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OFS plans put on hold

All that talk about new condos, stores and a hotel - part of a proposed mixed-use development in the Norcross area - appears to have stopped, at least for now.

The Norcross fiber-optics company that was selling land for that project is in a legal fight against the developer. OFS has filed suit against the Pennsylvania firm that planned to buy its land, claiming the real estate developer did not pay $5 million it owed for the purchase.

OFS planned to sell 75 acres of mostly abandoned land at its Norcross plant to Preferred Real Estate Investments, a company that redevelops factories and warehouses in the Midwest and Northeast.

OFS spokeswoman Sherry Salyer said the deal was supposed to close in September.

A lawsuit filed in Gwinnett County Superior Court claims that Preferred failed to put $4.5 million into an escrow account in June. An additional $500,000, entered into the account in March, has been frozen by Preferred, the lawsuit says.

OFS is seeking nearly $10 million plus attorney's fees in the lawsuit.

Scott Tattar, a Preferred spokesman, said he could not discuss why the contract with OFS had been terminated.

"It is what it is," he said. "We hope to still establish a positive presence in the Atlanta market. Hopefully, that will happen sooner than later."

Expansion plans

To offset severe overcrowding, Gwinnett Medical Center plans to add enough room for another 129 acute-care beds, a $92 million expansion that could take three years.

Gwinnett Hospital System, the nonprofit that runs the medical center, has submitted the initial paperwork - known as a certificate of need - to the state Department of Community Health, the regulatory agency that will decide whether the project gets the green light.

The proposal calls for a new five-story patient tower and upgrades to the hospital lobby.

The medical center's emergency room usually ranks among the state's most hectic, officials say. Although it is a 300-bed hospital, only 175 are dedicated to acute, surgical and intensive care. It has been named the busiest medical center for its size in the United States, according to health care research firm Solucient Group.

AGCO earnings miss

Wall Street mark

Farm equipment maker AGCO Corp.'s second-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates - the result of a slower market in all regions.

Duluth-based AGCO said it posted a $40.9 million second-quarter profit, or 45 cents per share, versus $46 million in net income, or 47 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts had expected AGCO's second-quarter earnings to reach 55 cents per share.

Meanwhile, sales dropped from $1.5 billion in the April-to-June period last year to $1.4 billion in the recently completed quarter.

- Staff writer Arielle Kass contributed to this report.

Doug Sams can be reached via e-mail at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com.