Despite recession, city sees empty space utilized
MILTON, GA., Feb. 8, 2010 - In a time when empty office and retail space is a common sign of the recession, the City of Milton welcomed three new businesses in existing locations.
Ranging from Exide's laboratory for emerging battery technology, an information and expertise hub for a world-wide healthcare luminary Philips and a locally-owned UC Fitness center, each new Milton business represents an important segment of the city's diverse and thriving local economy.
"It's nice to know that these high-quality businesses recognize Milton as a great place to relocate or fulfill their goals and dreams," said Mayor Joe Lockwood.
The mayor said even with the new business activity, the community's vision of Milton as a pastoral retreat from the metro Atlanta area is still his and council's first priority.
"About 85 percent of our city is rural and/or residential and not meant for commercial use," said Lockwood. "It really says something - especially in today's economic climate - that the remaining 15 percent continues to be an attractive option for the business community."
On Wednesday, Jan. 27, globally renowned battery maker Exide Technologies opened a $4 million research laboratory at its Milton headquarters in Deerfield Professional Centre on Deerfield Parkway. At the laboratory, scientists will develop lead-acid and next generation lithium-ion batteries, both of which are poised to take American industry into the future.
Exide said 40 employees will be hired at the 20,000-square-foot laboratory, adding to the 200 Exide employees currently working in Milton.
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Philips Healthcare opened an 85,000-square-foot Customer Care Solutions Center at One Deerfield Center on Morris Road. According to the company, the new center services Philips Healthcare customers by leveraging local expertise to remotely support hospitals across North America, South America and Latin America.
Philips said the new location brings more than 400 workers to Milton, including 22 new jobs. This makes the healthcare technology giant one of the city's biggest employers.
Philips employs about 1,500 workers in Georgia.
As part of the opening, the company donated to the Milton Fire Department a Philips Heartstart Defibrillator.
On Thursday, Feb. 4, UC Fitness opened a new training facility in Milton's Watercrest Village shopping center on North Main Street.
The business is home to five fitness experts who operate under a single roof, each as their own operation and serving their own clientele.
"From the City of Milton's top-tier community development team, to the city's enthusiastic local business owners and the dynamic team at the North Fulton Chamber, I've been received warmly as a new business owner," said Toby Eddison, owner of Next Level in Fitness Training and a member of the UC fitness team.