Originally created 11/17/99

Opening signals growth in Grovetown

GROVETOWN -- McDonald's is coming to Grovetown.

More than an opportunity to buy a Big Mac, the national fast-food restaurant chain's interest is an indicator of the city's explosive residential growth.

"Grovetown is a neat little community, and it's growing rapidly," said Jerry Baine, the franchisee who is building the $1 million restaurant and owns six others in the area. "There's just a lot of activity in town, and we can be an important part of that."

Grovetown was selected by McDonald's Chicago-based corporate office, and its population has almost doubled since 1988, when Mayor Dennis Trudeau was elected.

During the 1990 census, the population of Grovetown was 3,946, and the number of residents is expected to reach 7,000 when the census is taken in 2000, said Robert Newman, Grovetown planning director.

That's a lot of hungry mouths to feed.

"We've been investigating this market since January and have been very positive about what we've seen in the area -- new housing under construction and the industrial park's continued expansion," Mr. Baine said. "All those things are good things that we look for being part of a community of people who are working, shopping and living."

Inside the city limits, five major subdivisions have been built since 1993 -- Liberty Hill, Summerfield, Martha's Vineyard, Woodward Place and Harvest Wood townhomes. In these subdivisions, 525 homes have been built, with the potential to reach 708.

Outside the city, three sections of Kingston subdivision -- 43 lots -- have been built since 1993. Three new subdivisions are under development: Euchee Creek, Nicole's Cove and Bartram Trail Club. Euchee Creek will have 63 lots in the first phase; Nicole's Cove will have 34 lots in the first phase; and Bartram Trail ultimately will include 750 homes from townhouses to estates.

McDonald's, which will employ 50 people -- mostly part-time -- is expected to open in December on Horizon South Parkway with a grand opening planned for Jan. 8. The 122-seat restaurant will feature an outdoor playground.

"It means we have a place to get a hamburger and breakfast biscuits and coffee," Mr. Newman said. "It's just part of growth. I guess when you get a McDonald's, it tells everybody you've arrived."

Reach Melissa Hall at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 113.

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