Mycoal to put its HQ here

Maybe it's a sign economic development is heating up.

Earlier this week, a company that makes body-warming products announced it will build its North American headquarters in Gwinnett.

Mycoal Products Corp. is locating a nearly 88,500-square-foot facility in Suwanee - the first American operation for the Japanese company. The company is expected to create 100 jobs.

Mycoal will move into a manufacturing and distribution facility in Horizon Creek Distribution Center. The building will be owned by AMB, a San Francisco-based real estate investment trust. It will be developed by Atlanta-based Seefried Properties.

"We are thrilled to welcome Mycoal to Gwinnett and to Suwanee," Scott Morris, director of economic development for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release.

"Gwinnett's large, reliable labor force, strategic location on I-85 and strong business climate will be important assets as Mycoal increases its presence in our region. This growing international company is an excellent addition to Gwinnett's diverse business community."

CID ends first year

With little fanfare, the Gwinnett Community Improvement District is wrapping up its first year.

While no high-rises have sprung up, organizers of the self-taxing district have launched a major clean-up of a retail area that suffered from litter and vandalism in recent years.

A company now removes 30 to 40 bags of trash a week from the district. Almost all the graffiti has been removed, said newly appointed CID Director Joe Allen.

"There's very little in comparison to when we started," Allen said.

Next up for Allen and the CID Board is a study of Satellite Boulevard. The district is paying for the analysis, which looks at how to dress up the boulevard right down to the style of park benches and streetlights.

Allen hopes the study can help the CID get funding through the Livable Centers Initiative, an Atlanta Regional Commission program that can help aging retail areas like Gwinnett Place rekindle their glory days.

No glory for these

golf drivers

The cameras will focus on the golf played at this weekend's BellSouth Classic, not Benjamin Smith.

But Smith and his family are an important and overlooked part of the tournament. He, along with two grandsons, a daughter, a granddaughter and other family members are part of the team of drivers shuttling fans from parking lots to the TPC at Sugarloaf clubhouse.

They are working 16-hour days and getting about one-fourth of that back in sleep every night. They sometimes leave the course as late as 10 p.m., get back to their South Atlanta homes about 11 p.m. and wake up to do it all over again before dawn.

Smith, who works for George's Motor Coach, says "I just pray before I get here that I can say something today to make someone feel good."

E-mail Doug Sams at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.