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socaguy

Developing Edge Cities in Georgia's 2nd tier cities.

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What areas in your city would you call a developing Edge City? Honestly, I dont think there are any true Edge Cities (as defined by Joel Garreau in his book titled Edge City, Life on the New Frontier), in Georgia outside of the many in metropolitan Atlanta, but there are some areas in some of Georgias larger cities that could fit into emerging or developing Edge City status. Without looking at the book, Garreau basically defines an Edge city as an area outside of an older Downtown that has some of the following criteria: 5 million sqft. of office space, 500,000 sq. ft. of retail, a population that increases in the day and decreases dramatically at night, etc. Some examples of an Edge City are the Perimeter Center area, Cumberland/Galleria, Alpharetta, Sugarloaf pkway area, Buckhead, etc, etc in Atlanta. Some are larger and ploped on top of pre-existing establishments (Buckhead, Sandy Springs MD.,) and others have popped up out of farmland or semi-rural areas, (Alpharetta, Woodlands TX).

In Augusta I can only think of one area that could truly be considered an emerging Edge City, that probably meets all criteria except for the amount of office space. That would be the Wheeler Rd./Bobby Jones Expressway area. Its an area centered around a huge shopping complex (roughly 700,000 sq. ft), mostly big box type stores but a larger mall is just minutes away. Scattered about are mostly lowrise office buildings, (3-4 floors generally) and adjacent is a large hospital, with additional office buildings. It is an area which is getting a lot of growth but almost built out. I can see Evans or the area around the new Villages at Riverwatch Lifestyle Center forming into Edge Cities in the future as well.

What about in Savannah, Macon, Columbus, Athens, Albany?

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In other words, wherever there is an interstate and a mall.

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No, not necessarily. But in many cases a mall and a freeway are major components of Edge Cities.

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What areas in your city would you call a developing Edge City? Honestly, I dont think there are any true Edge Cities (as defined by Joel Garreau in his book titled Edge City, Life on the New Frontier), in Georgia outside of the many in metropolitan Atlanta, but there are some areas in some of Georgias larger cities that could fit into emerging or developing Edge City status. Without looking at the book, Garreau basically defines an Edge city as an area outside of an older Downtown that has some of the following criteria: 5 million sqft. of office space, 500,000 sq. ft. of retail, a population that increases in the day and decreases dramatically at night, etc. Some examples of an Edge City are the Perimeter Center area, Cumberland/Galleria, Alpharetta, Sugarloaf pkway area, Buckhead, etc, etc in Atlanta. Some are larger and ploped on top of pre-existing establishments (Buckhead, Sandy Springs MD.,) and others have popped up out of farmland or semi-rural areas, (Alpharetta, Woodlands TX).

In Augusta I can only think of one area that could truly be considered an emerging Edge City, that probably meets all criteria except for the amount of office space. That would be the Wheeler Rd./Bobby Jones Expressway area. Its an area centered around a huge shopping complex (roughly 700,000 sq. ft), mostly big box type stores but a larger mall is just minutes away. Scattered about are mostly lowrise office buildings, (3-4 floors generally) and adjacent is a large hospital, with additional office buildings. It is an area which is getting a lot of growth but almost built out. I can see Evans or the area around the new Villages at Riverwatch Lifestyle Center forming into Edge Cities in the future as well.

What about in Savannah, Macon, Columbus, Athens, Albany?

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Macon is experiencing a great deal of growth and development...

SOUTH MACON

Lifestyle/"Strip Center" is under construction in South Macon just off of I-75 South on Hartley Bridge Road. Moon Family Properties is behind this 1.1 million sqft project. It will include 1,700 single family units, two to four story condos, and apartment community, retail, dinning, a midrise hotel, and office space.

NORTH MACON

One large big-box retailer (144,000 square feet), with 22 out-parcels around it.

Luxurious Restaurants, Hotels and Stores galore. Macon continues to crawl up I-75 toward Atlanta. The "Lullwater" development (at Bass Rd. & I-75) in Macon keeps getting larger in scale, plus developers are lining up to cram as many stores as possible at Bass Rd. & I-75...so here's a new topic to track the Bass Road explosion of growth.

