CHANGES COMING TO ST GEORGINA
By Bobby Joe Beckman
New development planned for condemned warehouse district.
The twelve block area of St Georgina has been vacant since MacDouglas Fertilizer Manufacturing closed their doors in 2012 and a high crime zone according to New Grace Sheriff Ozell ‘Ozzie’ Keith. It was announced in January that the firms of Litvinov and Rakovsky Construction and Galaxy Developers had successfully purchased the entire area. Their application for permits to build a mixed use complex was opposed by many civic organizations, but after months of hearings the permits were issued.
The project will be broken into five stages and is expected to be completed in thirty-six months.
The first stage of the development, at the northeast corner of Rower Road and 3rd Street, will be an office complex, tentatively called Creekside Park, designed by Merrick Millridge of Planter, Shanton and Lark. Three buildings with 50 residential units each are also scheduled in the first stage, but design plans have not be finalized.
The second stage will be approximately 20,000 square feet of retail space, 8,000 of which will be designated for local businesses. It will include a well known restaurant, but Lenny Litvinov would not divulge which one. All he would say was, “It’s a popular mid-priced chain that has done very well in New Grace. They were considering expansion in the area and we were fortunate to get a commitment.”
The second stage will also include the town’s first parking structure mandated by the Town Planning and Development Committee. “Parking has never been a problem in St Georgina,” said Committeperson Delitha Roberts. “However, if the new complex is as successful as the proposal suggest, the committee felt that the developers should bear the burden of solving the parking problem they will create.”
Mayor Ermon Miller, who has taken a lot of heat over his support of the project, expressed his pleasure at the permits issuing. “I know that many people wanted to see the property designated strictly for residential purposes, but without new commercial development St. Georgina could not hope to compete with our neighboring towns.”