More businesses lined up for I-16, Pooler Parkway development

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - Earlier this week, Pooler City Council approved plans for developers to build a McDonald’s, a car wash and oil change business on a plot of land at Pooler Parkway and I-16 known as the Mosaic Town Center.

It is the latest news of development on the site, which later this year is on track to add a Costco as well.

Pooler Mayor Rebecca Benton said city leaders have the best interest of those who live here at heart, but adds when it comes to considering new development, it’s a bit of a tightrope act and there’s a lot to consider.

“It’s a hard decision. But we are looking out for the public safety of our residents. But again, if you want to have services here, we have to allow these businesses,” Mayor Benton said.

Mayor Benton acknowledges some may be less than thrilled when it comes to what developers put on their sites. But when it comes down to it, there is nothing the city can do if what is going there fits how the land is zoned. And the zoning in many cases was determined years before this council, or even several before it, were elected.

“We have tried with what we have inherited. But who would’ve thought that 20 years ago Pooler would’ve developed like this,” Mayor Benton said.

Mayor Benton points out the upside to new business is new jobs for the city. She also says businesses shoulder a good portion of the tax burden, keeping residential tax lower than it could be.

More businesses in town also mean more potential members for the Greater Pooler Area Chamber of Commerce.

“These businesses come to town, they consider joining the Chamber, that benefits us and in turn benefits the community,” explained Greater Pooler Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Pam Southard. “Because with their support, the member support, we’re able to present events so that it can be enjoyed by not only the residents of Pooler, but the tourists.”

And while traffic is an issue the city is still working to improve, the thought is it will spread out as multiple portions of Pooler’s main routes continue to develop.

“If you want services, you’re going to have traffic. You are just going to have to be patient. And we are trying to deal with the traffic, but again, we hope that people will reach a happy medium, we hope we can reach a happy medium for the people,” she said.

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