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Planning director predicts commercial growth for McDuffie County

It could be a big, big year in terms of anticipated population, residential and commercial growth in McDuffie County during the New Year 2008.

At least that's the belief of McDuffie County Planning Director Fred Guerrant.

"I anticipate a big, big year in all three of those areas, although I can't make any predictions about how much the population may increase," Mr. Guerrant said during an interview last week. "I know we're going to experience some substantial residential and commercial growth throughout the county."

Significant changes are on the horizon, commercially speaking. While some projects already are official, others aren't.

As reported earlier this year in The McDuffie Mirror, a new chain drug store is coming to Thomson during the New Year. The new drug store is a Walgreens. Although officials with the company have yet to make a formal announcement, Mr. Guerrant said the drug store chain is "definitely" on its way to Thomson.

"It's my understanding from the people that I've spoken to that a Walgreens is definitely coming to Thomson," Mr. Guerrant said. "They're ready to go forward with that project."

Work already is underway to clear property for the site of the new business, he added. A billboard has been removed and other work around the site is scheduled shortly after the New Year rolls around.

The new Walgreens would be located at the intersection of Washington and Harrison roads. Select Auto Sales Inc. currently is on the corner. Owners of that business will be relocating their business further down on Washington Road, closer to Interstate 20. Work already is being done on that site so that the existing business can move there in the near future, Mr. Guerrant said.

Meanwhile, Teddy Reese, owner of Thrifty Auto Parts, has sold that property, along with other property along that stretch of busy highway, including the auto sales business property. Mr. Reese has plans to relocate his auto parts business to a building on the Augusta Highway, according to Mr. Guerrant.

Another new business also is on its way to Thomson. It will be known as Aaron's Rentals, Mr. Guerrant said.

"I understand that they are a pretty large company and do a lot of business," he said.

The new Aaron's Rentals will be located on a lot behind Ryan's Steak House or on property that once was known as the old bus barn, Mr. Guerrant said. An 8,000 square foot building will be constructed on that site.

The rental business is expected to employ several people, he added.

Web posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008

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