Lee County -- Another Albany business is expanding, into Lee County. Construction is about to begin on a new facility for Gray Distribution based in Albany.
Development Authority officials say the water line infrastructure improvements in Lee County are almost complete, and commercial business is quickly taking advantage.
This pile of building materials by early fall will be the new distribution center for Gray Distribution. They are a major distributor of agricultural products around South Georgia, headquartered in Albany.
The 100 thousand square foot building in the Oakland Meadows business park will be the fifth business to move into the industrial park, bringing more commercial development and tax base to South Georgia's fastest growing county. Lee County Development Authority Executive Director Winston Oxford said "what the business park has meant to Lee County, by the end of next year it will be generating more than 500-thousand dollars in local property tax. "
And that commercial tax increase is what Lee County desperately needs to meet their growth needs. Another new commercial development will break ground Thursday at the intersection of US 19 and Forrester Parkway. An upscale commercial business district of 18 buildings will open in the fall, expected to house small retail and business offices.
One bank is ready to build at that intersection, and another is expected to locate there soon. All coming to Lee County because of the population explosion. Oxford said "by 2023 the population of Lee County will exceed 50 thousand people. The average household income in Lee County is considerably higher than the state and national average. And that is what retailers and commercial investors chase."
And this business development is just the start, as several more shopping centers will start building soon across Lee County. Oxford said "I honestly expect by the end of this year you will see a major shopping center announcement, right here on 82. By the spring of this year we will realize another shopping center development with a nice large anchor tenant on Ledo Road."
Lee County homeowners will welcome the commercial growth, to help offset the taxes the County needs to serve that growing population.
Another new restaurant, the International House of Pancakes, is expected to open on Ledo Road in March.