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socaguy

Another new Lifestyle Center for Augusta

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I think this one will make 5 or 6 now planned Lifestyle Centers for the Augusta area, the Augusta Mall Lifestyle portion included.

This one is being planned by Forum Development Company and will butt up right against the backside of Foxhall Subdivison, (where my parents live), on Pleasant Home Rd. The company met with the Foxhall homeowners association so I got to have a look at some of their plans while visiting for T-giving. Looks like it will be off Walton Way extension and will include upscale shops like Chico's and Willaims-Sonoma, and a half dozen restaurants. Plans also include a 55 ft. tall hotel, (4-5 floors). Probably will be called Forum at Augusta or something like that. I think they have lifestyle centers in Atlanta.

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Here is a link to their website...

http://websearch.cs.com/cs/boomframe.jsp?q...ourcompany.html

So now have..

The Avenue Lifestyle Center

Riverwatch Commons Lifestyle Center

Forum Augusta Lifestyle Center (with hotel)

Marshall Square Lifestyle Center (plus condos, townhomes and possibly hotel.

Augusta Mall Lifestyle expansion plus possibly a hotel

and Hammonds Ferry in North Augusta which will have some sort of retail component, probably a small town square type thing.

Also, as mentioned earlier, Mullins Crossing in Evans is doing a 400,000 plus expansion (doubling its size) and not to mention the many more strip malls going up around town. If all these projects get built I fear Augusta will be WAY over-retailed.

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Here is a link to their website...

http://websearch.cs.com/cs/boomframe.jsp?q...ourcompany.html

So now have..

The Avenue Lifestyle Center

Riverwatch Commons Lifestyle Center

Forum Augusta Lifestyle Center (with hotel)

Marshall Square Lifestyle Center (plus condos, townhomes and possibly hotel.

Augusta Mall Lifestyle expansion plus possibly a hotel

and Hammonds Ferry in North Augusta which will have some sort of retail component, probably a small town square type thing.

Also, as mentioned earlier, Mullins Crossing in Evans is doing a 400,000 plus expansion (doubling its size) and not to mention the many more strip malls going up around town. If all these projects get built I fear Augusta will be WAY over-retailed.

I too feel that Augusta may be over retailed but who knows. Maybe a lot of outsiders will start coming to AUG just to shop and it can become a huge retail city. There are a lot of cities around Augusta that won't have any of these upscale stores.

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I too feel that Augusta may be over retailed but who knows. Maybe a lot of outsiders will start coming to AUG just to shop and it can become a huge retail city. There are a lot of cities around Augusta that won't have any of these upscale stores.

Yeah I too feel as though some of these upscale centers should be better distributed through out the city or the metro, instead of being primarially on the Westside of Augusta. But I do realize that these places don't just set up shop anywhere. I guess with Columbia County being the 3rd highest household Income median in the state has something to do with this explosion of upscale development. no longer would they have to drive up to Atlanta or Columbia to shop.

When you add all the square footage up, I'm guessing that we should have close to 3-4 Million sq ft like with Macon's Bass Road development. Only ours is better distributed throughout the Westside and not in one main location.

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Agreed. I think that much retail in one spot would create traffic nightmares....point in case the Woodruff Road area of Greenville. It is maddening this time of year, especially since the new Shoppes @ Greenridge just opened.

Each one of these new Lifestyle Centers will be several miles from each other...although they are all in West Augusta or Evans. The one that worries me the most is the biggest one...Riverwatch Commons, which will snarl already congested Riverwatch parkway.

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I am glad that Augusta is getting more retail space and Life Centers.

I do have to disagree on the privious two posters where you guys said that you would not put all the retail together like Macon's Bass Raod development because of potential traffic issues. I'm to the contrary. I think it's a better ideal to centralize these types of mass retail as opposed to spreading them out....which linkens these developments to sprawl nodes. Also, having a centralized location can porve beneficial for public transportation and can preserve great greenspace areas for future enjoyment.

If I'm not mistaken, Macon's development is hoping to capitalize on the commuter rail line that will be coming from Atlanta. Part of it is already in the making. People potentially would be able to ride a train from the southern suburbs to this centralized development to shop. Sounds like a smart idea to me.

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True,

The one Im worrying about the most is Riverwatch commons. It will be the largest center (over 800,000 sq. ft.) and will be built right up against the Augusta Canal on Riverwatch Parkway.

But,

Two others (The Avenue and The Forum) will be infill in already congested shopping areas.

Marshall Square is in Evans, and will incluse high density residential (being built already) and office space.

I think Augusta is a little too large already to have just one major area of shopping. Already there are 2 different areas with over 1 million sq. feet of shopping in Augusta (Augusta Mall and Augusta Exchange. )

Columbia county is trying to limit growth in a series of commercial nodes that are forming.

