The city of Conyers may be searching for a new home for a proposed business incubator.
Acuity Brands donated a building and 42 acres to the city in 2010, and Mayor Randy Mills announced plans to use the building to house a business incubator a year later.
However, the plans have been stalled as Acuity and environmental agencies work to transfer the building to the city.
Mayor Randy Mills said he and Councilman Marty Jones have spoken with members of the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners about possibly housing the incubator in the former Maxell building on Parker Road.
The committee in charge of the incubator began looking at other sites during the environmental inspections to the Acuity building, Jones said.
"A couple of months ago, we at the city were discussing the Acuity site, and we started thinking, 'Is this the best site for this?'" he said. "The building at Parker Road, the site is better with the college and the incubator. We've got higher education already at that location."
The Rockdale Career Academy is located near the old Maxell building, and Mills said bringing the incubator to that location would give it additional educational resources.
"The reason for using the Maxell site on Parker Road, if you think of location from just education, you'd be creating an educational synergy," Mills said. "We're just exploring more options to ensure the success of it."
One of the problems with the Acuity building, according to Mills, is the Acuity building contains too much space. If the incubator were housed in the Acuity building, more than half the building would go unused.
The incubator's college partner needs 30,000 square feet of space to house its operations, according to Jones. The college must be in place before the incubator can be established.
Rockdale Commission Chairman Richard Oden said he thought the idea of bringing a business incubator to Rockdale County was a good one, and he would be willing to work with the city.
"Partnering with the city is always a great idea. I think the city and the county, the mayor and I, need to sit down and have further conversations about how to go about doing that," Oden said. "We just need to find out logistics -- the whos, the whats, the whens, the wheres, the whys -- and the impacts of it."
The idea of creating an education block in Rockdale also appealed to the chairman.
"The city and the county will continue to work as a collaborative partner along with the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Council and certainly the school system," Oden said. "The local college is already in place. We already have a team we've brought in. I met with the president of Clayton State University, Dr. Tim Hynes, and we brought him in to talk to us several years ago, and he decided, and his board decided, to bring in Clayton State master's program. So, it shows that the county is willing to work with anyone to create a higher educational environment, and we were successful in doing that as a team."
Jones said he would be willing to turn the deal with the college over to the county, and then partner with the county for the business incubator.
"We've always seen this project as a combination of the city, the county and the joint economic development. It involves all the partners," Mills said. "It's a community collaborative project."
Oden said he has not been presented with a specific game plan for a business incubator. Mills said the city is still in the preliminary stages with finding a permanent home for the incubator.
"We are exploring everything -- the idea of going to Maxell is very preliminary," Mills said. "At the end of the day, we know this is a game changer, what we're trying to do. But we want to make sure the incubator is successful."