Wed, April 24, 2024

Major retailer coming to North Augusta

A former grocery store in North Augusta will become a third location in the Aiken-Augusta area for a major national retail business.

Hobby Lobby has signed a lease to move into the former BI-LO on Edgefield Road. It is in the Edgewood Square Shopping Center at 101 Edgewood Drive. BI-LO closed the store in 2019. The space briefly was home to the OTB Bargain Outlet.

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The location is halfway between at least five grocery stores on Edgefield Road from Walnut Lane to E. Martintown Road, making finding a new tenant a challenge.

“This one was obviously a challenge because obviously kind of the highest and best use for a space that was a grocery store would appear to be a grocery store, but because everybody else was already in the market, it became a little bit of a challenge,” Jude Crayton, Director of Leasing for Coastal Equities (CE), owner of the shopping center, told ABD.

Then, Hobby Lobby showed an interest in the nearly 50,000-square-foot space. An agreement was reached late in 2023. CE anticipates turning the store over to the new tenant by June. Hobby Lobby will prepare the interior for its use, while CE makes improvements in the shopping center.

Jude Crayton

“Adding some LED lighting, doing some parking lot work,” Crayton explained. “We started doing some landscaping work and painting. The shopping center is shaped like an “L,” so the portion that Hobby Lobby’s in, all the way down to the gym, that’s going to be a nice gray with a blue roof. We’re reviewing the sign to match. I think it’ll really help clean up the center.”

Crayton said the retailer’s decision to locate a store in North Augusta, roughly halfway between existing stores in Augusta and Aiken, indicates a shift in how North Augusta is perceived.

“Retailers kind of look at it as a bit of a middle market there. A lot of retailers felt like, ‘We don’t need to be in North Augusta’ with other locations maybe 10 miles away,” he said. “But North Augusta is growing by about 2% a year, with a lot of people that are stationed at Fort Eisenhower that are now choosing to live in this area for multiple reasons. I think things are happening in North Augusta already, but adding the (Tru-by-Hilton) hotel, they’re adding some retail, helps focus on the area as a strong community for business.”

The shopping center is located on one of the most heavily traveled roads in the commercial areas in North Augusta. Crayton anticipates that translates into foot traffic in the shopping center.

“I think it’s going to make a big impact as far as the traffic into the center. And I think it’s going to make a big impact on the city with increased sales tax, adding jobs and things like that. I think it’s really a win-win for both people living and working in the area and then the consumer visiting,” he said.

The shopping center has a few available storefronts. Crayton said they are in talks with businesses interested in moving in. Target date for the Hobby Lobby opening is early 2025.

More information is available at: https://www.coastalequities.com

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