A million-dollar transaction will put GroGreen Solutions in the former Croft Metals building in Osyka for seven years, with the possibility of up to 50 new jobs developing.
GroGreen, a supplier of erosion control products based in Macon, Ga., moved into the building last November after starting its Pike County operations on Highway 98 east of McComb.
The Pike County Economic Development District board agreed Tuesday to buy the Osyka building and 7.2 acres from Osyka Industries LLC, owned by the estate of McComb businessman Norman Gillis Jr.
The sale price for the 116,000 square-foot building and the land fronting Highway 51 is $1,020,000. Two appraisals valued the site at about $1.5 million.
GroGreen is paying $250,000 toward the building purchase. The economic development district is paying $420,000 and Pike County approved paying $350,000 last week.
The economic development board also approved a lease-purchase agreement with GroGreen that if completed will repay most or all of the public money put up for the purchase.
GroGreen signed an eight-year lease and will pay $10,000 per month for the first 77 months of the agreement.
The company has 13 employees in the building and will get a $1,000 credit on the $770,000 lease for each new full-time job it creates in Osyka.
The maximum credit is $50,000 and would be given to the company if it has created an additional 50 full-time jobs by mid-2025 that pay an average of $13.95 per hour.
If that happens, GroGreen would have 63 employees in Osyka.
At the end of the lease in 2026, the company will have the option to buy the building for a dollar. The company’s total payments on the property by then, including the $250,000 up front and the monthly lease, will equal the $1,020,000 sale price unless GroGreen earns the employment credits.
Economic development officials said GroGreen’s board of directors must still approve the agreement.
The county is getting its money for the Osyka purchase from $700,000 it received last year when it sold the former Kellwood building on Frank Oakes Road at Fernwood.
The economic development district is taking its share of the purchase price from its cash balance of about $1 million. Officials said it will use GroGreen’s lease payments to rebuild that balance in the coming years.
Economic development district attorney Brandon Frazier said the Osyka building has an interesting history. In 1960, the town and Pike County borrowed $300,000 to develop the property as a manufacturing site for Croft Metals.
Croft left the building within 20 years, Frazier said, and at least one other industry located there for a brief time in the 1980s. Gillis bought the property in the late 1980s.