Market place at bass project are well underway with negtations with a major national department store and five anchors

Lullwater Village is going to be Macon's first lifestyle center, which is planned to be modelled after The Avenue East Cobb, The Avenue West Cobb, and The Avenue Peachtree City. The twist is hotels and restaurants are also planned to be built at the site.

Of the 6 lifestyle centers that are currently under construction in Macon, this one is the largest. The Shoppes at River Crossing(new open air Mall) will be managed by Jim Wilson & Associates, the same company that manages Riverchase Galleria, Birmingham's largest mall. The new lifestyle center calls for 2 anchor stores, upscale specialty stores, restaurants and entertainment.The Shoppes at River Crossing.' Also, the development's retail space is a bit larger than the original estimate at around 1,000,000 sq. ft., which is about the size of a typical mall in Georgia.

The fact that this lifestyle center alone is so large is a pretty big deal when considering the other developments going up around it. North Macon's total new retail space count is up to 3.8 million square feet.

Northwest Macon is now under development. Interestingly, like Lullwater, this one brings another cool twist: it's a mixed use community.125,000 sq. ft. of retail will be introduced, which should bring total retail space of the Zebulon Rd./I-475 area over the 1 million mark, along with 300 upscale garden apartment units.

The new Beall's Hill project will be a mixed-use, mixed-income pedestrian friendly community. The Beall's Hill project is the largest of its kind in the state outside Atlanta.

DOWNTOWN

An entire city block in the heart of downtown is about to be redeveloped into retail stores, offices and 7 luxury condominuims.

development of the new hotel downtown the hotel should be a Highrise 12-20 stories something similar to the Crowne plaza

Georgia Heart Center currently under constructions a 9-10 story mid rise extention to Medical center, which is the 2nd largest hospital in the state, which grady mem hospital is the largest in atl.

Proposed Development:

Wild adventure wanting to build in South Macon Area, Macon Eyed for a theme park Construction

Georgia DOT gets closer to finally selecting a plan for the I-75/I-16 interchange downtown,I-75 will be 9 lanes at its widest point and I-16 will be 12 lanes at its widest point, Downtown streets and bridges will also be reconstructed across I-16...Coliseum Drive will be widened to 6 lanes and Second Street will be widened to 6 lanes.

And i didn't even include Warner robins or any of other parts of the Metro area...

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Well all that development in Macon is nice but it tells me nothing about any edge cities forming. Edge City is more about office than it is about retail, but it is usually centered around retail, (Lenox Sq., Tysons Galleria., Perimeter Center, South Coast Plaza, etc.). In what areas of Macon are suburban office buildings going up or located? What about Savannah? Are they concentrated in one area?

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Socaguy,

I honestly don't think there will be many true edge cities outside of Atlanta for a very long time. First one must understand that most edge cities develop around a major shopping center and have a very large office concentration. It may be hard to detail such a development in Georgia outside of Atlanta. Take for instance the Perimeter Center area at the convergance of GA400 and I-285. At one time....and this may still eb true...the Perimeter Center edge city was said to have more office space than downtown Nashville. At 25,000,000 square feet of office space, over 100,000 daytime office workers and a major mall with more than 1,000,000 square feet of office space, there are not many lesser cities in the south that can match such a feat. Charlotte has edge cities (Southpark and University City) but I don't know of many more in the southeast that would fit the bill.

What one must understand is that a true edge city....as defined by Joel Garreau...could be stand alone cities themselves. Perimeter Center, Cumberland, Buckhead, Alpharetta and The Sugarloaf area could all be very formiable cities even if Atlanta was not there. Although I will concede that it's quite possible that none of these edge cities would exist if it was not for the city of Atlanta. An edge city has all the makings of a stand alone city. Plentiful retail and residential is not the only components necessary for an edge city status.

The reason why I say that an edge city may not develop in other cities outside of Atlanta...maybe the exception being Augusta...is because in order for it to happen, there must be an influx of commercial/office development. Right now, Atlanta's edge cities seem to have a gripe on relocating companies. If you are a national company and you are scouting locations in Georgia, would you choose to move 2000 employess and your CEO to one of Atlanta's edge cities (with access to Hartsfield-Jackson, cultural amenities, an educated workforce, transportation) or to another Georgia city? Chances are, it is easier to find 40,000 square feet of class A office space in one of Atlanta's edge cities than it is to build something in another city.

