A large collection of mounted exotic animals owned by a Martinez man might gain the support of a new business that will locate in Columbia County, members of the county's Development Authority were told Tuesday morning.
Dennis Trotter, of Meybohm Commercial Properties, stands at the site of the Academy Sports & Outdoors store, which is across the street from the new Target on Washington Road in Martinez.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The collection, owned by Soudy Golabchi, has caught the attention of the company Academy Sports & Outdoors Ltd., which recently announced plans to locate a store on Washington Road in Evans across the street from the new Target, said Zack Daffin, the county's Development Authority director.
Nine months ago, the collection was discussed by the county commission concerning an effort to have the collection displayed for the public.
"They're mulling that over right now,'' Daffin said, referring to Academy Sports & Outdoors' interest in the collection.
The collection includes 400 mounted animals and is reportedly valued at $10 million.
"The idea would be that there be some kind of correlation,'' Daffin said Wednesday.
"That there may be a museum that conceptually might be attached to the (Academy Sports & Outdoors) facility. But again, this is very much in the preliminary stages.''
The display was presented to the county commission in November as a possibility to have it donated to a county museum.
At the time, the commission agreed to have all options explored concerning a possible public/private partnership involving the costs of such a museum for the display.
Daffin said that since then, the development authority has worked hard to determine possibilities for the display, which he said is one of the best in the country.
Marco Polo sheep, which live in the rugged mountains of Tajikistan, are part of the Soudy Golabchi collection.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"We're just working hard trying to keep that collection here in Columbia County,'' he said. "And we saw this as a potential opportunity. If we can keep it here, we want to keep it here.''
In other action at Tuesday's Development Authority meeting, the board also:
- Accepted a acre plot of land on Furys Ferry Road from the Columbia County Commission to sell for development.
- Received an update on a recent partnership of counties that border Thurmond Lake, including Columbia, McDuffie and Lincoln counties.
Daffin said the counties are nearing the finishing touches of the partnership and that one of their latest ideas is looking into the possibility of working together in procurement issues to "build purchasing power.
"There continues to be new ideas that crop up,'' he said.
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