Unfortunately, I dont think Augusta will be getting commuter rail for a very long time. Growth will be very sprawly for a good while until the city wakes up. Therefore it seems like that much retail space on limited roads would cause a traffic nightmare. Greenville did it on Woodruff Rd. EVERYTHING has moved to about a 2 miles stretch of Woodruff within the past 3-4 years and during this holiday season you can forget it. Even during regular months it can take me 20 minutes to get into the Sams club parking lot.

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Yeah, I am looking forward to these developments being built. Now if they could just do something with the old mall off of Deans Bridge and Gordon Highway.

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I honestly do miss Regency Mall and I know a lot of people who would still be shopping there if it was open (including myself), but it has such a bad reputation and the area went downhill so fast. For the life of me I can't figure out why these developers won't build in south Augusta. I think the area around Tobacco Road and Windsor Spring seems to be growing at a good rate and I think it would be a perfect place for a new lifestyle center/mall. I do like all of the new developments, especially the Hammond's Ferry over in North Augusta, but it seems like no one is really interested in developing downtown for anything except trendy bars and coffee houses.

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I honestly do miss Regency Mall and I know a lot of people who would still be shopping there if it was open (including myself), but it has such a bad reputation and the area went downhill so fast. For the life of me I can't figure out why these developers won't build in south Augusta. I think the area around Tobacco Road and Windsor Spring seems to be growing at a good rate and I think it would be a perfect place for a new lifestyle center/mall. I do like all of the new developments, especially the Hammond's Ferry over in North Augusta, but it seems like no one is really interested in developing downtown for anything except trendy bars and coffee houses.

I live in the South Augusta area and there is a lot of residential growth. Im sure in a few years you will start to see more commercial growth especially on Tobacco Road. It takes me at least 20 minutes to get to the mall and will take me even longer to get to those other lifestyle centers so it would be nice to have something closer.

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I live in the South Augusta area and there is a lot of residential growth. Im sure in a few years you will start to see more commercial growth especially on Tobacco Road. It takes me at least 20 minutes to get to the mall and will take me even longer to get to those other lifestyle centers so it would be nice to have something closer.

well, generally these kind of things (lifestyle centers) pop-up where there's two things: Traffic Accessibility and High Incomes. South Augusta still has a LONG way to go before unfortunately. I used to live in the Tobacco Road/ Windsor Spr Area and I know that along with the newer, larger homes, there is still a significant neighboring population that is still below the poverty line. Apparently, I read somewhere that South Augusta (as a whole)has a significantly high poverty rate, even though I caould believe that it's around maybe 20-25%, not sure, but poverty is still evident in the area.

I miss Tobacco Rd, it has a lot of potential and I can remember way back when Tobacco and Windsor Spring were BOTH 2 lane roads and there was nothing but the food lion plaza and the SE corner of the intersection, the church and that was it. It was amazing to start seeing development boom in the 90's.

But what about that supposed development along Bobby Jones between Deans Bridge and Windsor Spring. I remember seeing a sign for a mixed use Office/retail/residential development off the interstate across from Augusta Tech in that wooded area. Called "South Augusta Station"

This would be GREAT if they built this, but traffic access here does concern me, nothing but subdivisions surround this area and is pretty much isolated. Has anyone heard about this development? The sign has been on the hwy for a few years now, I wonder what the status is on this.

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It would be nice to have a new big shopping plaza on the Southside, but I wish they would focus more on redeveloping the existing shopping centers there first.

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well, generally these kind of things (lifestyle centers) pop-up where there's two things: Traffic Accessibility and High Incomes. South Augusta still has a LONG way to go before unfortunately. I used to live in the Tobacco Road/ Windsor Spr Area and I know that along with the newer, larger homes, there is still a significant neighboring population that is still below the poverty line. Apparently, I read somewhere that South Augusta (as a whole)has a significantly high poverty rate, even though I caould believe that it's around maybe 20-25%, not sure, but poverty is still evident in the area.

I miss Tobacco Rd, it has a lot of potential and I can remember way back when Tobacco and Windsor Spring were BOTH 2 lane roads and there was nothing but the food lion plaza and the SE corner of the intersection, the church and that was it. It was amazing to start seeing development boom in the 90's.

But what about that supposed development along Bobby Jones between Deans Bridge and Windsor Spring. I remember seeing a sign for a mixed use Office/retail/residential development off the interstate across from Augusta Tech in that wooded area. Called "South Augusta Station"

This would be GREAT if they built this, but traffic access here does concern me, nothing but subdivisions surround this area and is pretty much isolated. Has anyone heard about this development? The sign has been on the hwy for a few years now, I wonder what the status is on this.

There are a lot of really nice neighborhoods in the South Augusta/ Hephzibah area going towards Waynesboro so I think in about 5 to 8 years they should be able to build a smaller lifestyle center down here especially with the rate that its growing. Time will tell.

As far as the "South Augusta Station" I remember seeing that too but haven't noticed it lately. Is that sign sitll up?? If so maybe it's something coming soon I hope because it's been up for a while.

