Costco helping bring other businesses to town

Many businesses, including a movie theater, could be in the works along River Watch Parkway. (WRDW-TV)

Many businesses, including a movie theater, could be in the works along River Watch Parkway. (WRDW-TV)

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- All 400,00 square feet of space is for potential restaurants, stores and possibly even a movie theater.

Developers say now that Costco is here, it's generating more interest from other businesses.

That, according to the mayor, is good for more than just Augusta.

"We are a regional shopping hub, so people will be driving from South Carolina -- they already do for Costco -- driving from South Carolina, driving from Southern counties to come here to shop," said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

It looks like a lot of empty space now, but one day, developers hope it will turn into a grand, multi-business shopping center.

"The city stepped up and helped with the project, tax allocation district financing with some of the infrastructure costs. The public investment is really meant to spur the private investment. I think that's what we're seeing here," Copenhaver said.

People all over the area were excited when Costco came to town, but now there are some other businesses they'd like to see.

Patty Godfrey from North Augusta said she'd love to see a Home Goods.

"That'd probably be the top of my list. A Home Goods store and maybe a movie theater would be great," she said.

"A movie theater would be wonderful, because it's so far," said North Augustan Doreen Wetherington.

According to plans for the future of the shopping center, these ladies might be in luck.

Along with numerous restaurants, retail stores and a hotel, developers hope to put a movie theater right next to Costco.

Brokers for the space say they're in negotiations, and people are excited about the idea.

"Movies in particular. We don't always get the movies you'd get here in Augusta, so that probably would be a bigger draw for me," said Judy Portmann of Aiken.

Portmann already drives half an hour to come to Costco, but she says if more stores were here, she's not the only one who would come more often.

Friends Doris Hays, Lorraine Terry and Wetherington admit they'd come, "probably a couple times a month at least, quite often."

"To have an anchor tenant like Costco go in there a little over a year ago now, we knew great things were going to happen. And we believe they're about to start happening now," Copenhaver said.

Everything's still in the works. There are a lot of the negotiations still going on, but according to this map we were given, the movie theater could be built to the right of the Costco.

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