Seafood restaurant, doughnut store part of Keller Williams-anchored development in north Columbus


A seafood restaurant and doughnut shop will be among the food options on property being developed on Veterans Parkway in north Columbus.

Shrimp Basket, a small but growing chain based in Gulf Shores, Ala., will be new to the local market as part of a 36,328-square-foot retail and office development now coming out of the ground at 6059 Veterans Parkway.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which already has three locations in Columbus and one at Fort Benning, is going into one of two strip-center retail-office buildings on the five-acre site located in front of Strayer University and North Veterans Executive Center. The doughnut store will have a drive-thru window. The location is just south of Columbus Park Crossing.

“We’re actively looking for new tenants,” said Jack Hayes, a broker with KW Commercial and developer of the project that broke ground last May. “The owner’s got this property priced a little lower than Columbus Park Crossing lease rates. And Veterans Parkway is the primary arterial roadway right now.”

The site will be home to real-estate company Keller Williams, which will relocate from its existing outdated office at 5700 Veterans Parkway, just south of its new home. The firm, part of a national chain, has more than 80 residential agents, along with commercial agents and support staff.

The most visible part of the work now — other than the landscape scraped of its grass and trees — is an 11,045-square-foot office structure being built for the corporate headquarters of Columbus-based Childcare Network.

“That’s the building that’s presently vertical out of the ground right now. I think they’re putting some exterior stone and brick on it,” said Hayes, who estimated that building will be ready for occupancy by the second quarter of this year.

Construction on the two strip-center buildings should start within the next 30 days, he said, with Freeman Construction the general contractor. Tri-South Contractors is the contractor for the Childcare Network office, with a Sept. 15 city building permit indicating just over $1 million is being spent on the structure. The permit lists the property owner as Cottle Properties LLC.

The outparcel, or standalone building, that will be leased by Shrimp Basket is expected to be under construction by the second quarter of this year, Hayes said. No contractor has been chosen, although 2WR of Georgia, based in Columbus, is the architect.

“Everything should be completed by the fourth quarter, or the late part of the third quarter,” Hayes said.

Shrimp Basket’s building will be about 3,200 square feet, with an additional 1,500 square feet of outdoor patio dining.

The regional seafood chain was founded in 1993 and has grown to 22 restaurants in Alabama, Mississippi and along the Gulf Coast of Florida, including Destin, Pensacola and Panama City Beach. The closest outlet to Columbus is on South College Avenue in Auburn, Ala.

Shrimp Basket is known — naturally — for serving shrimp, offering all-you-can-eat steamed peel-and-eat shrimp specials. But its menu also includes fish, crab claws, chicken, po-boy sandwiches and other fare. Its Facebook page recently touted raw oysters on the half shell for 37 cents apiece or $4.44 a dozen.

“We are grillin’, steamin’, and fryin’ for you,” the company says on its website.

As it is working the Veterans Parkway project, KW Commercial also is handling a nearly 24,000-square-foot “medical lifestyle center” project for West Georgia Eye Care at 6596 Whittlesey Blvd., adjacent to Homewood Suites and across from the Acura and BMW dealerships.

West Georgia Eye Care, founded in 1951, already operates an office at 2616 Warm Springs Road. The company’s Laser Vision Center — responsible for LASIK eye surgery — is being relocated to the new location when it opens sometime in July or August.

Hayes said the development will have several bays available for lease, most of them medical-related, including space for a chiropractor, physical therapy and an entity selling hearing aids.

“Anything that’s sort of health and wellness,” he said. “We’re also looking for a couple of eateries.”