As Wire Park continues to progress in Watkinsville, a new retail center in Oconee County has emerged on the northern sphere of the county.
The Village at Malcom Bridge, a 7.5-acre site within a half-mile of over 600 homes, welcomed the Oconee Chamber of Commerce several weeks ago for the opening of Rockbox Fitness, which offers boxing-based workouts. Also open is East Athens Physical Therapy of Oconee.
Phase I of The Village at Malcom Bridge includes 43,000 square feet of retail, services and restaurants. The following tenants have been secured thus far:
- SmallCakes Cupcakery & Creamery, which is planned to open this month.
- The Village Market, a neighborhood-style grocery and fresh market planned to open in March.
- CoreBlend Training, a 4,550-square-foot strength and elite conditioning gym also planned to open in March.
- Dos Palmas Mexican, the third location of this bar and grill, which is planned to open this summer.
Coming to market later this year, Phase II will include 18,750 square feet of medical/professional office space and another 11,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, said Hank Randolph, whose company is the exclusive listing broker for The Village at Malcom Bridge. The development is owned by Rodney Jones.
“With the tenants we currently have—plus who we are working on agreements with—we are approaching 75% occupancy of the six buildings currently built (Phase I),” said Randolph. “Then we have additional buildings 700 and 800 on each end of our development, which will be targeted to more restaurants and retail.”
“We have current interest from a major medical tenant, as well as more retail services to meet the surrounding needs of the Greater Oconee area,” Randolph added.
Adjacent to the shopping center is another parcel of land that was sold to Oconee native Tyler McClure, who plans to build a second Peach State Academy daycare, a Costa’s Cleaners drop off/pick-up center and Bones, which is a pet boarding and grooming business.
McClure, who attended the elementary and middle schools across from the subject parcel, said he chose the property because there’s a need for services in the northern portion of the county.
Down the road at the Mars Hill roundabout, Mike Power’s Power Antiques is the anchor tenant to the relatively new Power Business Park. Going toward U.S. 78, an Express Pro Car Wash is under construction behind RaceTrac in what is being billed as Hidden Hill Business Center. The site is pad-ready with all utilities available. Approved uses include office and warehouse lot.
Last year saw the opening of the Burger King, Subway and new gas station where the old AJ’s Food Store once stood. Going toward Prince Avenue Christian School, the Board of Commissioners will vote next week on a rezone to allow for the constriction of a proposed 10,200-square-foot retail store at the corner of U.S. 78 and Ruth Jackson Road. The Planning Commission last month recommended approval of the request with staff conditions.
The property currently has a two-story wood building and a one-story metal building on the property. The two reconfigured parcels are proposed to be the retail building on 1.47 acres and private storage buildings on 1.37 acres. The proposed retail building shall be brick and/or stone veneer on all facades. Access to the project will be from Ruth Jackson Road, as no access is proposed to U.S. 78.
Approved in 2021 across from Prince Avenue Christian School is a yet-to-break-ground shopping center anchored by a grocery store and a senior living community.
“We do not have any plan submittals for the property across from Prince,” Oconee County Planning and Code Enforcement Director Guy Herring told The Oconee Enterprise. “We do have construction plans submitted for the development at Oconee Crossing/Striplings for the commercial subdivision and infrastructure. They are working their way through the review process. It is too early for building permit submittal.”
The second project to which Herring referred is a Dark Corner grocery store and shopping center that was approved last year with conditions in agreement with a lawsuit settlement.