BLOOMINGDALE, Ga. (WTOC) - Thursday, Bloomingdale City Council made a decision on the controversial rezoning of nearly 600 acres of Ottawa Farms.
The council stood locked at three for and three against, leaving Mayor Ben Rozier to cast the deciding vote. A vote he made in favor of the rezoning.
“Growth is coming. You can either prepare for it, get run over by it, or let it pass you by. We’re trying to prepare for it,” said Mayor Rozier nearly a week later.
The mayor speaking candidly about his decision to vote to rezone Ottawa Farms as industrial, effectively allowing a developer to build eight or nine warehouses on the property.
A property the mayor once feared the city would lose.
“Mr. Waller said, ‘If Bloomingdale doesn’t support this I’m going to go elsewhere with my development.’”
Mr. Waller is the owner of Ottawa Farms
The mayor explained what Waller meant was he was going to de-annex, essentially taking his property and any money that would come from it possibly to Pooler or Chatham County.
“It was in Bloomingdale’s best interest to maintain the property in Bloomingdale and maintain some sort of control over what goes there,” said Mayor Rozier.
As for what could go there?
They don’t know for sure yet, but the Mayor has his eyes on Amazon.
A one million square foot facility to be exact, and by the mayor’s estimate a $300 million project.
“To me that’s big news," said Mayor Rozier, "I’ve been involved in politics there since 2002 and that’s the biggest thing to come down the pike ever since.”
Aside from industry growth in the city, Mayor Rozier admitting he had another motivation to get this passed.
“I want a gym out of this. If you give me a gym, I will fight for it,” he expressed to both the developer and Mr. Waller.
Something they were happy to help with, donating $1.75 million dollars to construct a gym.
As for the future of Bloomingdale, well, the mayor says this may be just the beginning.
“We’ve got developers lined up now behind them, ready to do more.”
Right now, there is no word on when construction will begin for the warehouses on the Ottawa Farms property or the future gym.