South Augusta could get its first Starbucks along with another major retail store as a new development takes shape on an already well traveled portion of town.
The area is not that far from Bobby Jones Expressway and the new stores are being build in an already bustling area between Chick-fil-A and Krispy Kreme. It's a move Augusta's mayor said speaks to the future.
"We've talked about one Augusta. An Augusta that works for all of her citizens," Mayor Hardie Davis told us near the site.
Between the Garden City's demand to 'eat more chicken' and donuts 'hot and now' will soon be a Verizon Wireless store and a national coffee chain that could be the first for South Augusta.
The mayor said, "When you think about the possibilities of having a Starbucks at this location, we know that the majority of the citizens who live in Richmond County or South of Gordon Highway there's been a lot of work. These types of efforts happen not just in a single moment, but over a period of time. When you look at the work of former commissioner Jimmy Smith of Pride and Progress, the commissioners."
Starbucks has not officially announced it is coming, but what other coffee place could it be with Dunkin Donuts just down the way on Peach Orchard Road. Mayor Davis said the 4200 square foot building opening this summer is part of a long range growth plan in South Augusta alone.
"I think there has always been a vibrancy here in this portion of town," he explained. "What's lacked are the amenities. I want to be able to sit down. I want to be able to connect with my neighbors, not just next door, but across the community."
Hull Property Group, which also developed the Chick-Fil-A and the Krispy Kreme next to the new retail stores, demolished the blighted building that once stood there to give companies the vision to come.
"It's positive momentum. Sometimes you create that yourself through demolishing older buildings," said John Mulherin, Vice President of Government Relations for Hull Property Group. "But a lot of the times it is something new, something fresh and that attracts other tenants to the market as well."
We do not officially know that Starbucks is coming, only that a national coffee chain will open on Peach Orchard Road. We will keep our ears open for the announcement.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins
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