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Firm plans hotels, amphitheater, stores in Pooler near I-16

A new mixed-use development, which will include hotels, offices and boutique retail space, is on tap for the southeast corner of Interstate 16 and Pooler.

Still in the early phases of permitting, the 150-acre tract of land at Blue Moon Crossing is being developed by HD Companies, a real estate development company, which has offices in Beaufort, S.C., and Savannah.

HD announced the land acquisition this week.

“The tract was originally part of the Savannah Quarters tract, so a lot of the heavy lifting like zoning has already been done,” said David Hornsby, vice president in charge of development for HD Companies said Tuesday.

“We really think that intersection is going to be the next epicenter for Chatham County. It’s all about location, location, location.”

Hornsby said the project is expected to take about five years to complete, but will feature four hotels that surround a resort-style water recreation area, office space and a main street retail component, which will feature upscale boutique stores, coffee shops and a grocery store.

Hornsby said site plan renderings were not yet available.

“We’ll be a more high-end style shopping destination for Pooler,” Hornsby said of the planned retail use.

“The other side of Pooler has your bigger box stores and we’re not really looking for that, but we will have a couple of anchors.”

There are also plans for an amphitheater space on the property and Hornsby said he’d like to join forces with the City of Pooler to make that a public/private type partnership.

“We’re mostly in hotel development, so it would be nice to get someone in there that knows more about the entertainment side of things,” he said.

No tenants have been named for any part of the development yet, but Hornsby said the hotel aspect will cater to those travelers who are staying longer and feature some type of conference center capable of hosting large corporate meetings.

“We expect to use about 20 acres for hotels,” he said, adding that HD Companies currently operates four hotels in Savannah and two in Beaufort, where they also have two other hotels under development.

The company has already began clearing the acreage, which they acquired in late December and are currently waiting for their land disturbance permit, which will allow crews to begin digging ditches and building roads. Hornsby hopes to have the entire site cleared by the by June and an official ground breaking in the following months.

The project is the newest development being planned for the area around Savannah Quarters. Officials last week broke ground for a Publix grocery store on Blue Moon Crossing, that development will feature an additional 5,600 square feet of retail space.

Hornsby, who praised City of Pooler staff for welcoming the project, said the company plans to submit their master plan to the city within in the coming months.

“We think Pooler is going to be the bright and shining star for Chatham County,” he said.

“We’re really excited to work with them. It’s been really refreshing.”

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