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ATLman1

Fort Bennings growth

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What does everyone think about Fort Bennings expansion? What will Columbus be like in 5 years due to the growth? What are some new things Columbus might see from the population explosion? What all is being built on Fort Benning? Discuss anything that deals with Fort Bennings expansion in Columbus!

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What does everyone think about Fort Bennings expansion? What will Columbus be like in 5 years due to the growth? What are some new things Columbus might see from the population explosion? What all is being built on Fort Benning? Discuss anything that deals with Fort Bennings expansion in Columbus!

30,000 new residents.....just wait till some of them start having babies or other relatives start moving closer. What a great thing for Columbus.

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4,000 soldiers of the 3rd Brigade are set to return to Fort Benning by January. I'm glad to see these guys back home in Columbus.

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Here is what the new National Infantry Museum will look like that is currently being built in Columbus. It is expected to attract 300,000+ each year to Columbus.

img_nim1.jpg

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Great article from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer about the timeline and upcoming construction in the metro area due to Fort Bennings massive expansion. There will be $3 billion in new construction in the metro area to handle the growth. Check this article out Fort Benning growth

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According to new estimates, Fort Benning's growth is expected to bring 10,000+ new students to Columbus metro school systems. They got a lot of new schools to build!

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Wow. Is everyone on Georgia this pro-development or is it just you guys? Around here (Southeastern CT) people are idiots. They're for sprawl like shopping centers everywhere and subdivisions with huge acreages per housing unit mandatory. That unhappy medium (let's call it "suburbian exurbia") between country and city is what most people around here feel to be "smart". It's been quoted many times in the papers that people do not want density when it comes to development. When it comes to intellect, that's another story. How did density become a bad word, anyways?

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Unfortunately around (non-Atlanta) Georgia, we're happy to see development of any kind, regardless of how sprawl-crappy it is.. I can't speak for Columbus specifically, but I assume they're in a similar position.

The 2nd tier cities in GA have been at an economical standstill for a long time that any new development, regardless of whether its a dozen new gated communities or 4 new Wal-Marts, is greeted with open arms, since it's theoretically better than no growth at all... The thinking for a long time has been that if we put limitations on the developers, they'll just leave, and we'll be left with nothing at all, so we'll accept mediocrity instead (see Columbia County (gag))...

Hopefully with the momentum Columbus seemingly has going for it, the city leaders might grow the balls to mandate smarter growth patterns (infill over exurban sprawl, connectivity over cul-de-sacs, pedestrians over cars, etc.)... Columbus and Savannah really seem to be the two tier 2 cities in the best position to demand quality in their new development. The good question is WILL the leaders stand up to the developers? (and unfortunately, in this car-worshipping part of the country, I suspect the answer will be no)...

As for the SE CT model mentioned, that really is a shame that the leaders can be so culturally brainwashed...

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Unfortunately around (non-Atlanta) Georgia, we're happy to see development of any kind, regardless of how sprawl-crappy it is.. I can't speak for Columbus specifically, but I assume they're in a similar position.

The 2nd tier cities in GA have been at an economical standstill for a long time that any new development, regardless of whether its a dozen new gated communities or 4 new Wal-Marts, is greeted with open arms, since it's theoretically better than no growth at all... The thinking for a long time has been that if we put limitations on the developers, they'll just leave, and we'll be left with nothing at all, so we'll accept mediocrity instead (see Columbia County (gag))...

Hopefully with the momentum Columbus seemingly has going for it, the city leaders might grow the balls to mandate smarter growth patterns (infill over exurban sprawl, connectivity over cul-de-sacs, pedestrians over cars, etc.)... Columbus and Savannah really seem to be the two tier 2 cities in the best position to demand quality in their new development. The good question is WILL the leaders stand up to the developers? (and unfortunately, in this car-worshipping part of the country, I suspect the answer will be no)...

As for the SE CT model mentioned, that really is a shame that the leaders can be so culturally brainwashed...

Man -- you are SO right! This "Development (Regardless of Quality)=Progress" notion is way prevalent.

And, sad to say, Columbus has not escaped it (in my opinion, at any rate). As I have pontifcated previously (and often) Columbus X-ing is wonderful in terms of available shops/restaurants/etc but abysmal planning.

I dont think I have ever seen a bigger 1950's strip mall fronted by nothing but expanses of concrete. And the "thing" is spreading both down and across the road! In the 1960's a huge wooded area on Macon Road was bulldozed to create the first enclosed mall in Georgia -- Columbus Square. It eventually became a ghost town and was itself bulldozed. The new public library is now on that vast open space and a big debate is going on over whether and how to make it green again. The same thing probably will happen to Columbus X-ing. It is already obsolete and will sooner or later be abandoned. There is a glimmer (just a glimmer) that better planning is in the cards. BRAC seems to have caused some new thinking (atleast among some) about the quality of growth. The explanation I think is this: When future growth is assured (BRAC), then we have the "luxury" of allowing quality to become a consideration, but when growth remains elusive, any and all "development" is immune to critical inspection/standards. Its time for all the 2d teir cities to loss teh inferiority complex and insist on "smart" growth, not just growth for growth's sake.

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Proposals sought for development around National Infantry Museum:

The National Infantry Foundation is seeking proposals for developing 38 acres of land adjacent to the soon-to-be-built National Infantry Museum. The parcel of land is located between Benning Boulevard and South Lumpkin Road. On the wish list are two high-end hotels, a conference center, restaurant and shopping center. Both the National Infantry Museum and Armor Museum are expected to attract nearly 500,000 visitors a year to Columbus. There should be more information in tomorrow's paper.

