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The Oconee County Planning Commission last week recommended approval of a rezone for an 8.78-acre parcel

from Highway Business to Office Institutional Professional District for the construction of an 80,000-square-foot, 80-bed rehabilitation hospital

The “downzone” request for property at 1083 Parkway Boulevard next to Kohl’s will be voted on at the Dec. 6 Oconee Board of Commissioners meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. The rezone for a Publix at the Oconee Connector is also on that agenda.  

The parcel was graded in 2005 for future development and has since remained vacant. 

The rehabilitation hospital would be owned by Encompass Health, a for-profit, publicly traded entity that will partner with Piedmont Health Care. 

The development would employ an estimated 120 people. 

“Encompass Health owns the nation’s largest network of rehabilitation hospitals,” according to a project narrative. 

The complete buildout of the project is estimated to be $30-40 million. 

If approved, construction would begin in mid-2023, and the project would be built in phases determined by the need for beds.  

Access will consist of up to two interconnections with the existing Kohl’s tract and up to two entrances from Parkway Boulevard. 

“The subject property lies within the Regional Center Character Area as shown on the 2040 Character Areas Map,” according to an Oconee Planning and Code Enforcement staff analysis. “The 2018 Comprehensive Plan describes this ‘multi-use’ character area as containing ‘regional-serving retail and commercial services, office complexes for medical and corporate offices, hotels, restaurants and entertainment facilities, higher-density residential planned developments, and single-family detached subdivisions.’” 

For more on this story, see the Nov. 23 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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