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Manufacturer eyeing Brunswick
A Florida manufacturer wants to call the Brunswick waterfront home.

Pac Comm Inc., a civil contractor that specializes in marine construction and dredging, plans to move its headquarters to the site of the former Golden Isles Seafood Co. on Bay Street. The property faces East River.

"Our headquarter's office is moving to Brunswick," said David Juelle, chief operating officer. "We will be hiring probably a local staff within a year or two-year transition, somewhere between five and 15 full-time employees at the facility."

Pac Comm's main office in Miami will be reduced in size but will remain open to cater to a Navy facility in Key West.

The company will not dredge in Brunswick but will perform maintenance on its equipment.

"I think a lot of people thought we were going to be dredging on the property and that's not the case," Juelle said. "We will be loading and unloading our barges."

Brunswick is an attractive location not only because of its waterfront but also because business leaders were receptive to the company and willing to help in its transition, Juelle said.

"I've been looking for waterfront property to move our facility to," he said. "After visiting most of the cities in Florida, we found it very hard for a young business like ours to find a property.

"People that were willing to assist were in Brunswick."

Nathan Sparks, executive director of the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority, feels it's a good sign.

"It's always nice to prevail in competition with a much larger market," Sparks said, noting that the company had looked at waterfront properties in Jacksonville.

The jobs created will be "high skilled and high wage jobs," Sparks said, in the $18-$22 per hour range.

The Brunswick City Commission approved a rezoning petition Wednesday allowing the company to operate the parcel as general industrial. Only one of the five city commissioners voted against the rezoning - Julie Martin.

Martin understands the importance of bringing jobs into Brunswick, but she is wary of rubber stamping plans that involve the city's waterfront.

The property is within the boundaries of Old Town.

"Sometimes decisions get made short-sightedly without a longer view," Martin said, though noting the company is an important employer.

The property is surrounded by the Georgia Ports Authority and OSAN Petroleum.

"I understand exactly where (Commissioner Martin) is coming from," said Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson.

Thompson was involved in the creation of the city's comprehensive plan and says he wants to see the best use made of the waterfront.

If the company had wanted to move south of OSAN Petroleum, Thompson said he would not have voted for the rezoning, but he sees it as a good opportunity for the company and for city residents looking for work.



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