Without further ado, here is what you have to look forward to in Statesboro Crossing – the new retail development going in at the southwest corner of Brannen Street and the Veterans Memorial Parkway (Statesboro Bypass).
T.J. Maxx and Hobby Lobby will anchor the shopping center along with a bookstore, pet store, and office supply store. Statesboro Crossing will also feature over 38,000 square feet of specialty stores including Rack Room Shoes.
The developers of the project are CBL & Associates properties, Inc. and Ewing Southeast Realty. Morris Ewing, Sr., president of Ewing Southeast Realty, said, “Statesboro Crossing will offer area shoppers a first-class shopping experience featuring both a strong line-up of national and regional retailers to the market and a great overall shopping experience in a pleasant environment.”
I had the opportunity to speak with Andy Ewing, son of Morris Ewing, Sr., and a partner in the Atlanta-based real estate firm. I asked Ewing why his firm chose Statesboro for retail development.
“For lack of a better term, Statesboro had been on our list to investigate, but we just hadn't made it there until a couple of years ago,” he said. “We were looking at some property on the coast one day and had a little extra time, so we decided to go to Statesboro and take a look.”
“With the growth of Georgia Southern and the area economy, we thought Statesboro was ‘under retailed’," he said. “Studies and information provided by Georgia Southern and the Chamber of Commerce confirmed that.”
Ewing said that was the beginning of a long process that involved “selling” Statesboro to national and regional retailers.
“The sales job you have to do is to convince people that the trade area served by Statesboro isn’t just Bulloch County, it is all of the surrounding counties as well,” he said. “We went to Wal-Mart on a Wednesday and took pictures of the cars in the parking lot to show retailers the car tags from all of the different counties. It took time and persistence.”
When I told you last week, that large retail development, particularly in an area like Statesboro that is just beginning to “feel its development oats”, is an arduous and tedious process requiring a tremendous amount of cooperation by a number of parties, I wasn’t being flippant. But I do think, in this instance, it is far better said by Andy Ewing himself.
"This project was a team effort,” he said. “We greatly appreciate the help of Bernard Olliff, Todd Manack, George Wood, Maz Elhaj, Jim Shaw, Mayor Bill Hatcher, Wallace Wright, Rachel Edwards, Peggy Chapman, Chuck Perry and his staff at EMC Engineering, Dan Taulbee, Steve Rushing, Raybon Anderson, Mike Rollins, Jeff Akins, and the staff of the city of Statesboro."
There you have it. Statesboro Crossing, Fall 2008.
Until next week, I bid you au revoir.
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