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COLUMBUS, GA- Atlanta-based Ben Carter Properties had hoped to have the bulldozers moving by now on the 100-acre Columbus Park Crossing retail center. Instead, Carter has moved the start date of the planned parkway and 750,000-sf center to early next year. A hoped-for Thanksgiving 2001 opening has been pushed back to a summer-2002 opening.

Carter’s reason for the delay is that “the project has gotten better,” according to Steve Cadranel, executive VP for Ben Carter Properties. Cadranel says the project has grown beyond initial expectations, in terms of local and regional retailers and restaurants, and the company needed more time to accommodate the interested businesses. He says the number of big-box retailers may increase from 10 to 12.

Among the retailers and restaurant firms looking at Columbus Park Crossing are Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Haverty’s Furniture, Old Navy, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Macaroni Grill and Olive Garden. None are currently in the Columbus market.

Carter got the go-ahead Sept. 26 when the Columbus Council approved the rezoning of 307.8 acres from residential to commercial use. Columbus Park Crossing is one component in the planned 400-acre mixed-use Columbus Park. Columbus is 200 miles south of Downtown Atlanta.

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