COLUMBUS, GA-In the largest single rezoning request ever passed here, the City Council has approved changing 307.8 acres to commercial from residential in the area’s north end. Atlanta-based Ben Carter Properties spearheaded the rezoning effort.

Carter plans to break ground by Nov. 1 on Columbus Park Crossing, a 100-acre, 750,000-sf, 50-store shopping center and restaurant complex expected to open by Thanksgiving 2001 in this city of 200,000 residents, about 80 miles south of Downtown Atlanta.

Phase I includes a 2.5-mile four-lane road. Carter will pay 90% of the construction cost; the city, county and state will pay the balance.

The center will create more than 1,000 new jobs, generate over $150 million in annual sales, and nearly $8.5 million in annual property and sales tax revenues, according to Carter.

Carter is one of three major developers working on projects in Columbus. Chattanooga, TN-based CBL & Associates Properties plans to develop Cobblestone Village at North Columbus, a 450,000-sf retail center across the road from the Carter development. Atlanta-based Cousins Properties is negotiating on parcels for unannounced projects.

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