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Walmart grocery store to anchor Martinez development

Posted: August 3, 2014 - 12:13am  |  Updated: August 3, 2014 - 2:44am
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A large area of land is being cleared on South Belair between Wheeler Road and Oakley Pirkle Road for a new Walmart.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
A large area of land is being cleared on South Belair between Wheeler Road and Oakley Pirkle Road for a new Walmart.

Columbia County officials confirmed Thursday that another Walmart grocery store will anchor a new retail development in Martinez.

The development is planned for Belair Road at Colonial Road near the Interstate 20 exit. Land clearing has already begun.

“It’ll be a Walmart Neighborhood Market, just like the one at Evans to Locks at Furys Ferry Road,” county planner Andrew Strickland said. “The grocery store concept.”

After the 15-acre undeveloped tract at 300 S. Belair Road was rezoned from neighborhood-commercial district to general commercial district, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Polestar Development LLC purchased the property and is leasing more than 6 acres of it to Walmart, according to real estate documents filed in the Columbia County Clerk of Court’s office on July 23.

Property owner WARR Limited Family Partnership LLC sold it to NSG Belair LLC for $2,325,000, according to deeds filed in the clerk’s office. NSG then sold the property to Polestar for $3 million.
The site plan submitted to the county incorporates a 41,000-square-foot Walmart grocery store and 12,800 square feet in additional retail space. A fast-food restaurant and fuel station also are targeted uses for the development and includes retail areas to be developed by Polestar.
Representatives for Walmart and Polestar did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

“The Walmart and gas station will likely go in together at first before they do the rest of the shopping center,” said Strickland, adding that he isn’t sure of the development’s timeline.

The property, which wraps around Yeong’s Pantry and will be separated by a retaining wall, backs up to a row of homes in the Fox Run and Quail Creek subdivisions.

With the expected influx of new residents to the area as a result of Fort Gordon’s new Army Cyber Command headquarters, Strickland has said he believes the South Belair Road and Jimmie Dyess Parkway corridor will be a hot spots for developers.
“There’s probably going to be a lot of pressure,” Strickland said. “Development pressure.”

The development and others around the county are a positive sign of an upturning commercial economy.

“Any sort of commercial development,” he said, “shows a trend.”

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