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Thats the one I mentioned earlier called The Forum. My parents live in the subdivision right behind the site and I got to read the notes from one of the meetings they had with the developers. The Lifestyle Center will have 300,000 sq. ft of shopping, as mentioned, and a 55 ft. hotel...thats what, like 5 floors? The center, if built WILL have Williams-Sonoma and shops like that. Check out their website for additional Forum developments.

Unfortunately my parents and many other neighboors voted 46-11 against the center, but I dont know how much pull they will have. I know Senator Sue Burmeister lived in the very back of the subdivision which will be in plain view of the center, especially in winter...and i think she probably has alot of pull in the community. Id like this to happen and my parents really did too, but they still voted against it with their neighbors in mind.

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From what i understand, if the Forum does not get built on that land...something will. If not an upscale lifestyle center, it will be an apartment complex. Im kind of hoping for the shops though.

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UPDATE ON THE FORUM SHOPPING CENTER!! The Re-zoning for that area has passed, despite strong opposistion from the surrounding residences.

From reading the Article on AUG chronicle, I do agree with the concern with traffic. It took us about 10-15 minutes and 3-4 traffic light cycle changes to go from the Best Buy to cross Walton Way Extension. Traffic congestion on that two lane road is rediculous.

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But arent they in the process of 4 laning it now? I think they arent going to eventually widen Pleasant Home road as well but not sure if it will be 4 lanes or just add a middle lane.

Im kind of glad it will most likely get built. My mother said that even if it didnt get built as a shopping center it would be developed someway...most likely apartments.

Now, is it likely that both The Avenue and The Forum will get built? If so, that would be 2 upscale Lifestyle centers within about 3 miles of each other. And that is not to mention the Riverwatch project nearby and the Augusta Mall a few miles in the other direction.

Id say Augusta can handle them all minus one. Im betting on the Forum over the Avenue, but we will see.

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UPDATE ON THE FORUM SHOPPING CENTER!! The Re-zoning for that area has passed, despite strong opposistion from the surrounding residences.

From reading the Article on AUG chronicle, I do agree with the concern with traffic. It took us about 10-15 minutes and 3-4 traffic light cycle changes to go from the Best Buy to cross Walton Way Extension. Traffic congestion on that two lane road is rediculous.

I agree about the traffic at that intersection by Best Buy. And I am a frequent shopper there so I have to deal with it a lot. They need to put another Best Buy somewhere...probably Aiken. It's the most popular electronic store and its' always busy. That would fix some problems as it seems that 50% of the people at that intersection are either leaving or going to Best Buy.

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I agree about the traffic at that intersection by Best Buy. And I am a frequent shopper there so I have to deal with it a lot. They need to put another Best Buy somewhere...probably Aiken. It's the most popular electronic store and its' always busy. That would fix some problems as it seems that 50% of the people at that intersection are either leaving or going to Best Buy.

I second that... I went shopping at some of the MEGA shopping centers here in Orlando on Black Friday this year, and nothing came anywhere close to the insane level of chaos I saw in and around the Augusta Best Buy 4-5 days after Christmas was over.... In addition to the awful traffic jam, just trying to move around inside of the store was a daunting (sometimes violent) task. Walton Way extension and Pleasant Home Rd will be nightmares once more new projects as well as the new interchange are completed, even with widening...

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I second that... I went shopping at some of the MEGA shopping centers here in Orlando on Black Friday this year, and nothing came anywhere close to the insane level of chaos I saw in and around the Augusta Best Buy 4-5 days after Christmas was over.... In addition to the awful traffic jam, just trying to move around inside of the store was a daunting (sometimes violent) task. Walton Way extension and Pleasant Home Rd will be nightmares once more new projects as well as the new interchange are completed, even with widening...

They should just go ahead and make it four lanes on each side because the traffic is only going to increase. Either that or bring some of those stores that are over there like Best Buy & Office Depot to the south side of town (Tobacco Road area) so there can be more than one location.

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Ive heard that Dicks Sporting Goods will be building a 2 floor store at the Riverwatch one.

I got to read the notes from the meeting my Mother (and her homeowners group) had with The Forum Development company and they are definately going to have a Williams Sonoma store. Someone asked if they will have a Chicos and the reply was Yes, so i guess they will have one of those too. Probably other stores along the same lines..Talbots, Kirklands, Coldwater Creek, Banana Republic, Hollister. Some of those stores might go into the Riverwatch center though, or in The Avenue if it gets built.

Of course this will hurt Surrey Center, which will probably lose Chico's, JOS Banks and Talbots to the bigger and newer Lifestyle Centers. Talbots might be able to pull off 2 Augusta locations...i think there are 2 in Greenville so I dont see why not.

This will also hurt any chance of more retail coming to Downtown Augusta, at least nationally known chains that are popping up in similar sized Downtowns with no Lifestyle Centers (Greenville, Charleston).

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