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Saturday, January 25, 2020
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Commercial Real Estate

Blitchton Oaks Development will Anchor New Town of Blitchton

Blitchton Oaks, a 106-acre planned residential and commercial development, is poised to serve the community of Blitchton and the nearby Interstate Centre in north Bryan County, according to Scott Martens, chairman of MGI Commercial, Inc.

Just one mile from the Bryan Economic Development Authority’s successful industrial park at Interstate 16 and U.S. Highway 280, Blitchton Oaks is designed to provide 21 acres of commercial and retail users, plus 202 residential units.

In 2006, Vidalia onion grower Ralph Cavender of Claxton purchased the property at the intersection of U.S. 280 and U.S. Highway 80 with the vision that someday north Bryan County would grow to need a Blitchton Oaks type of development.

He saw the Blitchton community evolving into the town of Blitchton.  To begin the process, Cavender  sold three acres at the corner of the intersection to Greg Parker, who built a “Parkers”  upscale convenience store, which was an immediate success, according to the company.
When asked why he chose that site, Parker explained that he knew the traffic was good, but more than that, he felt the location was going to be in the center of future growth.  He wanted to do something special for the area with an attractive building, inside and out, lush landscaping and ample parking, he said.
Parker believes it may be the finest convenience store in the country, according to Martens.

Early in 2009 Cavender  hired  MGI Commercial, Inc. in Savannah to help develop the project.   “The location was excellent, and clearly the Interstate Centre was the engine driving the need for Blitchton Oaks,” said Martens.

“It was clear if the Bryan Economic Development Authority  was going to attract new businesses to Interstate Centre,  it needed nearby goods and services to support their tenants,” he added. “ Other north Bryan business leaders saw the opportunity of Blitchton becoming a vibrant, new town much like how Richmond Hill began.”

Land planner Bill Dempsey designed the unique site plan to separate the residential from the commercial through various water elements.  However, his plan allows a resident to access the commercial  through pedestrian walkways and internal roadways.

“We are exploring the possibility of making this a green development,” Martens said. “Not often do you have a chance to start from scratch and develop something that could have, among other things, geo-thermal and solar capabilities throughout.”

The commercial plan calls for a major grocery store, banks, restaurants, offices, medical facilities, retail such as dry cleaners, beauty salon and various shops and services.

The plan received encouragement from county officials, the economic development authority and local business leaders, he said.  As part of the plan, sewer and water would be extended from I-16, which is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. According to Martens, the Georgia Department of Transportation has designed and funded the upgrading of the intersection to include signalization.

“This process will take 12 months, according to a DOT representative,” he says.

But he’s also realistic. “The current economy has kept Blitchton Oaks in the planning stages,” Martens pointed out. “Timing is an issue.  Knowing today we are still a year to 18 months from completing the   development of the infrastructure, we’re hoping to hit the upturn. We are taking it one step at a time.”

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