateway Technology and Business Park

***IDA Has Modified Development Guidelines***

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night will review and almost certainly approve a concept plan for the future IMI Corporate Campus on Aiken Road in the Gateway Technology and Business Park on the edge of Bogart.

The Conceptual Site Plan shows an eight-building complex for IMI Industrial Services Group that includes a corporation office, a fabrication building, a machine shop, a stainless steel shop, and buildings for future expansion.

IMI, currently located in the Watkinsville Industrial Park, will leave that location and move its entire operation to Gateway.

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority (OCIDA), a county entity, currently owns the 52.1 acre property in the Gateway Park that it is selling to IMI.

The Board of Commissioners has initiated the rezone modification before it and is asking itself to amend the original concept plan, architectural elements, and landscaping buffers for the 45.7 acres that are in the county. Bogart has responsibility for the remaining 6.4 acres.

The rezone condition before the Oconee County Commission states that the corporate office, which will front on Aiken Road, will have an 80 percent brick and stone facade and that the remaining buildings, including those backing up on SR 316, will be metal sided.

A buffer will be required along SR 316 that will include a 10 foot high berm with six-feet evergreen trees as well as a six-foot imitation wood/vinyl fence on top of the berm.

The Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday begins with the first presentation of the Fiscal Year 2025 budget and with the first public hearing on that budget.

Industrial Development Authority Action

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) in August of last year agreed to sell the 52.8-acre western most parcel in Gateway Technology and Business Park to IMI Industrial Services Group.

Submitted By IMI

The contract set the sale price at $37,500 per acre, which, based on the existing survey, would total to $1,981,012.

The IDA agreed in principal in October to revise the Development Guidelines it created in 2000 to accommodate the IMI plans as well as those submitted by Technology Park Atlanta for another 36.4 acres in Gateway Technology and Business Park .

The original guidelines did not anticipate manufacturing and warehouse buildings in the Gateway Park.

In 2020, the IDA sold the 36.4 acres in the eastern tract of the Gateway Technology and Business Park to Rodwood Investments, a subsidiary of Taylors Iron Company.

Taylors Iron, which produces miscellaneous metal products at four plants in Georgia, including one in the Watkinsville Industrial Park, decided not to leave its Watkinsville site.

On May 1, Gateway East Owner LLC purchased those 36.4 acres from Rodwood Investments for $1.4 million, according to county tax records. Gateway East Owner LLC lists its address as the Atlanta Office of Technology Park Atlanta.

IDA Meetings

At its brief meeting on March 25, the Industrial Development Authority discussed the zoning changes needed for the IMI sale and extended the inspection period for the IMI purchase contract to May 1.

The closing is expected by June 1, County Attorney Daniel Haygood said.

At that meeting on March 25, the IDA officially approved the amendment to its Development Guidelines to accommodate IMI and Technology Park Atlanta.

At its meeting on April 19, County Attorney Haygood said that Rodwood Investments, then still the owner of the 36.4 acres to be developed by Technology Park Atlanta, had discovered that the “retention pond and some of the easements didn’t work for what they wanted to do.”

The IDA then voted to amend its covenants, restrictions and easements for the Gateway Technology and Business Park to accommodate those drainage easement modifications that Rodwood requested.

The plans submitted by Technology Park Atlanta show four buildings running in parallel, each subdivided with a small "Office Area" in  front of a much larger open warehouse space behind that office space.

The rear of the buildings show a loading dock for each of the warehouses. 

Rezone Request

IMI has submitted concept renderings for its building as part of the rezone request before the Board on Tuesday.

It states that “The proposed metal siding is to be a non-contrasting color that would discourage unsightly views from adjacent properties.”

“The muted color of the buildings would allow the aesthetic of the landscape to take precedence over the buildings themselves,” it states.

“The architectural accents along the structures would be a neutral color brick and/or stone,” according to the submitted documents. “The accents would be located along the base of the buildings to an approximate height of 48 inches.”

IMI submitted what it called “precedent images that are for reference only. These images help to portray the idea of the aesthetic being non-binding.”

The conditions before the Commission for adoption state that the “Development design and structures shall meet or exceed the standards indicated on the concept plan, narrative, and other documents submitted with the zoning application and attached hereto.”

The conditions also require a buffers along Pete Dickens Road and Aiken Road consisting of a five feet high berm with six feel ever green and a six feel imitation wood/vinyl fence on top.

Adjacent to residential zones or uses, larger buffers meeting the county’s Unified Development Code are required, according to the listed conditions for the rezone.

Four parcels, three containing houses, abut but are not included in the acreage being rezoned.

Other Board Action

The agenda for the Tuesday Commission meetings includes six items placed on the consent agenda at the April 30 agenda setting meeting.

Included is renewal of the existing agreements with Oconee Futbol Club and Oconee County Little League for concessionaire services at county park facilities.

Revenue would be $2,000 from Oconee Futbol Club and $5,000 from Oconee County Little League, or 10 percent of gross, whichever is greater.

The Commission also has tentatively approved spending $360,000 to purchase six vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office from the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget that were included in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget but not spent.

The Commission also agreed to accept a $43,000 donation of Special Purchase Local Option Sales Tax revenue from North High Shoals that will be used to purchase battery operated extrication tools to be used by Oconee County Fire Rescue.

Bruce Thaxton, Oconee County Fire Chief, told the Commission that every fire station in the county will have “standardized and updated vehicle extrication tools” as a result of the donation.

The consent agenda items will be adopted by the Board without further discussion unless a Commissioner requests that an item be removed before a vote.

The Commission also is scheduled to discuss and consider an unspecified budget amendment for the District Attorney’s Office.


The Oconee County Commission meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in the County Administrative Building, 7635 Macon Highway, north of Watkinsville.

The video below combines the brief IDA meeting on March 25 with the somewhat longer meeting on April 19.

The video transitions from one meeting to the other at 4:47 in the video.

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