Mar
12

Crescent Centre likely to give Hardeeville an Economic Boost

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Crescent Centre likely to give Hardeeville an economic boost

By JIM FABER
jfaber@islandpacket.com

March 11, 2008

A $150 million commercial and residential development is planned for Hardeeville that will span 170 acres and eventually add 1,000 jobs, according to the developers.

Tetra Companies LLC, based in Virginia, plans to build 820,000 square feet of retail and office space and about 320 apartments. For size comparison, The Mall at Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island has 274,000 square feet of retail space.

City and developer estimates indicate the project, called Crescent Centre, will be completed in 2014 near Exit 5 off Interstate 95 at U.S. 17.

Tetra owned 40 acres in Hardeeville, and the city has agreed to sell 130 acres from what is now called the Hardeeville Commerce Park to the developer for roughly $2.8 million.

“It all just really came together — the exposure to I-95, the size,” said Eric Vannier, a director with Tetra. “We look around all the time at interstates” for new developments.

The location will capture both travelers coming north from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport for a vacation on Hilton Head and those traveling south on I-95 to spend time in Florida, Vannier said.

While Tetra has visions of a bustling shopping corridor, Hardeeville envisions a boost to its tax base and a spur to new development.

Some of the proceeds from the sale of the city land will go toward creating a public-private Economic Development Alliance, a nonprofit group that will purchase properties and market them for industrial and commercial purposes, said Ted Felder, the city’s economic development director.

The city and the alliance, which is expected to be formally created in the coming weeks, plan to buy land west of Crescent Centre for an industrial park, Felder said.

With the revenues the commercial and retail development adds to Hardeeville’s tax base, the city will be able to offer tax incentives in the future to lure industry, city officials said.

Those incentives are almost always necessary to bring in high- paying industrial jobs, Felder said.

Vannier said construction should start in early 2009. There are questions about how the national economic slowdown might affect the national retailers’ building plans, but Vannier is confident the Hardeeville location is so desirable that retailers will make it among their priorities for new store construction.

The Tetra development is not related to a $61 million deal announced last week to develop 5,000 acres in the city into an industrial park.

http://www.islandpacket.com/news/business/story/250764.html

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