STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - Tuesday, we showed you Statesboro City Council’s vote to change zoning for a plaza next door to Georgia Southern to allow a $50 million private development for stores, shops, and apartments.
Wednesday, we’re looking at the project and learning why city leaders are excited about it.
The mostly vacant plaza once held a few stores but mainly off-campus nightspots where students could hang out - whether they were of legal drinking age or not. Now, it could hold something bigger. A private developer asked the City of Statesboro for a zoning variances for part of the plaza and rezoning for the rest. He proposed a multi-story development with businesses on the ground floor and 100 apartments above. He and realtors in the deal pointed out problems associated with underage drinking in the area and the blight left by the clubs closing. Property managers for other apartments nearby voiced concerns that too many rental vacancies can force some to drop prices and they could see increased crime. They worry neighborhoods near the campus and the stadium could see more robberies and break-ins. After more than an hour of debate, council voted unanimously in favor of the $50 million project.
“This is not out of character with what’s happening around other universities across the state,” said Phil Boyum, City Council. “Why shouldn’t Statesboro capitalize on something like this? It’s going to be, once the dust settles, it’s going to be an amazing development.”
They anticipate construction taking 18 months to complete. We’ll keep you updated when the development begins.