Columbia County residents will have to wait longer than expected before construction starts on a new phase of an Evans shopping center.
The addition to Mullins Crossing remains on hold, said Jim Gamble, a project manager for Collett and Associates, a partner in the development.
The second phase was said to be anchored by Hobby Lobby, but a sign announcing the arts and crafts store has since been removed from the property.
"It is on hold for the time being just based on economic factors that we're all dealing with," said Gamble, who would not comment on the removal of the sign.
Calls made last week to Hobby Lobby's corporate office and to developer Frank Mullins were not immediately returned.
The project has been on hold since fall, said Development Services Division Director Richard Harmon.
In August 2006, the county rezoned from residential to commercial about 22 acres for the addition to the development. Businesses in Mullins Crossing, including Target and Kohl's, opened in 2005.
The Columbia County Commission granted developers a $600,000 economic incentive in January to spur construction of the second phase, but the money has not been used, Harmon said.
"We hope to have an opportunity to pick it back up some time here in the future as the (economic) climate improves," Gamble said. He said he did not know of a specific time when construction might start.
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