Chain stores looking at Bi–Lo center

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor

A popular shopping chain may be headed to Madison, according to Bob Hughes, president of the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce.

“A national clothing store and a national hardware store are looking at retail space in Madison out on the Eatonton Highway,” said Hughes. “This is just another part of the further commercial development along the 441 corridor.”

According to Hughes, the real estate arm of the company is considering taking up residence at the old Bi-Lo building in the Madison Crossing Shopping Center.

“They want to split the building in half, with one-side housing the hardware store and the other side housing the clothing store,” said Hughes.

Though nothing is set in stone, officials from the company are in the beginning stages of scouting out possible locations for the popular chain.

However, Hughes noted that the company’s officials were impressed with Morgan County’s new school and new hospital projects.

“It just shows that we have a thriving community,” said Hughes.

According to Hughes, the company will make a decision by the end of the year on where to open the new branch of the store.

Hughes is hopeful that the chain will choose Madison and other commercial development projects will follow soon after.

“Any time you have strong industrial growth, you are saving property taxes,” said Hughes. “It’s good for your tax base, they pay more in taxes than they cost in services. Everybody wants to have good jobs and a good economic base for the community because that is how you keep the community healthy. If you have folks who are working and making a good living, they are going to go out and spend that money locally,” said Hughes.

Hughes also noted that other local industries are currently expanding, such as Rima Tip Top, Mannington Mills, and Bard Manufacturing is currently working with the development authority of Morgan County for a future expansion.

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