It is often difficult for even major cities to develop edge cities in their true sense so I think one would be hard pressed to actually find one in any other of Georgia's cities.

BTW, a downtown cannot be considered an edge city. At any rate, that's just my limited two cents.

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Socaguy,

I honestly don't think there will be many true edge cities outside of Atlanta for a very long time. First one must understand that most edge cities develop around a major shopping center and have a very large office concentration. It may be hard to detail such a development in Georgia outside of Atlanta. Take for instance the Perimeter Center area at the convergance of GA400 and I-285. At one time....and this may still eb true...the Perimeter Center edge city was said to have more office space than downtown Nashville. At 25,000,000 square feet of office space, over 100,000 daytime office workers and a major mall with more than 1,000,000 square feet of office space, there are not many lesser cities in the south that can match such a feat. Charlotte has edge cities (Southpark and University City) but I don't know of many more in the southeast that would fit the bill.

What one must understand is that a true edge city....as defined by Joel Garreau...could be stand alone cities themselves. Perimeter Center, Cumberland, Buckhead, Alpharetta and The Sugarloaf area could all be very formiable cities even if Atlanta was not there. Although I will concede that it's quite possible that none of these edge cities would exist if it was not for the city of Atlanta. An edge city has all the makings of a stand alone city. Plentiful retail and residential is not the only components necessary for an edge city status.

The reason why I say that an edge city may not develop in other cities outside of Atlanta...maybe the exception being Augusta...is because in order for it to happen, there must be an influx of commercial/office development. Right now, Atlanta's edge cities seem to have a gripe on relocating companies. If you are a national company and you are scouting locations in Georgia, would you choose to move 2000 employess and your CEO to one of Atlanta's edge cities (with access to Hartsfield-Jackson, cultural amenities, an educated workforce, transportation) or to another Georgia city? Chances are, it is easier to find 40,000 square feet of class A office space in one of Atlanta's edge cities than it is to build something in another city.

It is often difficult for even major cities to develop edge cities in their true sense so I think one wowuld be hard pressed to actually find one in any other of Georgia's cities.

BTW, a downtown cannot be considered an edge city. At any rate, that's just my limited two cents.

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For Augusta, I can see Evans becoming an Edge City in the next few years; not so much any of the other areas.

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For Augusta, I can see Evans becoming an Edge City in the next few years; not so much any of the other areas.

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For downtown, it's like one step forward and two steps back. Downtown has made a lot of progress in the past five years, but Evans is where it's at at the moment. We have a lot of momentum downtown, and I'm really excited about how it's progressing, but it's still very fragile. By far the richest area of suburban Augusta, Evans is developing as its own city, with a centralized downtown and retail. I think they can co-exist though.

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In Macon, there aren't really any "edge cities" that can even compare with Atlanta's edge cities. But if Alpharetta is considered to be the model of an edge city in Georgia, then some examples in the Macon area would be:

North Bibb/South Monroe - Lullwater Area: As mentioned earlier, this area is growing very rapidly...with several high-end 'Alpharetta-like' retail developments under construction. Also, with several low to midrise office buildings already in the area and a few midrise hotels to come, the area is threatening to develop its own miniature skyline. Unfortunately, the fact that it is only about 10 miles away from downtown and that it still has a "Macon" address may disqualify it from being an edge city.

Perry, GA: There's no mall (yet), but there are tons of retail/residential growth. There's a new Publix on the way and a new Wal-Mart Supercenter opened recently. It's also in the fastest growing Georgia county outside the Atlanta CSA and it's 28 miles away from downtown Macon...sounds like an edge city to me!

Forsyth - N. Monroe County: It's 22 miles north of downtown. There's strong upscale residential growth as $500,000-$1,000,000+ communities are popping up left and right. Unfortunately, it may end up being one of Atlanta's edge cities as well. See 'Where Macon Meets Atlanta'

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For some reason I didnt think residential had anything to do with Edge city. In fact I think an Edge City actually looses population at night, with an inlfux in the day from workers in bedroom communities.

Sure, it will be a while before any of Georgias metro areas get a "true" edge city, as defined by Garreau. Some areas might see something happen in around 15 years though.

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