A parcel of surplus Columbia County land will become part of a larger site for a new Evans restaurant, thanks to a deal worked out between the Columbia County Development Authority and two private developers.
The .344-acre tract at the corner of North Belair and Hereford Farm roads is being sold to an as-yet-unnamed South Carolina-based restaurant chain that plans to build its first Georgia location.
Joe Stevenson, of Bell Investment Co. of Augusta, is brokering the deal. His $107,000 offer on the property - the county's asking price - came in just after a similar offer by adjoining landowner and fellow developer Gary Waters of Gary Waters Real Estate Co., of Martinez.
After discussions with the development authority, which was marketing the property on behalf of Columbia County, Waters agreed to withdraw his competing offer. In return, the company Stevenson represents will complete its purchase of a 1.9-acre tract Stevenson is marketing on behalf of owner Louise Partridge of Appling, and purchase Waters' adjacent property.
The property on the corner of North Belair and Hereford Farm roads has been sold to a restaurant chain.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I'm pleased we were able to work something out," Stevenson said. "It made it a lot easier for everybody. It's one of those deals that I think everybody is going to win on."
Along with the county's parcel, the restaurant will be on a site slightly larger than 2.5 acres. By comparison, said development authority Executive Director Zack Daffin, the Applebee's across the street is on 1.8 acres.
The restaurant's owners hope to break ground on the site this fall, Stevenson said. "I foresee them moving very quickly on it," he said.
Columbia County has been trying to sell its small surplus parcel since 1996, when the Belair Road widening project was completed by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Twice before, the county marketed the property through sealed bids, and each time the county rejected the bids - from $50,000 to $70,000 - as too low.
County commissioners recently turned over the property to the development authority under a contract that reduces its annual financial support for the authority by the same amount as the proceeds from the sale. Waters and Stevenson then made their competing offers on the property soon after.
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