The Georgia Bioscience Joint Development Authority last week appointed a committee to explore a possible “partnership” between the JDA and a locally owned company hoping to develop a research park off Hwy. 316 in Statham.
The company, MDI-Coley LLC, was formed in 2005 and is headed by Stan Coley. During a presentation at the Feb. 2 meeting in the Winder Community Center, he explained the vision for his development and asked for the panel’s support.
Coley said he envisions his “Coperniche Campus” as becoming a world-class facility with 700,000 square feet of research space to help not only the local economy but also humanity.
His company’s vision is “research first” and its motto is “to create wealth.” But instead of defining wealth as money, his team defines it as “eminent projects combined with eminent purpose that result in eminent impact.”
Coley’s property at adjacent to the future Hwy. 211 interchange of Hwy. 316 is one of 10 industrial sites certified by the Georgia Ready for Accelerated (GRAD) Site Program. The only GRAD-certified site in Northeast Georgia, it is "shovel ready" with all of the necessary zoning, studies, permits and utilities in place, according to marketing materials.
The site was originally 102 acres, but MDI-Coley sold 16 of the acres for the ongoing development of a U.S. Army Reserve training facility.
That left two adjacent tracts with a total of 86 acres. Lanier Tech officials are considering locating the new Barrow County technical college campus there.
Four counties formed the Georgia Bioscience JDA seven years ago to help transform the 316 corridor into a research park magnet on the scale of the Research Triangle in North Carolina. The counties include Athens-Clarke County, Barrow, Gwinnett and Oconee, and each has three representatives on the 12-member authority.
Appointed to the exploratory committee last week were JDA members Dan Gellar of Athens-Clarke County, Chuck Horton of Oconee County, Jann Moore of Gwinnett County and Boyd McLocklin of Barrow County.
Joint development authorities typically assist with economic development ventures by issuing revenue bonds.