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According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, a developer will be announced by November to develop 38 acres near the new National Infantry Museum and Armor Museum. The plans call for 2 hotels (220 rooms), a conference center, restaurants, and retail space. The hotels that are looking at the area are Marriott, Hampton Inn, and Sheraton.

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National Infantry Museum Specs:

1) 160,000-square-foot main building with a 9,000-square-foot marble rotunda greeting guests upon arrival.

2) The grand rotunda will lead to an orientation theater, and the eight-gallery Ring of Time. Each gallery is

5,000-square-feet and will tell a comprehensive story of the U.S. Infantry.

3) Seven more thematic galleries at 2,000-square-feet each.

4) 5,000-square-foot temporary exhibition gallery on social history topics.

5) 300-seat digital IMAX theater.

6) 40-seat Army Adventure simulator attraction that will provide an educational ride.

7) Military-themed cafe and a souvenir shop.

The National Infantry Museum is expected to draw nearly 500,000 people a year to Columbus!

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Korean electronics manufacturer donating $1 million to Infantry Museum:

Samsung, a South Korean electronics manufacturer, will write a $1 million check to the foundation for the sponsorship of the Korean War Gallery.

There has been plenty of work on the site in recent months. The World War II Street, at a cost of nearly $3 million, is almost complete. The Chattahoochee Riverwalk has been redirected to allow for construction of a 5-acre parade field. The field and stadium seating are expected to cost $5 million.

Batson-Cook, a LaGrange, Ga., construction company, has been hired to build the museum. Clearing work has already begun on 10 acres of the site.

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Cool information from WTVM.com on Columbus's future!

Economists Predict a Bright Future for the Chattahoochee Valley:

Business owners and city leaders listen closely as University of Georgia economists lay out the future of Columbus and the surrounding region.

According to the experts, the Chattahoochee Valley is expected to see strong economic growth for the year 2007. That's great news, considering the state of Georgia and the nation are bracing for a slow-down. And what's better, is that we're expected to grow for the next several years.

"What's unique about Columbus is really that we expect growth to accelerate in 2007 and also 2008. That's quite in contrast to what we're expecting nationally and also for the state as a whole," explained Dr. Jeff Humphries, director of UGA's Selig Center for Economic Growth.

In fact, Humphries says that growth is expected to continue through at least 2011.

So, what sets us apart from the rest of the country?

First, Base Realignment and Closure, also known as BRAC, is expected to bring more than 1,100 military and civilian jobs to Fort Benning. Factor in their family members, and we could expect a grand total of more than 30-thousand people. That's the equivalent of adding a medium-sized town to the area.

BRAC is expected to result in more than $2.2 billion dollars in construction projects to Fort Benning, and millions more in housing construction off-post. It's the largest public sector project in the state of Georgia.

Plus, the $1.2 billion dollar Kia plant in West Point, and the expansion of AFLAC, are the first and second largest private sector projects in the state. These three projects are expected to create an estimated 15,000 new jobs.

While we've been expecting growth from these projects for some time now, many people are glad that they'll be seeing changes soon.

"It's great to hear from the experts, the economists say that what you folks have been thinking about that could happen, is going to happen," said Mike Gaymon, from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

But in order to be ready for the growth that BRAC will bring, this area needs to improve its infrastructure. That means new homes, schools, and roads must be built to accommodate this massive population boom.

Experts say it's time to start preparing now. Mayor Jim Wetherington agrees. He's glad to hear that his term will be filled with economic success, but he understands that the city has a lot of work to do.

"Obviously, we're not ready yet, but we're getting ready. We're putting things in place, I think, to get us ready for this economic growth that's going to happen in Columbus<" Mayor Wetherington said. "But it's just an exciting time for the people in Columbus, Georgia."

In addition to the region seeing economic growth, economists say individual industries can also expect success in the next five years.

The hospitality industry in Columbus will see a growth of 25% over the next few years, compared to a state-wide average of about 12%.

And while the housing market is cooling off nationally, the construction and real estate industries will continue to profit locally, thanks to factors such as BRAC.

Also, the Columbus area is expected to see a population boom from retirees. Economists say many people are deciding to trade Florida's skyrocketing real estate prices for the more affordable cost of living here. Retirement communities like Farrfield Homes, off of Farr Road, are already beginning to pop up around the area.

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Fort Benning opens $5.6 million medical clinic:

The new 27,000-square-foot clinic, located on Sightseeing Road near the new headquarters of the 11th Infantry Regiment, will provide medical services to include sick call, primary care, audiology, pharmacy, physical therapy, digital radiology and minor procedures. The clinic will employ 60 people. There are plans for an 8,000-square-foot addition sometime in 2008. Another clinic will be built in the Harmony Church area because of expansion due to Base Realignment and Closure commission decisions.

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Aflac has donated $1 million to the new Infantry Museum. Gettting closer and closer to the $85 million goal. It should be a catalyst for growth in that S. Columbus area which has been economically depressed for far too long. With the Museum and white water both coming on line in a year or so, Columbus should become more of a destination city. I think that the city would be well advised to start considering an ad campaign in Atlanta touting itself as a weekend get-away destination. Chattanooga seems to have done a pretty good job of that.

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30,000 new residents for Ft. Benning? That's incredible, and a huge influx for the Columbus area. As a former infantryman with fond (and not so fond) memories of Ft. Benning, I'm pleased by the new infantry museum development and the renovations on post. I'm looking forward to visiting the museum when it's done. Thanks for the info.

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