The company, which was considering moving outside the county, will get $50,000 to stay in Cobb.
The announcement was made during the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s First Monday Breakfast at the Cobb Galleria by Jim Budzinski, the Chamber’s vice chair of development committee and WellStar’s chief financial officer.
The company, which was purchased by Amazon.com in 2008, sells fabrics, patterns, sewing tools and accessories.
Brooks Mathis, vice president of economic development for the chamber, said Fabric.com needed more space than they could find in Marietta.
“It came to us from the State of Georgia and the company needed to move into a larger location,” Mathis said. “When that opportunity presented itself, it also presented the option to move out of Cobb County.”
Mathis said discussions about the company’s relocation began eight months ago.
“The task for us was to keep them in Cobb and to keep the 200 jobs in Cobb and … they will be growing by adding another 50 jobs, so we really stood to lose 250 jobs if they found a community and building outside of Cobb County,” he said.
The company will relocate from its 56,000-square-foot facility off Northwest Parkway in Marietta near Dave and Buster’s to a 200,000-square-foot space in the Jiles Commerce Park, off Jiles Road in Kennesaw.
Fabric.com has signed an eight-year lease with Republic Property Company of Atlanta for the Kennesaw building.
Mathis said the company is expected to spend more than $4 million renovating the new building and buying new equipment.
“In this economy we also have to compete … just to keep what we have,” Mathis said. “It was a great team effort, and people in Cobb will still be able to have their jobs here.”
Bob Fox, director of economic development for the City of Kennesaw, said that the company is scheduled to move in by Aug. 1.
“It has a huge benefit to the city economically because it brings a lot of economic vitality,” Fox said. “It’s very positive and the thing that’s very attractive is that it’s a very stable company. We think it’s very good for Cobb County and Kennesaw that we were able to retain them in Cobb and put them in a location and position them where they’d still be successful and continue to grow their business.”
Fox said the Kennesaw Development Authority agreed to give the company $50,000.
“The purpose of the funding was to help make the Kennesaw building competitive with other options outside Cobb County and retain the jobs and investment in Kennesaw and Cobb,” Fox said. “$25,000 will be provided in the fall of 2012 and additional $25,000 will be provided in fall of 2013.”
“The (development authority) funds are independent from the (City of Kennesaw),” he said.
Fox said he did not know the company’s annual revenue because they declined to share that figure with the development authority.
Beth Sessoms, the City of Marietta’s director of economic development, said that while it is unfortunate that the company is leaving Marietta, she was happy that it was at least staying in Cobb County.
“The CEO and president said he loved being in Marietta, but we didn’t have a building large enough to put them in,” she said.
Sessoms said Marietta will not only lose the business-license fee of $2,700 and taxes on some equipment, but also what the employees spend in the city on their lunch breaks.
“It will impact us a little bit, but hopefully we can fill that space,” she said. “Our goal was that if we can’t keep them in Marietta, at least they’d be in Kennesaw. You just can’t be everything to everyone.”
Sessoms also spoke to the city’s need for larger buildings like the one that Fabric.com is moving into in Kennesaw.
“Because (Marietta is) so built out, we don’t have large spaces like that,” she said. “We do have some big buildings, but they don’t always meet the needs. I hope with time that our city leaders will start looking at how we can start creating space for other businesses to stay in Marietta.”
Cobb County resident and CEO Stephen Friedman started Fabric.com in 1993 under the name Phoenix Textiles Group Inc., as a wholesale distributor of apparel fabrics. In 1999, the company expanded to online retail, selling cut-yardage fabrics directly to consumers and was renamed Fabric.com.