COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Business, Man

  • In the Loop: Hey! The Plans for St. Joe's Don't Look Half Bad

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    Photo Credit: Davis Property Group

    Rejoice, ye townies, for the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church property shall not be maxed out with more student apartments.

    Plans submitted Friday by Greenville, SC-based Davis Property Group show a 192,000 square-foot mixed-use development (not including parking) with commercial space fronting Prince Avenue and 146 one- and two-bedroom apartments above and behind it, all in three-story buildings.

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  • In the Loop: Caterpillar Is Laying Off 10,000 Workers

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    Caterpillar announced plans Thursday to lay off 10,000 employees, saving the company about $1.5 billion annually.

    The Illinois company’s sales have declined three years in a row. It recently lowered its 2015 outlook by $1 billion and expects 2016 revenue to decline by another 5 percent. CEO Doug Oberhelman attributed this to a slowdown in the mining and energy sectors.

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  • In the Loop: Mars Hill Widening Will Bring More Development to Oconee

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Road work on Mars Hill Road.

    Oconee County Strategic and Long-Range Planning Director Wayne Provost told Oconee County commissioners back in January that they could get an idea of what Mars Hill Road could look like in the future by looking at Epps Bridge Parkway today. 

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  • In the Loop: Grocery Store, Apartments Planned for St. Joe's Property

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    A Greenville, SC, developer has been meeting quietly with Athens-Clarke County officials and neighborhood groups and is expected to release plans for the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church property soon.

    According to Davis Property Group’s website, the development firm, which specializes in multifamily mixed-use development, is tentatively planning 125 apartments and 25,000 square feet of retail space on the property at the corner of Prince Avenue and Pulaski Street. 

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  • In the Loop: The ABH Advertised Confederate Flags for Sale

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    An Athens-Banner Herald Twitter account—at least briefly—was offering Confederate flags for sale.

    @ABHMarketplace, which appears to be an advertising account, tweeted out an offer on Sunday for 3-feet-by-5-feet Confederate flags with free shipping. 

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  • In the Loop: ARMC CEO: Hospital Must Find a Partner to Grow

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    The health care industry is changing, and Athens Regional Health System CEO Charles Peck sees two options: Keep the status quo and possibly shrink, or find a “strategic partner” and grow.

    The Affordable Care Act has hastened consolidation among health insurers, and fewer and larger insurance providers means that hospitals are at a disadvantage when negotiating reimbursement rates. Costs are rising, though more slowly than before the ACA took effect. Patients are looking more to outpatient care.

    Then there was the botched new electronic medical record system installed under former CEO Jamey Thaw, who resigned last year. Peck, who was hired in February, acknowledges that implementation was “rough,” but also says media coverage was overblown. That coverage made potential patients (read: customers) think twice about seeking treatment at ARMC. 

    “People in the community probably started wondering whether this was the place to come at that time,” Peck said.

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  • In the Loop: Epps Bridge Centre Expansion Depends on Rezoning, Road Construction, Environmental Permits

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    Plans for Epps Bridge Centre phases II and III that were submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers.

    Atlanta Developer Frank Bishop filed paperwork with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late last month for Phases II and III of Epps Bridge Centre, to be built in the wooded area across the Oconee Connector from his existing shopping center.

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  • In the Loop: ARMC Might Merge With Another Hospital


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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Athens Regional Medical Center is considering a merger with another health care organization.

    The full announcement from ARMC is below. The hospital met with employees and affiliated doctors Tuesday and Wednesday before releasing the news. 

    For context, at least two top executives, including former CEO Jamey Thaw, were forced out in May 2014 over the botched implementation of a new electronic record-keeping system, among other issues. The move also came amidst rumors of a precarious financial situation for the health care group, which also includes several urgent-care clinics and a health insurance plan.

    After being led by Chief Medical Officer James Moore for nine months, Athens Regional Health System appointed Charles Peck as CEO in February. 

    Here's the announcement:

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  • In the Loop: Epps Bridge Centre Is Doubling in Size

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Best Buy is among the stores that moved from Atlanta Highway to Epps Bridge Centre.

    Atlanta developer Frank Bishop plans on building an expansion of Epps Bridge Centre across the Oconee Connector from the current shopping center that would nearly double the size of the development.

    Bishop applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last month for a permit to mitigate watershed damage from the development by purchasing credits to protect wetlands in Greene County.

    Plans his company submitted with the application call for a 370,000 square-foot development, including a large standalone anchor tenant, two buildings with smaller retail spaces and seven outparcels, to be built in two phases.

    Phase 1 of Epps Bridge Centre, which opened in 2013, is approximately 450,000 square feet, so the next to phases would bring the total size to more than 800,000 square feet (the size of eight Walmarts).

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  • In the Loop: J. Crew and CVS Are Coming to Downtown Athens

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    An artist's rendering of Georgia Heights.

    A CVS pharmacy and a J. Crew factory store will be among the ground-floor commercial tenants in the Georgia Heights student housing development under construction in the old SunTrust Bank parking lot between Broad, Lumpkin, Clayton and Hull streets downtown.

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