A commercial and retail development called Evans Town Park on North Belair Road near the Evans campus of University Hospital is beginning to take shape.
To date, much of the sales activity in the new retail and office complex has been stimulated by the medical community.
"We've gotten a good response from the medical community because of our proximity to the University Hospital" campus, said Matt Mills, the vice president of Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial Corp., adding that most of the lots in the 53-acre development have now sold.
Mills said medical professionals and groups that purchased lots include Dr. Sanders R. Calloway, Pediatric Partners of Augusta, Augusta Cardiology Associates and Augusta Obstetrics and Gynecology. Mills said Blanchard and Calhoun has sold parcels to The Carpet Shop, which has a building under construction, and to First Bank.
Mills said his company has received heavy interest from accounting and other professionals, though he declined to provide specific names.
Developers designed the complex as a pedestrian-friendly campus with a two-acre park that has a fountain serving as its centerpiece. The overall project is estimated to be complete within the next five years.
Mills said he envisions employees at the development walking to amenities such as the fountain and restaurants and other stores in the retail portions of the center. The park features numerous sidewalks and heavy landscaping with tree-lined boulevards.
In total, developers hope to have upwards of 40,000 square feet of retail space and nearly 400,000 square feet of office space. Some of that space will be in a new three-story, 53,000-square-foot mixed-use office building.
Mills said construction will begin soon on the building, which will serve as an example of the park's design standards.
"Once we start that building, people are really going to see what it (the park) is going to look like and it's going to take off from there," he said, adding that the stylebook for the complex calls for a neotraditional design. Plans are also in the works to open up four new lots with a road that will connect with Hereford Farm Road at Lawrence Drive.
As builders progress with the Evans Town Park, work has yet to begin to demolish the old Evans Middle School to make way for another Blanchard and Calhoun retail development. Mills said his company is reviewing bids from demolition firms.
Mills said the old Evans Middle site, to be called Evans Town Square, is not his project and he could not provide any further details. Vic Mills, of Blanchard and Calhoun, has said Home Depot has shown interest in the site, but representatives from the company had not returned e-mail messages left for comment as of Friday morning.
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