Now that Starbucks will be the first tenant in the Augusta Corporate Park, the Economic Development Authority of Richmond County has started developing a master plan for the entire site.
The site is more than 1,800 acres. Aside from a short paved road off Mike Padgett Highway, the land has been left alone so that businesses interested in locating there can change the property to their specifications.
“It didn’t make sense to us to put in all this infrastructure when we didn’t know who that first tenant was,” said Walter Sprouse, the executive director of the EDA. “We always said we would wait until the first one came, and now that Starbucks is there, it’s time to go ahead.”
The Augusta Corporate Park site was donated to the authority in 1993.
The most urgent part of the plan will be a road through the entire site, which Sprouse said is needed not only for Starbucks construction and other projects in the future but also in order to show off the property to interested companies.
The EDA has received bids from three engineering companies so far and is waiting for bids from two more. The engineering companies will recommend where the road should go, what kind of drainage the road should have, and other infrastructure details.
“We’re looking for flexibility,” Sprouse said.
Sprouse said that the board hopes to award the bid at its Sept. 20 meeting and that the master plan should be done about two months after that.
Starbucks is locating on 100 acres. The company will spend about $172 million building a plant to make ready-to-drink beverages, VIA Ready Brew and components for its Frappuccino drinks. The plant should open in 2014.