Two significant economic development projects in Columbia County are expected to be announced this week.
Bill Coleman, chairman of the county's Development Authority, told members of the County Commission's Planning and Development Services Committee that the authority will present plans for an office, retail and hotel/conference center Thursday.
The announcement will take place at 10 a.m. at the project site at 691 North Belair Road in Evans.
The next day, Coleman said, the Authority will announce the first tenant of the new Horizon North Business Park in Grovetown in a ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Columbia County Government Center Auditorium in Evans.
Sources say the new Horizon North tenant is a major supplier to John Deere, a tractor manufacturer with two plants in the county's Horizon South Industrial Park.
The incoming businesses and future development will make the county a major economic force in the near future, Coleman said.
"Columbia County, in five to 10 years, will be the economic leader in this part of the state," he said. "This is going to be the place to live and to shop if you're a professional."
Coleman said he expects a retail boom in Columbia County that will keep county residents shopping inside the county lines, instead of traveling to Richmond County.
"I think Columbia County is not a bedroom community anymore," he said. "We're not the stepchild. We're not the littler brother. We're an equal player."
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