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Home Goods Company Bringing 500 Jobs to Athens

A rendering of the General Time development by architects McMillan Pazdan Smith.

Wayfair, an online furniture and home goods retailer, will open an operations center in Athens that will employ more than 500 people.

The center will occupy about 45,000 square feet out of 250,000 in General Time, a planned mixed-use development at a former clock factory off Newton Bridge Road near the Loop. The Boston-based company plans to invest $7.7 million in the facility, described in documents as a call center, over the next five years.

Terrapin has already signed on to occupy a 100,000 square-foot warehouse on the property, in addition to its existing brewery across the street. Plans also include more office space, retail and restaurant space, an amphitheater and about 100 apartments.

Entry-level jobs will pay at least $14 an hour with benefits, and the average annual salary will be $36,500, according to Mayor Kelly Girtz. 

The Athens-Clarke County Commission unanimously approved an agreement Tuesday night to pay Wayfair $100 per job up to $50,000, plus $10,000 to select a site. The state Economic Development Department is kicking in about $200,000, Girtz said. The agreement doesn’t include any property tax breaks.

Last year, Wayfair announced plans to open a warehouse in Savannah that will employ 1,000 people. It also has a distribution center in McDonough.