Plans for a new outlet mall in Augusta have been scrapped.
Al Dallas, assistant to Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, said Friday that the developer, Ben Carter Enterprises, is no longer pursuing development of the mall that was planned off Riverwatch Parkway near Cabela’s.
“It’s obviously disappointing news,” Dallas said. “The developer was unable to get commitments from signature tenants to secure the mall.”
Plans for the mall, that was to be named Premier Outlets of Augusta, were announced in February. It was to be 400,000 square feet with 30 spaces.
Ben Carter Enterprises had planned to contribute $200 million to the project, company CEO Quito Anderson said at the time.
The company did not name any prospective retailers in February, and Dallas did not identify any retailers on Friday.
He said the signature tenants being courted reported their real estate divisions are very conservative and looked only at Augusta’s current demographics and not at estimated growth expected from economic developments, such as Fort Gordon Cyber Command.
The U.S. Army Cyber Command is consolidating its operations into a facility at Fort Gordon, a project anticipated to bring 1,500 jobs to the Augusta area.
Developer Ben Carter said he has decided to focus his efforts on the restoration of several other retail outlets in the Southeast.
“While the Augusta retail trade area’s strong demographics remain attractive, I have decided to focus my efforts on the restoration of Broughton Street in Savannah’s Historic District and the development and lease-up of Tanger Outlets Savannah in Pooler,” Carter said. “On Broughton Street, we have committed more than $75 million and are restoring and renovating more than three dozen. Beyond Savannah, we are seeking similar opportunities across the Southeast to restore additional downtown areas to their former retail glory.”
Dallas said the movie theater planned for the Village at Riverwatch, Riverwatch 14 Cinemas, is still a go.
Ben Carter Enterprises is a commercial real estate firm specializing in outlet and conventional retail and mixed-use development.
Haley Hughes is the news editor of the Aiken Standard.