Hinesville attorneys Jay and Joel Osteen have moved their office — literally. Their old office building on the corner of Oglethorpe Highway and Fraser Street and a smaller building next door were moved early Sunday morning to a rural, unincorporated area of Long County.
Construction of the attorneys’ new office building recently was completed across the street from the old one, according to Liberty Consolidated Planning Director Jeff Ricketson. He said the Osteens were given a certificate of occupancy for their new office by the city inspection department. Even though the new office’s exterior and landscaping are not completed, Ricketson said the attorneys have moved into their new work space.
In June 2013, the Courier reported that the Hinesville City Council approved a request on behalf of Joel Osteen to rezone two parcels of land totaling 1.24 acres for mixed-use development. The larger parcel was the location of Osteen’s office. A small house stood on the parcel next to it, which bordered Layton Street. Together, the two parcels made up what then was the proposed site for a Zaxby’s restaurant.
At that time, there was uncertainty about how the restaurant could be located at that site, which was adjacent to the intersection of Memorial Drive and Oglethorpe Highway. One access plan included making part of Fraser Street one-way. Another plan called for realigning Layton Street so that it faced Memorial Drive, where the existing traffic light would support traffic from the proposed restaurant.
“Hinesville City Council approved the Zaxby’s project on the former Osteen & Osteen site in October 2013, subject to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s approval of the access to Oglethorpe Highway,” Ricketson said. “The GDOT approved the Zaxby’s access plan in November 2013. Osteen & Osteen (also) received final approval of their new office building plan in November 2013 and began construction in December 2013.”
Ricketson said that under the access plan approved, part of the smaller parcel of land will be used to realign Layton Street so that it faces the intersection with Memorial Drive. General contractor Rand Construction will complete the required road realignment and restaurant construction. He emphasized that the restaurant will not be allowed to open until the road realignment is complete.
“With the removal of the former Osteen & Osteen office building on Sunday, the Zaxby’s project is ready for construction,” he said. “The Zaxby’s contractors and engineers met here at the LCPC (Monday) morning for a pre-construction meeting. ... Zaxby’s should be completed by August.”
According to Osteen & Osteen receptionist Jordan Crewe, their staff moved into their new office about two weeks ago. She said there still is some work and landscaping to be done on the outside of the building but said the inside of the structure was ready for occupancy before they began moving in office furniture.
“We’re in the office right now,” Crewe said. “It’s a bigger office, definitely. We brought all the old furniture over from the other office, but we’re getting some new stuff, too. Until then, it’s functional.”