A huge Christmas present for Rome/Floyd County’s economy this morning. International Paper confirmed plans to double down on its holdings here, reinvesting up to $150 million, retaining its current work force and adding perhaps 40 additional jobs. Much of the money will be spent on equipment and machinery.
The announcement comes from Tuesday morning’s Rome Floyd Development Authority meeting at the Rome Floyd Chamber.
It is perhaps the biggest project investment since Lowe’s announced plans to build its massive distribution center north of Ga. 140 and Ga. 53 in Shannon at a cost of $125 million.
The deal also dwarfs the 2014 reinvestment in the Rome area plant that came in at around $110 million.
The announcement, made during the development authority meeting but somewhat held below radar, is huge, especially at a time when economic development and existing industry reinvestment is being examined in the community. What to know about the Rome Mill campus:
• Current size: Approximately 480 employees
• What’s producted: Linerboard
• History: Began operating in 1954 as a joint venture between Mead Corporation and Inland Container; became part of International Paper in 2012. For more.
The International Paper announcement is the latest investment/reinvestment in Rome/Floyd County: Since 2014, projects include:
- Balta USA to the former Florida Tile site (75 jobs).
- International Paper’s $110 million reinvestment to retail more than 450 jobs in 2014.
- Stemco’s $16 million expansion and 50 new jobs.
- Ball Corp.’s $50 million expansion with 40 additional jobs.
- $8 million expansion by Neaton Rome adding 50 jobs.
- Bekaert’s recovery from a critical fire in November 2014 that resulted in a $45 million investment in the Rome plant, a move that earned the chamber statewide honors.
That’s more than $360 million in investments here and new 240 jobs based only on a quick review of news archives. That doesn’t count jobs retained, which includes 500 alone at the paper company.
Dating back to 2011, that’s nearly a half billion dollars when you add the Lowe’s project into the picture.