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Rezoning for outlet mall at the Village at Riverwatch to go before planning commission

Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 5:58 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 2:17 AM
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Plans to bring an outlet mall to the Village at Riverwatch will go before Augusta planning commissioners next week.


Jenna Martin
Business Reporter
Twitter: @JennaNMartin
E-mail | 706-823-3217

A petition to rezone 50 acres behind the Comcast and Delta Air Lines buildings on River Shoals Parkway to make way for an outlet mall is headed to the planning commission Monday. The outlet center adjoins the Cabela’s Outpost store, which is set to open March 20, and a 14-auditorium movie theater that is to open later this year, according to a rezoning report provided to The Augusta Chronicle by the city’s Planning and Development Department.

A site plan attached to the report shows 375,000 square feet of commercial space spread throughout 26 buildings of varying sizes. The development is planned for the back corner of the property, but no tenants or potential retailers are listed in the summary.

Atlanta-based Ben Carter Enterprises is developing the site off River Watch Parkway.

“We’re currently working on design and project feasibility, and having early conversations with city leaders as well as particular retailers,” said developer Ben Carter, when reached Monday by telephone. “We’ll have more to update in the next week or so.”

Carter, the founder of the commercial real estate firm, said he would release more information about the project during a news conference next week. The mayor’s office sent out a release Monday announcing that the conference will be held Feb. 5 at the Village at Riverwatch development.

Rumors of the proposed retail center have been circulating for weeks, but developers and local officials would not confirm details of the project.

A Web site and online brochure that links back to Ben Carter Enterprises dubs the project “Premier Outlets of Georgia @ Augusta.” The brochure describes 25 acres of retail and restaurant space set to open in the spring of 2016. It shows McDonald’s, a hotel, a pharmacy, a bank, an auto business and a fitness facility as potential uses for the property.

Carter said he could not comment directly about the information provided by the city or found online.

Ben Carter Enterprises was formed in 1993 and has developed several shopping centers and outlet malls in Georgia and Florida, including the Mall of Georgia in Gwinnett County and St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, Fla. The company is building a similar development in Savannah with outlet mall-giant Tanger.

At the city’s planning commission meeting, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the municipal building, developers will seek to rezone the property from light industry and multiple-family residential to general business.

A 260-unit apartment complex had been planned on the property last year but was later rejected by developers who cited fears of an oversaturated apartment market. Instead, a large parking lot will go where the apartments were scheduled, according to the rezoning report.

The report, prepared by city planning and development staffers Paul DeCamp and Bob Austin, said that the Augusta Canal Authority supports the proposed outlet mall. The canal adjoins the east end of the tract. The Planned Development Riverfront Review Board will need to approve the intended land use and other aspects of the site plan.

The report recommends approval of the petition. A final decision on any rezoning issues must be made by the full commission.

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countyman
22838
Points
countyman 01/27/14 - 08:15 pm
4
8
North Richmond and Deke

Deke is the best mayor in the entire state, and thank you North Richmond for helping provide the necessary demographics

deestafford
40910
Points
deestafford 01/27/14 - 08:29 pm
5
1
This set up is the same as Bass Pro in Atlanta...

This set up is the same as Bass Pro in Atlanta has with an outlet mall tied right into it. It works out very well.

Gage Creed
21531
Points
Gage Creed 01/27/14 - 09:23 pm
4
2
Grateful mother? Is that

Grateful mother? Is that you?

Little Lamb
53231
Points
Little Lamb 01/27/14 - 09:53 pm
4
4
Good

Whoever originally planned an apartment complex back there on the canal was out of their minds. That would have been a set-up for chronic crime; especially when the section 8 vouchers started to be accepted. Making it commercial only is a better way to go.

Pops
21309
Points
Pops 01/27/14 - 10:01 pm
1
4
By gosh I think

Grateful Mother has made a comeback......welcome back....Deke.

countyman
22838
Points
countyman 01/27/14 - 10:21 pm
2
5
Superb demographics!

The recently built apartments in Richmond County(West Augusta) are very expensive, and they don't accept section 8 vouchers.

Gateway Crossing next to Carmax: $800 to $1200
Brigham Woods on Skinner Mill road: $900 to $1350
Parc at Flowing next to ADP: $850 to $1100

The Glen at Alexander(across the street fom the VAR)charges $1000 to rent a 1br apartment..

badmoon426
1197
Points
badmoon426 01/27/14 - 11:10 pm
4
3
Deke Copenhaver is the best...

