The Douglasville City Council approved an ordinance to reduce the number of parking spaces planned for the Bright Star Logistics center on Monday night. The reduction from 397 to 181 parking spaces allows more space for 255 tractor-trailer trucks to park at the distribution center. The parking lot is for the Phase III building of the three-phase Bright Star project.
Distribution centers usually keep the number of workers down, according to Ward 2, Post 2 City Councilman Mark Adams and Douglasville Building Official Mike Mettler. The parking lot plans to have two-way traffic and there will also be an island to isolate the private vehicles, Mettler said. There should be enough parking room for any of the four potential industrial businesses and e-commerce companies that are planned to go in the logistics center, according to Mettler.
“Thank-you very much, Mr. Mettler,” Adams said before the council’s vote. “I just want to make sure that we don’t do something that’s going to come and bite us at a later time. I would hope that you bring that information forward to us for further review of the ordinance for parking in some later time so that we can be competitive with our neighbors and continue to attract businesses like this.”
Councilman Mike Miller, whose ward borders the logistics center, and Councilman Terry Miller gave their concerns with the center in general in past council meetings. Both said trucks coming through the area around the project on a regular basis only adds to an area with traffic issues. Mike Miller made clear he wasn’t happy at Monday night’s meeting, but Terry Miller cast his vote in favor of the parking space change to allow for more tractor trailers.
“The parking spaces are a somewhat peripheral issue to the overall development which had already been approved,” Terry Miller said after the meeting.
The Bright Star Logistics Center is projected to have more than 570,000-square-feet of industrial buildings.
Phase I of the center’s construction is within a couple of months of being completed, according to Ordner Construction Superintendent Buddy Cornelius. That building’s phase, north of the Wood Road, is going to be a distribution center for Andersen Windows and Doors. Andersen is the largest window and door manufacturer in North America and employs more than 11,000 people in North America. Planning is underway for Phase II, which is expected to be completed in a couple of years, according to Mayor Pro Tem Richard Segal. One phase is focused on distribution and the other phase is focused on manufacturing.
Phase III of the project is the land south of Wood Road, which is currently just dirt piles on the site. If the city approves a land disturbance permit early next month, then Phase III would be built as a 330,000-square-foot speculative building that could lease ideally to four industrial businesses and e-commerce companies, according to Industrial Agency Managing Director Pat Murphy.
The center is expected to employ 90-120 jobs once Phase I is completed and 1,100 total when both phases are completed, Mettler told the Sentinel last September.
Another topic that was brought up at Monday night’s city council meetings was the city’s newest policies on its internship program. This year, six interns, preferably college students in the state of Georgia, will be selected to work with government officials for eight weeks in the summer. Each intern will be paid $12-$14 an hour for up to 24 hours a week and the city has already budgeted payment for the students.