Friday, June 21, 2013
A 55-acre tract expected to be annexed into the City of Georgetown could be the future site of a Lowe’s Home Improvement store or other big-box retailers.
Georgetown Mayor Jack Scoville says the city has been approached by Century 21 Grimes and Associates about annexing 55 acres it owns behind and next to Tractor Supply on North Fraser Street across from Walmart.
Scoville said the plans for the property include room for two big box stores and five or six commercial parcels fronting Highway 701.
The annexation must get the approval of City Council. Scoville said it was expected to be discussed in executive session during Thursday night’s council meeting but no vote would take place after the closed door meeting.
“The city will be aggressively recruiting Lowe’s and other big retailers,” Scoville said.
He said the Grimes’ are already “in negotiations with a banking company for a large headquarters office on the property.”
Talks are also underway with a fast food chain and other retailers, Scoville said. He said the city will use the city’s economic director, Tee Miller, “to put on a full court press to get these types of businesses in town.”
“The local economy seems to be reviving in a hurry,” Scoville said. “There are three renovations occurring on Front Street, a new restaurant being built, a new pharmacy on Black River Road, and several other projects in various stages of planning and construction. Once the Grimes project is built out, as many as 400 new jobs may be generated, especially if a big box store can be recruited to the site.”
While the announcement seems to be good news for Georgetown, the timing of making the news known — less than a week before a runoff for the Democratic nomination for the mayor’s seat — is being questioned.
Scoville faces City Councilman Rudolph Bradley in the runoff that takes place Tuesday.
The mayor said the city was not contacted about the annexation possibility until Friday, June 14. A meeting was held with city staff on Monday, he said.
“I question all of that,” Bradley said Thursday.
He said he does, however, support the possibility of new businesses coming to the city.
“When Lowe’s wanted to come in last time, Mr. Scoville was not in support,” Bradley said.
By Scott Harper