Five Star Architectural, an industry leader in commercial and residential cabinetry, broke ground Monday on a new 22,000-square-foot manufacturing facility off Grizzle Road in the former Grogan Business Park.
"We're excited about what this groundbreaking means to all of us," said Eric Sutton, president and CEO. "And to my employees, I truly appreciate everything that you guys do to make this a successful company. It's because of you guys that people support us ... that will allow us to grow here in Dawson County."
Friends, family, dignitaries and community members were on hand to welcome the business, which could be operational by September.
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a Republican from Gainesville, was among the crowd.
"I believe as your 9th District congressmen, I'm the No. 1 economic development cheerleader for the district to bring jobs to this area, because I believe in this area," Collins said.
"Jobs are part of what we get by life on. Jobs matter. Free enterprise matters. I thank you for moving here and being a part and for growing this community."
Relocating from Gainesville, Five Star Architectural's staff of 14 could grow by 10 to 20 in the coming years due to the expansion.
It's one of several businesses that have announced new locations near or along the busy Ga. 400 corridor.
Sutton's father, Russ, purchased several lots in the nearly vacant business park several years ago with plans to also relocate his business, Monolith Hospitality.
The elder Sutton said he hopes his son's decision to grow his business locally will "breathe life into this business park."
"I'm actually more proud to see Eric celebrate breaking ground," he said. "To see your son do this is a very special privilege of mine."
Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the Development Authority of Dawson County, said he sees both Five Star and Monolith as key components in north Georgia's economic and industrial "comeback."
"This business park is a big investment for them. This park has been a long time in developing, but we're excited that Monolith and Five Star have chosen Dawson County," he said.
"It is a growing county. We've had a lot of new, a lot of renewed activity along the Ga. 400 corridor. It's a very moving, dynamic area. We hope you find Dawson County to be everything that you want it to be."