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Columbia County approves $700,000 in incentives for development

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 5:34 PM
Last updated 7:56 PM
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Columbia County officials have agreed to give $700,000 in economic incentives to a project that could bring a Wal-Mart “competitor” and as many as 500 jobs to the area outside of Grovetown near Interstate 20.

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County commissioners approved the incentive money at their meeting Tuesday night. According to county documents, $400,000 will be awarded to Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial as reimbursement for costs associated with infrastructure improvements to make way for a potential development on Lewiston Road at William Few Parkway. Another $300,000 was approved for traffic improvements in the area.

County documents indicate the incentive money will come from a “variety of Transportation discretionary funds” available for such projects.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the incentive money will be paid only after the development is completed - if it does come to fruition.

Cross described the anchor retailer for the development as looking to build a 140,000-square-foot building, which would offer groceries, clothing, and other household items.

“It is supposed to be a large grocery chain,” he said. “This will be its largest store of this type east of the Mississippi.”

When fully developed, the project could bring as many as 500 jobs to the area, Cross said.

Commissioner Ron Thigpen said the potential tax revenue and job growth the project will provide will more than pay for the economic incentives provided by the county.

To make way for the development, officials plan to move the intersection of William Few Parkway father north along Lewiston Road and away from I-20.

Vic Mills, CEO of Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial, said the company already controls several parcels of land in the area and has acquired options for other properties that will be needed for the potential development.

“We still have a lot of work to do on this,” Mills said. “But we do have great interest in this location from several prospective tenants.”

Mills said it was too early to name those potential tenants, but he was optimistic that if things continued to progress, more details will be available soon. He said if all goes well, he expects to make an announcement with the next 60 days.

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sbialor
4
Points
sbialor 08/20/14 - 05:58 pm
2
0
is this really good for the

is this really good for the area

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 08/20/14 - 11:15 pm
2
4
Kroger

Kroger Market Place is the major retailer coming to the Gateway area outside Grovetown..

This is good news for the Grovetown area, because it's much harder to attract Target considering the size of Grovetown.. The next Target in metro Augusta is definitely coming to North Augusta(I-20/exit 5) or South Augusta(I-520/Peach Orchard/Windsor Spring)..

The Target in West Augusta(Augusta Exchange) is either being renovated or set to become the first Super Target in the metro/CSRA..

bdouglas
4988
Points
bdouglas 08/20/14 - 11:06 pm
5
0
If it is, in fact, a Kroger

If it is, in fact, a Kroger Marketplace store, AND the quote, “This will be its largest store of this type east of the Mississippi," is true, then this is huge.

That Walmart is 156,000 sq ft. I don't know if it's the largest of the Kroger Marketplace stores east of the Mississippi currently or not, but the one in Centerville, Ohio is 147,000 sq ft. So the Kroger Marketplace built in Grovetown will be comparable in size to a Walmart SuperCenter. That's huge.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 08/21/14 - 12:38 am
0
0
'Any' competition to the ...
Unpublished

I-20/Grovetown Wal-Mart would be welcome. If you've shopped at this particular Wal-Mart you know this is the case.

AFjoe
2912
Points
AFjoe 08/21/14 - 07:46 am
1
0
More traffic control

$300,000 for traffic improvements will not cut it. The I-20 off ramp needs to be doubled in size. When traffic backs up along the interstate, you know you got problems. Belair used to have the same problem before improvements. Plus the apartment complex is about to open next to w-mart.

Little Lamb
45870
Points
Little Lamb 08/21/14 - 08:14 am
3
1
Crony

Vic Mills is a crony of Ron Cross. It is sad to transfer taxpayer dollars to real estate developers. The ones who are not cronies with the politicians have to run the obstacle course while the cronies get to run down a smooth slope. The free market is dead in the United States.

fiscallyresponsible
141
Points
fiscallyresponsible 08/21/14 - 08:42 am
3
2
Wow

Why not give financial incentive to small, local businesses instead Mr. Cross? Oh, never mind, they don't line your pockets with campaign money and probably kickbacks.

Government spending and intervention on all levels is totally out of control. Wake up America!

Riverman1
83728
Points
Riverman1 08/21/14 - 09:40 am
4
0
@LL

LL and others, I don't get the incentives thing either. The demographics of one of the fastest growing counties in the nation assure the success of those investing money in retail establishments. They will come sooner or later without any sweetening of the pot. It's time Columbia County stopped this nonsense.

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 08/21/14 - 10:04 am
2
0
So they are moving the

So they are moving the intersection? There goes the traffic light that took residents 5 years to get. Bad idea!!!!!

storiesihaveread
358
Points
storiesihaveread 08/21/14 - 01:20 pm
1
0
Might as well

Turn CC into one big ole parking lot Ron Cross. You must be getting your pockets lined

resident
489
Points
resident 08/21/14 - 03:37 pm
1
0
CC Resident

I agree with above. Stop giving out free money to businesses that do not need it. If they want to make money then let them spend their own. I think competition is good in some cases but this crap of relocating roads for something that may not materialize, a traffic light we just paid for out of tax dollars plus all the money wasted to make that intersection. When will this madness stop. I have an idea make the developers stop taking down the trees so much so that the temps will stop being so ugly. Make the business eat the costs of entrances and infrastructure. They are the ones making all of this money spend their capital dollars not my tax dollars. We have plenty of other items that the money could go to. RC would be no different.

itsanotherday1
42933
Points
itsanotherday1 08/21/14 - 03:54 pm
1
0
If they do anything with

If they do anything with William Few, it needs to include plans for a roundabout at the intersection with Chamblin Road. Most needed spot in the county for one IMO.

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 08/24/14 - 04:04 pm
0
0
This is a crime

A Developer getting $700,000.000 other developers polluting creeks and streams and the country's doing nothing and the press reporting nothing!!

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