Changes to Lee Co. ordinance make way for new restaurant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Changes to Lee Co. ordinance make way for new restaurant

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February 27, 2007

Lee County-  Lee County Commissioners met Tuesday to consider a plan to amend the county's liquor ordinance to make way for more business along Ledo Road. In the last month, at least four new businesses have moved into commercial condominium shops along Ledo Road, and action from Lee County Commissioners could pave the way for a new restaurant chain in front of WalMart.

 More than 22,000 vehicles travel between Nottingham and Ledo Roads daily, it's no wonder new businesses like Mack Salon who moved to Ledo Road five weeks ago are seeing a lot of traffic.

"We've seen a tremendous amount of new traffic, walk-ins, call-ins just from being in the new location one of the other things I think is because Wal-Mart is a big drawing card for a lot of cities other than Albany," said Mack Morrell, Salon owner.

Now, Lee County Commissioners plan to change a limitation on the county's liquor ordinance. The changes will remove the distance limitations allowing a restaurant with a consumption on premise permit to operate within 100 yards of a church and 200 yards of a school.

"We're trying to get commercial so you won't tax the people to death and we need to get commercial in here to offset the tax base so we can get more money out of it and lower our millage rate again," said Morris Leverett, Lee County Commission Chairman.

The reason for the ordinance, this big open field in front of Walmart and not far from Byne Memorial Baptist Church it's expected to be the location for the newest Lee County restaurant a proposed Chili's.

"We want to get more restaurants in town I think it will open the door for more restaurants, good restaurants will come into Lee, and that's what we're after commercial business," said Leverett.

With plans for an IHOP along Ledo also in the works, shop owners say the more traffic the better. "

I think it's going to be great I think it's going to be the area to be in, it was a great decision for me to move over her because I never expected it," said Morrell.

"It's going to take a few years, but you're going to see Lee County start growing commercially pretty soon," said Leverett.

A new restaurant like Chili's could add up to $100,000 a year in sales tax revenue for Lee County.

A new restaurant isn't the only development proposed along Ledo Road. 

On the Dougherty County side, Vanbrook Incorporated plans to break ground this week on LeDo Crossing. The development will include 17 commercial condominiums that can be leased or purchased. The development will be smaller businesses and could include a coffee shop.

Victory Real Estate Investment out of Columbus is also proposing a small shopping center in front of Grand Island Golf Course. The proposal on the company's website shows an anchor department store with various specialty shops.

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