Retail growth robust on Pooler Parkway - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Robust retail growth continues in Pooler

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POOLER, GA (WTOC) -

Developers of the Village on Pooler Parkway, located north of the outlets off Benton Boulevard, announcing seven more tenants. 

The new development that includes a recently opened Olive Garden, now has 18 confirmed tenants. 

The 143,000-square-foot project will now include a Hibbett Sports, Kirkland's, a home furnishings retailer, Visionworks, Legacy Nails, Sprint, GNC and Kay Jewelers. Already open in addition to Olive Garden is McDonald's and Logan's Roadhouse. 

The other retailers expected to open are T.J. Maxx, Ross Dress for Less and Michael's, a crafts supply store, and PetSmart. 

Developer GBT announced these tenants in March: Moe's Southwest Grill, Jersey Mike's, Jalapeno's and Panera Bread, Rack Room Shoes, Palm Beach Tan and Aspen Dental. 

According to the developer's leasing agent Fraser Schaufele, the retail center is 95 percent leased. They expect to fill the remaining vacant space that features an outdoor patio before opening next year.

Ask anyone in Pooler and they will tell you they are excited for all the new development, but many are still concerned with the amount of traffic congestion these new stores might create.

Mayor Mike Lamb said the city is just wrapping up a traffic study and plan on making bids on road improvements in the near future. 

"We are trying to get ahead of the curve, which is hard when the city of Pooler is growing as fast as it is," Lamb said. "We got some bids that we will start sending out for traffic work, over in that area that we feel will help with traffic situation." 

Folks in Pooler are already noticing an increase in traffic with the the opening of Olive Garden, Logan's Steakhouse and McDonalds, some business's part of the New Village on Pooler Parkway. 

"It's more difficult and I expect it to get worse," said visitor Nancy Traywick. 

"There had been a study done that 19,000 cars go into Pooler parkway every day," said Resident Lorenzo McDonald. "If you round that to a year that is 7 million cars a year on Pooler Parkway, so the concern of traffic is tremendous. There is 27 million cars on 95 every year. What's going to happen when we put up these shopping centers and how are we going to handle that?" 

Lamb said the city plans on taking bids on road improvement projects starting in October to help make sure Pooler is ready. 

"There will be the Benton Boulevard realignment work done - work done on Pooler Parkway; work done from there to 95. That's in connection with the outlet mall coming," Lamb said. "We are going to have to start ramping stuff up and getting stuff done quickly." 

With the new outlet mall also expected to be done by 2015 the mayor hopes to make improvements so people can advantage of alternative routes. 

"Benton is a connection road between Jimmy Deloach and Pooler Parkway," Lamb said. "I would hope at some point where Benton is four lanes in Pooler. Going down the road it will be four lanes all the way to Jimmy Deloach and would be a way for some traffic go in that direction." 

"I hope they will be able to handle it and it won't be so bad for all of us that like to come here," said Traywick. 

The mayor said work is also expected to be done on I 95. Many lanes with be widened and additional lanes will be added. 

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