Verizon says new Columbus store on Veterans Parkway will be largest in Georgia

New Verizon store, CVS on the way as Bonefish Grill swims toward completion

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comAugust 3, 2011 

The largest Verizon Wireless store in Georgia is on its way in north Columbus, while a new CVS/pharmacy is coming out of the ground on Miller Road, and Bonefish Grill is pushing toward completion off Veterans Parkway.

Those are among the retail and restaurant developments that are beginning to percolate amid the summer heat.

Verizon confirmed Tuesday a new store that is being built at 6783 Veterans Parkway will replace the existing one fronting the Lowe’s home improvement center.

The new outlet will be the largest of the chain’s 67 Georgia stores when completed this fall, the company said. The 8,500-square-foot structure should be ready by Oct. 1, said John Pound, owner of Columbus-based Pound Construction, the project’s contractor.

“It will feature our new open-floor plan design, which connects the service center and sales floor to offer added support for our customers,” Verizon said in a statement. “It will also showcase a highly interactive retail concept and offer consumers a more high-tech, hands-on experience, providing them with the latest and most innovative products and service.”

The current store at 6740 Veterans Parkway, open about five years, is a very strong performer, Verizon said.

The new store will be adjacent to the Bonefish Grill restaurant that has been under construction for several weeks across from Columbus Park Crossing shopping center. Managing partner Brandon Coker said Tuesday the eatery should open no later than Oct. 3.

“We kind of lost a few days during construction because of the weather, so we had to push it back to Oct. 3,” he said. “I think that’s the date we’re going with, but if at all possible, we’re going to open up a week early” on Sept. 26.

Hiring for the 90 employees who will be needed to staff the 192-seat restaurant could begin as early as next week, he said, with applications being taken online.

“You can definitely hear a buzz,” said Coker of the pending debut of Bonefish Grill, which focuses on seafood dishes, but also serves steaks, chicken and chops.

“It’s just a wide range of fresh seafood and very high quality, a lot of stuff we do from scratch in the restaurant itself, at a very reasonable price,” he said of Bonefish, which is owned by Tampa, Fla.-based OSI Restaurant Partners, a firm that also owns the Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill chains.

The CVS store, meanwhile, should be completed by Jan. 15, Alpharetta, Ga.-based Glenridge Development said Tuesday. The 13,225-square-foot outlet is being built at 4432 Miller Road, near the intersection of Warm Springs Road.

This will be the 11th CVS in the Columbus-Phenix City market. Walgreens has seven stores locally, while Rite Aid trails with four outlets.

There’s still no word on when a new Longhorn Steakhouse will open at Columbus Park Crossing, presumably near the TGI Friday’s restaurant. The chain already operates a Longhorn off Macon Road.

However, there is a 14,000-square-foot strip shopping center planned for the vicinity, with a building permit for $1.4 million at 5413 Whittlesey Blvd. filed with the city July 6.

Preparation of the site has been in the works several weeks, with Pound saying the center should be finished by mid-November. It will have about seven spaces for lease.

“I think it will fill up pretty quick,” he said. “There’s a lot of demand out there right now, in that area anyway.”

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