With no fanfare whatsoever, construction has begun, and you all have noticed. Right behind the McDonald's restaurant at the corner of Northside Drive and Lovett Road - in the Southern Square shopping center - the building of a new, free-standing Tractor Supply is underway.
According to Rob Hoskins, a member of the media relations team for Tractor Supply, the store will be 19,097 square feet, and will employ between 12 and 17 full and part-time employees.
"We greatly look forward to being a new member of the Statesboro business community, and we hope to open our doors for business by mid January 2012," Hoskins said. "As a growth minded company, Tractor Supply Company (TSC) is always looking for potential new store locations that are a good fit as far as the target market is concerned. Concerning Statesboro, this is especially true in that the area is attractive due to the part-time and hobby farmers, and horse owners in the area."
Hoskins said the TSC product category expertise includes lawn and garden and animal care products that will service the needs of these customers.
Tractor Supply Company is the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States. The company operates more than 1,043 retail stores in 44 states, employs more than 15,000 team members and is headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn. Its stock is traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol “TSCO.”
The company was founded in 1938 as a mail order catalog business offering tractor parts to America’s family farmers. Today Tractor Supply posts annual revenues surpassing $3 billion.
Tractor Supply stores are primarily located in rural areas and the outlying suburbs of major cities. The typical Tractor Supply store has 15,000-24,000 square feet of inside selling space with a similar amount of outside space used to display agricultural fencing, livestock equipment and horse stalls.
Clearly, this will be a "boost" for Southern Square which has struggled for the last several years, as evidenced by the 47,990 square foot formerly occupied by Food Lion that remains empty.
I know that ongoing development brings a sense of comfort to our community. It signals that we continue to be attractive to developers, those who bank on a community's sustained vitality and growth, and it also means new jobs.
Right now, there are several projects under construction including Tractor Supply and The Forum apartments on Highway 301 South. In the next couple of weeks, I expect to report on others that will be underway in the next few months.
It is my hope, however, that we aren't trading one job for another, one business for another. That is the dark side to new development. For everyone to win, we must continue to grow our shopping base, and bring in more and more shoppers from surrounding areas. While we do a very good job of it now, we need to do a great job going forward.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
Got a scoop for Jan? Call (912) 489-9463; email firstname.lastname@example.org