RINCON, GA (WTOC) - A fast-growing community calling for more restaurant and retail options may soon get their fix.
There are several projects going on in Rincon - some slated to be finished as early as this fall. The building behind the Kroger will house seven businesses when completed. It's these kinds of projects Rincon city leaders hope to see more of and believe will be successful given the growing Effingham County population.
The city planner says on any given work day, roughly 80 percent of the population is leaving the county for work, and instead of hitting up retail and restaurants outside the county, the city is hoping to bring some of those consumer dollars back home.
"We have great local restaurants, great local retail, but on the weekends, we want to give people more opportunities and more options," said Lameisha Hunter Kelly, Rincon City Planner, Interim City Manager. "With what we saw the Popeye's, we have people from other communities coming into Rincon also, so like I said, we have the population to support it, and right now we are excited that we can give people more opportunities."
The space is big enough to hold four restaurants, a hair and nail salon, and an insurance office.
While there is excitement over the development, some living in Rincon and the surrounding areas are asking, 'what about Chick-fil-A?' It's one of the most anticipated arrivals, slated to go in next to the Verizon store off Highway 21. City officials say it will be any day now.
"Yes, Chick-fil-A is coming, and we are expecting those plans any day now. They were originally approved three years ago, but the Kroger project delayed them," Kelly said. "We had to work out some real estate, but we are expecting those plans any day now."
Kelly says Chick-fil-A has committed to the largest design plan option they have, adding they'll make sure to have plenty of parking. The city planner points to the success of the new and nearby Popeye's restaurant as a prime example of how more options can keep consumer dollars in the community.
"What we hear is that people want more opportunities. They want more choices, and that's what we are trying our best to give them. It's encouraging for shoppers like Harmon Freyermuth, who welcomes any new options that cut down his usual drive time.
"I live all the way out there at the Savannah River, Ebenezer, and we basically have to drive all the way to Pooler to go out and eat a nice steak dinner, or go to stores and stuff. It's either there, or we have to go all the way to Savannah," Freyermuth said.
In addition, the city planner says last week the city approved plans for a standalone Starbucks and Aspen Dental Office in the complex as well.