Valdosta wants to redevelop Five Points Shopping Center -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta wants to redevelop Five Points Shopping Center

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –The City of Valdosta plans to take over a rundown shopping center for new development but that means several businesses will get kicked out.

City leaders say it's a last resort after negotiations to buy the property fell through.

The City wants to redevelop the Five Points Shopping Center and build a new auditorium and library.

If you live in Valdosta, chances are you've driven through the parking lot of the Five Points Shopping Center. Drive by this week and you'll notice this sign.

"The city has looked for several years for property to build a new municipal auditorium," said Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson. "In fact we put $15 million on the splost referendum to acquire that property."

They found the property they want but they say negotiations with the Five Points property owner fell through.

So now city leaders say the last resort is to condemn the portion of the property they're seeking which is 22.15 acres. Big Lots, Brian Sumner State Farm Insurance and Speedy Lube would be the only three businesses forced to relocate.

 "It's a wonderful location, high traffic count high visibility…it works well," said A.D. Holt.

Holt is the Speedy Lube owner and a tenants at Five Points. He says and he and Sumner are behind the city's decision and they're willing to move.

"It'll be hard for us to really relocate and find another location exactly like this but I mean we'll just have to find something else," said Holt.

More than 25 years ago, Five Points used to be a major shopping center in Valdosta. However, as time passed, and Valdosta grew, businesses either closed down or relocated.

City leaders say condemnation is only the start of the process if it's approved at an upcoming meeting.

"It's the beginning of the process and the parties can still reach an agreement on their own," said Hanson.

A representative with the LRS Company that manages the Five Points property says the property owner will not comment on the condemnation until after the meeting on December 23 where council members will vote on a proposal to seek condemnation.

City leaders say the Five Points Shopping Center was chosen because of its location and the amount of space available.

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