Marshall Square should start soon

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Construction on the first phase of Marshall Square in Evans should start this year.

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Commercial properties dominate the plans for Marshall Square in Evans.  Barry Paschal/Staff
Barry Paschal/Staff
Commercial properties dominate the plans for Marshall Square in Evans.

"I have several deals going on right now, but I can't talk about them just yet," developer Don Lawrence said. "However, construction and building will start in the first half of 2008."

Recently, Columbia County commissioners approved site changes to the mixed-use development on Evans Town Center Boulevard, allowing many office buildings along the northeastern edge of the development and shifting the location of a proposed hotel farther north.

Many nearby residents opposed the changes, but county officials said such changes aren't unusual.

Mr. Lawrence said he was surprised by the public outcry. However, he expects only small changes to the plan as the project moves forward.

"Except for minor changes to some buildings, possibly being a different shape, that's it," he said. "The layout, that's not going to change. We like it the way it is now."

The site plan for Marshall Square was first approved in 2004. Governmental red tape prolonged the construction phase, said Mr. Lawrence, who would not elaborate.

Jeff Browning, the county's director of planning and development, said a lag between site approval and construction isn't unusual for a development such as Marshall Square, which will include a hotel, offices, restaurants, retail shops and living spaces.

"Take Riverwood Plantation, for example," Mr. Browning said. "The commercial element has been under way since 1997, but not a speck of that commercial development has come about.

"However, the residential started fairly quickly. They had to build the residential to build up support for the eventual commercial."

Because Marshall Square is primarily intended for commercial space, Mr. Browning suspects that developers are waiting for more residential development in the area to support their commercial properties.

Currently, Marshall Square would have to compete for shoppers with both the Augusta Mall and the retail development being proposed on River Watch Parkway, he said.

"What's happening is perhaps the Columbia County portion of the metropolitan market is having to grow a little more to support something like this," Mr. Browning said.

Mr. Lawrence said the size of Marshall Square prevents construction of the project all at once.

"It will be done in phases," he said. "Being 57.5 acres, it's going to take a while to get the whole thing developed, but the first phases will be developed in the first half of the year."

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (10) Add comment
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funksgirl3
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funksgirl3 01/02/08 - 11:34 am
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Gonna screw up Evans just a

Gonna screw up Evans just a little more. What happened to all the trees? If they keep building it up the way they have been and they beuild Marshall Square, Evans residents will no longer be able to see that part of town that we remember. I'm only in my 30s and I feel like an old woman when I say, "I remember when there was no Kroger and we could fly kites in the hay field."

And they call it progress. HA

zigzag
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zigzag 01/02/08 - 12:55 pm
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We need more retail like

We need more retail like Columbia County deserves more taxes. WRONG! Look at all of the retail growth in the past 2 years and all of the empty spaces. Marshall Square was a good idea 6 years ago but now it'll be another Regency Mall with all of the other commercial growth. My advice, turn it into mixed residential with parks and very light commercial locations.

intheknow
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intheknow 01/02/08 - 01:21 pm
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Who cares?

Who cares?

Little Lamb
45282
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Little Lamb 01/02/08 - 01:28 pm
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Too late, ZigZag.

Too late, ZigZag.

iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 01/02/08 - 05:49 pm
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Price U pay for fleeing the

Price U pay for fleeing the jungle.

Blondi
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Blondi 01/02/08 - 07:33 pm
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this is crap. another reason

this is crap. another reason to hate augusta

Just My Opinion
5456
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Just My Opinion 01/02/08 - 09:10 pm
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Is it me, or is Don Lawrence

Is it me, or is Don Lawrence an idiot? He can't be more definitive about what's going in Marshall Square, he doesn't understand the "public outcry", and then he tells us he's had problems wth "red tape" but then won't specify? Don?...either tell us what's happening, or don't say anything at all. Just sit there and be the whipping boy for the Marshall family that you married into, and you'll be okay. Stick with the group of Marshall's that are pushing this boondoggle, and you'll be able to save enough money to move back to where you came from. That is unless you want to stick around here, run for a commissioner's seat and be able to make even more money...under the table!

raymikematt
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raymikematt 01/02/08 - 10:56 pm
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well it might just be the

well it might just be the smartest development to come out of that UGLY SRAWLY mess called Evans. Id rather be in Augusta anyday.

gnx
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gnx 01/03/08 - 03:47 am
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There's NO smart development

There's NO smart development in Evans, that's the problem. Everybody is so desperate to stick their fingers in the money pie that they're forgetting something very important - tenants willing to pay their exorbitant retail lease rates and what to do with all that traffic. Yup - looks like we're going to be another strip mall eyesore over here. Too bad Ron Doublecross and company couldn't have taken a lesson from the folks over in North Augusta about community planning. Have you seen what they've done over there with their Walmart and Lowe's developments? Amazing. It looks great and it's well planned - both in aesthetics and in traffic management.

good grief
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good grief 01/03/08 - 01:01 pm
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I can't wait 'til they build

I can't wait 'til they build Addison Square in Riverwood Plantation. It's be nice to be able to ride a golf cart or walk over there for a bite to eat or some groceries.

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