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Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Expansions, renovations and new businesses
Walmart Market Expansion Web
Illustration above shows Walmart's proposed expansion of its Neighborhood Market.

              Growth in Statesboro is ending the year as strong as it began. While we are preparing this week to celebrate Christmas and wind down the year, I wanted to update you on a few exciting projects around town.

Renasant Bank
        Renasant Bank has named Carolyn Ethridge as the Market President making her the first female to lead a bank in our community. She follows John Roach who recently accepted a position at Sea Island Bank. Carolyn was most recently a member of the leadership team with the Statesboro Bank and is retiring as a Bulloch County Commissioner.

Walmart Neighborhood Market
        If you have been out to the Walmart Neighborhood Market lately you have noticed they are doing site work to the left side of the building. Hutton Real Estate, the owners of the development, which includes Walmart Market, have received permits for a 4,900-square-foot commercial/retail addition to the Walmart Market building. The $600,000-addition will include four new retail spaces with the end unit including a drive-through window. Hutton has not announced tenants for the additions at this time.

Fuzzy's Taco property
        Local realtor Nick Propps has sold the former Fuzzy's Taco's building which is adjacent to the Millhouse off of the bypass to an investment group. Sonny's Bar B Que chain constructed a restaurant on the property in 2003. They closed the restaurant several years later and the Fuzzy's Taco chain purchased the building in 2012 and opened after extensive renovations in April 2013. Fuzzy's closed last December after the concept never quite caught on.
        Personally, I never could get over having to pay for chips and salsa. The locally-owned Mexican restaurants have that part figured out. The new owners have no immediate plans for the restaurant and purchased the property speculatively. They are researching concepts and ideas for this location.

Ellianos Coffee
        Ellianos Coffee located at 598 Brannen Street, is undergoing renovations that includes updates to the façade and branding updates. They now have both windows back open and hope to have all of the renovations completed early next year. Local owners Tim and Summer Bishop and Gerry and Cindy Gant want to thank their loyal customers for their patience during the renovations.

Bulloch First Bank
        Almost $2 million dollars of construction has begun on Bulloch First Bank at 1101 Brampton Avenue beside Walker Pharmacy. The bank is a branch of Citizen's Bank of Swainsboro. Led by local banker Gary Johnson, Bulloch First Bank has more than $30 million in assets since entering the market late last year. They are projecting to open the bank in the fall of 2017.

Southern Square
        Tracy Waters, owner of Southern Square Shopping Center located at 609 Brannen Street, has leased the last two spaces available in his center. This is the first time since 2007 that Southern Square has been completely full. The two new entries are Pizza Mizza and Juice Café.
        Pizza Mizza, a locally owned Pizza restaurant is coming to the former Hungry Howie's Pizza in the Southern Square shopping center beside Heavenly Ham.
        Juice Café, is the creation of Statesboro residents Keyron and Williatte Cooper. Williatte is military veteran and her husband still serves in the National Guard.
        The two have dreamed of owning their own smoothie bar for several years. The Juice Café will open early in 2017 and is located between World Finance and Shogun in Southern Square. The concept, store design and recipes are all their creations.
        Everything in the café will be made from fresh fruits and vegetables. They are focusing on all organic and natural juices and smoothies. Salads, fresh juice, overnight oatmeal, fresh gluten-free cookies, muffins and anything healthy that can be made from fruits and vegetables will be offered in the Cafe. The smoothie bar and café is slated to open in early January 2017.

More pizza
        Local realtor Everett Kennedy has leased the former Cleve White Nissan, located at 807 South Main Street, to the Statesboro Woodfire, LLC. They have begun renovations of the old car dealership bringing new life as a stone fired pizza restaurant.
        Hopefully this strong ending of 2016 will continue to be a sign of great things to come in 2017. In the coming weeks, I will review our amazing year in the Boro and make a few crystal ball projections for 2017. Thanks for reading and supporting the businesses we feature each week in the Business Tuesday section.
        I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

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