More and more residential rooftops have been popping up inside and around Grovetown during the past few years.
The city has more than 1,900 homes in some phase of planning or construction in 13 new subdivision developments, Mayor Dennis Trudeau said.
"(The growth surge) has been going on now for about three or four years," Trudeau said, adding that the city's estimated population is close to 10,000 people compared to 6,089 counted in the 2000 census.
Now, Grovetown and Columbia County leaders anticipate that more commercial and retail storefronts in areas surrounding the city are on the horizon.
Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said he expects the intersection of Interstate 20 and Lewiston Road to be the next main area of development. Wal-Mart and other major retailers have expressed interest in the site on the southwest corner of the I-20 intersection. County officials have begun a land-use study of the intersection and are considering an overlay district similar to the Evans Town Center.
"(That property) is so valuable with interstate connection and the amount of property available in one location," Cross said, adding that 2,200 to 2,300 acres in a single tract is a good find for retail developers. "It is an attractive location."
Trudeau and Cross agree that the area is a popular potential retail site because of the land availability and price, access to I-20 and the residential growth in and around Grovetown, and the sprawling growth from the Martinez-Evans area.
The residential growth, which often drives commercial growth, is predicted to continue in and around Grovetown. Trudeau said he expects the city's population to grow by another 5,000 people in the next couple of years.
Mark Herbert, the developer of Grove Landing off Harlem-Grovetown Road, said Grovetown is popular among developers because land is reasonably priced, so buyers get more value for their dollar. Grove Landing is a 550-home development under construction that will offer a neighborhood feel, with a pool, playgrounds, clubhouse, pond and day care.
"Your prices are more reasonable in the Grovetown area because of the land cost. That's a big thing," Herbert said, adding that costs in the Martinez-Evans area are much higher.
Herbert said Grovetown also has a small-town feel that attracts both residents and developers to the area.
"Grovetown is ... a good neighbor," he said. "It is almost like the Mayberry-type atmosphere. I think that is wonderful."
Trudeau said the growth has taken its toll, increasing demand on the city's infrastructure, especially the water and sewer capabilities. A new sewer line for the Euchee Creek basin is to be completed by September, and other measures are being undertaken so that the city's growth can continue without overtaxing its resources.
Despite the need for more infrastructure, Trudeau said he's happy to see the growth in his city.
"It is a good problem to have," he said.
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