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Deal Pending on New Center Site

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Another step has been taken in preparation for the construction of the Greater Vidalia Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in downtown Vidalia.

In a called meeting on August 2, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) of Vidalia approved the intent to sell the .39- acre site where the Center will be located to the Toombs County Development Authority (TCDA) for $666,500.

The site, the former location of the Econo Inn on First Street, was purchased by the City of Vidalia in August 2021, but ownership was transferred to the DDA in September 2021 so the site could be prepared for eco- continued from page

nomic development. The structures on the site were demolished in April 2022, and the city’s ESG workers have maintained the area since then.

According to City Manager Nick Overstreet, the profit from this transaction between agencies will be used to pay off some of the City’s loan that was used to buy the Econo Inn site. The DDA retains ownership of the remainder of the former Econo Inn property, but has not yet disclosed how it will be developed.

DDA Chairman Brian Frederick commented on the exchange of the property. “On behalf of the DDA, we are looking forward to the new project as a result of the sale of this portion of the property to the Toombs County Development Authority and are excited about them choosing this site as the home of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. The Authority, the Greater Vidalia Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Vidalia worked tirelessly to see this project through. We certainly look forward to its future impact.”

He continued, “We believe this Center will only enhance our downtown and provide an additional anchor to our growing and thriving business community. Our desire is that many future entrepreneurs will take advantage of this Center and provide our community and others around us as well, with businesses that will increase our already growing and expanding economy.”

The Center facility, which will be publicly owned by the Toombs County Development Authority, will operate under a public-private partnership structure between the Toombs County Development Authority and Greater Vidalia Chamber, which will oversee and manage the Center operations and programming.

The Center will leverage and build on strong partnerships and relationships between existing organizations, recognizing the contribution that each can make to the overall initiative.

The Center is intended to spark local innovation. It will serve as a hub for the business community and will actively identify and provide for the valueadded services to support clients’ success.

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