...mayor in Georgia. Ha, ha, ha! Now there is some fiction.

triscuit
3545
Points
triscuit 01/27/14 - 11:11 pm
3
2
Countyman...

And Century Hills on Alexander Dr., is in foreclosure, according to legal notices...

GnipGnop
13148
Points
GnipGnop 01/27/14 - 11:12 pm
4
4
The best mayor in the state?

I'd like some if whatever it is you are smoking... He isn't even in the top 10 of best mayors of Augusta.

Little Lamb
53231
Points
Little Lamb 01/27/14 - 11:24 pm
4
3
Not Yet

Countyman posted:

The recently built apartments in West Augusta are very expensive, and they don't accept section 8 vouchers.

Some of them do not accept Section 8 vouchers at this time, but they will one day.

countyman
22838
Points
countyman 01/27/14 - 11:49 pm
4
7
Thank you Deke!!!!

The rent at Century Hills ranges between $800 and $1100..

The mayor has won two straight elections with over 60% of the vote. The white flight in South Augusta began to stop in 2005 when he became the mayor.. Please give us the name of the nine mayors in Georgia better than Deke?

Since 2005
$172 million Starbucks
Rural Sourcing
Washington Walk shopping center expansion(Kroger)
$20 million Sheraton
Village at Riverwatch
Augusta mall promenade expansion
$40 million ADP
ESI
$30 million T-Mobile
$115 million Rockwood
TEE center
Whole Foods, DSW, & Home Goods
Chick Fil A, Firehouse Subs, Krispy Kreme, etc in South Augusta
Artspace
Mills Campus
Sams expansion/Village Plaza renovation
Multiple hotels at Gordon Hwy/I-520 in South Augusta

badmoon426
1197
Points
badmoon426 01/27/14 - 11:58 pm
5
2
Countyman...

...or whatever, retail businesses seldom bring 'career' jobs, they mainly bring minimum wage jobs.

As for the Mills Campus, I think this is more a project in the being not a tangible project. Plus if it ever happens the Board of Regents and the State will drive it.

The TEE Center has yet to be solidly booked and better yet when will it make a profit? It is also nice to know thanks to Fred Russell and Deke Copenhaver, the county get to pay for all its losses but share in a small percentage of any realized profits.

These are facts!

countyman
22838
Points
countyman 01/28/14 - 12:32 am
3
5
Still waiting to hear the name of the different mayors?

The following companies brought 'career' jobs to Augusta(Starbucks, Rockwood, ESI, ADP, Rural Sourcing, Augusta Renewable Energy, etc)..

The $35 million Bennett International development and the $40 million PCS Nitrogen expansion weren't even mentioned in my previous comment.. I don't remember when the city of Augusta ranked 2nd in the nation for high tech job growth(2006-2011) before Deke became the mayor.

The economic impact from the TEE Center was over $10 million last year, and the $8 million Holiday Inn Express is underway..

GnipGnop
13148
Points
GnipGnop 01/28/14 - 02:29 am
5
3
Any 10

That haven't asked for 12 million dollars from the already overburden tax paying citizens. I won't even entertain you with the names just pick the last ten...btw the same voters passed the TSPLOST and live in a city with a 58% (did I get the number right?) graduation rate. Deke is a do nothing, ribbon cutting stand for nothing, rich boy waste of air.

Riverman1
111745
Points
Riverman1 01/28/14 - 05:57 am
3
2
Magnolia LLC

Magnolia LLC

corgimom
46872
Points
corgimom 01/28/14 - 05:57 am
3
1
Remember when it was promised

Remember when it was promised that there wasn't going to be any commercial development along Riverwatch Parkway?

corgimom
46872
Points
corgimom 01/28/14 - 05:58 am
2
2
Gnipgnop, yes, you got that

Gnipgnop, yes, you got that right.

And it's going to get worse, now that the Race to the Top money is about to stop.

corgimom
46872
Points
corgimom 01/28/14 - 05:59 am
2
3
"The white flight in South

"The white flight in South Augusta began to stop in 2005 when he became the mayor.. "

Oh, really? Countyman, show us the figures that say that.

Because where are all those people that are flooding into Columbia County coming from?

seenitB4
117087
Points
seenitB4 01/28/14 - 09:38 am
3
3
Love affair

Do I sense love in the air....best at everything according to ctyman....haha....nahhhh.

