For weeks, local residents have posed questions to the Coastal Courier about the 7.82-acre tract of land being cleared at the corner of South Main Street and Veterans Parkway. Along with the questions, there have been unsubstantiated rumors about what’s being developed at the site.
The rumor most prevalent about the development site claims that Kroger is planning to build a new store, perhaps even a “Super Kroger,” on the site. However, local Kroger Manager Mark Walden told the Courier that his company has made no decisions about building a new store in Hinesville.
About a year ago, the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission presented a proposed site layout for a development behind Lowe’s. At that time, the site was described as a mixed-use development, which developer Michael E. Bryant Trust said could include a bank, several retail stores and a few small restaurants.
On Tuesday, Linda Smith of the Hinesville Inspections Department, confirmed that a plan had been presented, reviewed and approved for a Navy Federal Credit Union to be built at that site, but no building permit has been issued. LCPC Director Jeff Ricketson also confirmed Tuesday that the credit union is slated to be built on the site.
“I know that Kroger is looking for a site for a new store in that area,” Ricketson said, stressing that the grocery chain has not announced any decisions about building a new store in Hinesville. “The credit union is supposed to be built on the corner of that site. It’ll take up 1.25 acres. That leaves a little more than 6.5 acres, and that would be a little tight for a Super Kroger.”
Ricketson said there are other tracts of land on the Veterans Parkway corridor that are big enough to accommodate a large store, but he could not say if any specific area is under consideration by a developer. A local commercial real-estate agent, who asked not to be identified, said there are areas along Veterans Parkway that are being “looked at” by developers, adding that sometimes developers look at several potential development sites before deciding which one works best for their business plan.
Ricketson said more development is coming to Hinesville, particularly along Veterans Parkway, but the only thing he could say with confidence that is going in at the site behind Lowe’s is the Navy Federal Credit Union. Rumors about a Super Kroger going there are unfounded, he said.