Potential Bibb County project may be dead

The flailing economy is taking a toll on a company that would bring about 70 jobs and an investment of about $20 million to Bibb County.

The company, which is referred to as “Project Freeze,” has not renewed an option for property in the Interstate 75 Business Park on Hartley Bridge Road, said attorney Kevin Brown during Monday’s Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority meeting.

“The question is whether they want to continue with that project,” Brown said.

Potential projects are referred to by code names during negotiations and public meetings.

The project has received tax abatement approval from the city, county and school board.

Pat Topping, senior vice president of the Macon Economic Development Commission, said he has been working with Project Freeze for more than two years. The company planned to build a building once they had a tenant ready to go in it.

Topping said he spoke with a company official last week and that “they haven’t completed what they need to do to push it forward. ... (The project here) is on life support. It could still happen, but business is down and their customer couldn’t make a commitment.”

On the other hand, Project Pilot is in the works that involves an existing company in the Airport Industrial Park in south Bibb County.

“It might save 100 jobs,” Topping said.

Even though the economy is having an effect on companies looking to expand, Topping said that during October he opened eight new project files and had four visits from companies looking to locate or relocate here.