Riverman1
111745
Points
Riverman1 01/28/14 - 10:15 am
5
4
Deke and Cyber Command

The biggest thing to hit the CSRA since the SRS is the Cyber Command. I've quoted Deke in 2012 saying he didn't want to depend on the fort for jobs. We are lucky they overlooked his lukewarm statements when they were deciding where to build the Cyber Command. I hope Deke sees the light soon enough and starts acting like he appreciates the fort.

obkad
233
Points
obkad 01/28/14 - 10:26 am
0
2
Alvin where are you

Another outside architect, another outside contractor. Guess once again Augusta failed to use their clout in securing this part of the contract. Hum
guess our locals are good enough.. this too will fail.

pja5529
3133
Points
pja5529 01/28/14 - 11:32 am
3
2
We shouldn't

We shouldn't depend on the fort for jobs. We should strive for a diversified economy. The cyber command is a welcome boost for the community but there is nothing wrong with trying to add other economic catalysts to the area. Never put all of your eggs in one basket.

Riverman1
111745
Points
Riverman1 01/28/14 - 12:18 pm
4
1
PJA, of course you are right.

PJA, of course you are right. We need all kinds of jobs, but you don't make public statements denigrating the importance of the jobs at the fort when the Army is deciding where to build the CC. It's best to keep working for private and government jobs without saying anything negative about either.

pja5529
3133
Points
pja5529 01/28/14 - 12:23 pm
1
3
Riverman

It had pretty much been decided by then, just not made aware to the public. I already know you don't believe that because I saw your comments in regards to Austin when he said he knew. But the fact of the matter is behind the scenes it was known that this was coming for a while.

Riverman1
111745
Points
Riverman1 01/28/14 - 12:33 pm
5
2
PJA, I don't doubt WE ALL

PJA, I don't doubt WE ALL thought it had a pretty good chance of coming here, but I don't think it was decided in 2012. When the national publication based in Washington DC said it was going to Ft. Meade in November, remember I emailed the editor and received a clarifcation that it hadn't been decided. Anyway, my point is you have to be careful with your statements when something like that is being decided. Sure, you and I both understand what Deke meant, but it was a poorly thought out statement at that time. He just doesn't impress me and lots of others.

countyman
22838
Points
countyman 01/28/14 - 12:44 pm
2
7
Double standards

The $12 million(Mills Campus) is apart of the next splost, and the local public can vote either way..

Ron Cross decided the residents of Columbia County should build a $8 million exhibition hall in Grovetown. The CC taxpayers weren't even allowed to vote on the issue..

The mayor of North Augusta and the school board will commit $50 million to Project Jackson. The taxpayers in Aiken County don't even get the chance to approve or deny the stadium.

All of the people criticizing the mayor live outside of Richmond County..

countyman
22838
Points
countyman 01/28/14 - 12:38 pm
2
5
Best mayor in Georgia!!!!

When did the mayor denigrate the importance of the CC?

The mayor wants to grow the private sector in Augusta instead of relying heavily on the government..

Riverman1
111745
Points
Riverman1 01/28/14 - 12:50 pm
3
1
Could someone please tell me

Could someone please tell me what the $12 million for the mills is going to do?

countyman
22838
Points
countyman 01/28/14 - 02:58 pm
2
5
Double standards!!!

The same few people always feel the need to bash Richmond County.. A few months ago the city of Augusta couldn't even support a outlet mall according to them. Can anybody tell me the name of any large private company to locate in CC recently besides Taxslayer? The citizens of Columbia County should be focusing on the overall performance of Ron Cross and not Deke.. How many jobs are bringing 'careers' to Columbia or Aiken counties? The suburbs of Columbia(Lexington County) continue to attract white collar jobs.. The Bridgestone expansion in Aiken County is a huge project, but everybody in the metro can't work in the industrial field..

Why does Ben Carter the developer behind the outlet mall feel North Richmond is the best location compared to anywhere else along I-20?? The Columbia government spent taxpayer money creating the outlet mall survey..

The graduation rate is for the entire county, and will continue to increase(the new magnet high school in South Augusta).. The best high schools(Davidson, etc) in the CSRA are located in Richmond County by far..

The Columbia County chamber of commerce, government, etc were some of the main supporters of Tsplost.. Riverwatch Pkwy expansion into CC??

Little Old Lady
15887
Points
Little Old Lady 01/28/14 - 05:22 pm
0
0
Where is North Richmond?

There is no such place as North Richmond. There is West Augusta, South Augusta, East Augusta and North Augusta which is in South Carolina.

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