GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF)– New companies are coming to the CSRA, and more business means more people. Columbia County has seen a 30 percent population increase since 2010, and much of that growth comes from new residents moving to towns surrounding Augusta.
“Everything is about built out in the eastern end of the counties, so it has got to move west,” owner and broker of Defoor Reality, Lloyd Defoor said.
He says much of the growth extends past Columbia County toward McDuffie and Lincoln Counties.
In the newly opened White Oak Business Park located off I-20’s Appling/Harlem exit, the Amazon fulfillment center is expected to bring over 1,000 jobs to the CSRA. But it’s not the only thing on the way.
“University Hospital is going to put a Prompt Care occupational therapy type building here, Sprint Foods is going to build another store and restaurant on the Appling side of I-20,” Defoor said. “The plans are in process to build strip centers in the Greenpoint subdivision development.”
Ft. Gordon and the Georgia Cyber Center continuously bring economic growth and new faces to the area.
“100-200 companies are going to do work with them, so it has just been a bonanza for us,” Defoor said.
All the new jobs in the area mean more people moving into the towns surrounding the industry, which is one of the reasons Columbia County is one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia.
“Harlem is booming, and it’s going to continue to grow as more people move in. And also it’s going to grow toward Appling and toward the lake,” Defoor said.
He says now is a time he’s glad to be an Augustan in real estate.
“It doesn’t get much better than what we have here. And people have found that out and they’re coming from all over the country to be here,” Defoor said.
Larry Prather is the owner and developer of the Greenpoint subdivison in Harlem, and he says despite rumors, there are no plans of constructing a Publix in the area near the Lewiston and Columbia Road intersection.
Defoor says a store will eventually have to be built, but for now, it’s not a done deal.