SKC plans large commercial project

COVINGTON - The Covington City Council unanimously approved a rezoning request to allow a large mixed-use commercial development on Ga. Highway 142 , north of Interstate 20.

Applicant SKC Inc. is proposing 471,000 square feet of retail space on the 61-acre tract, located across from Home Depot.

The site plan proposes three big box retail buildings totaling 298,000 square feet, with adjacent supporting retail totaling 80,000 square feet.

An additional 66,000 square feet of ground level retail is proposed for a mixed retail-residential component that includes 76 residential units.

Six out parcels would add 36,000 square feet of commercial space adjacent to Ga. Highway 142.

The property is part of a larger 188-acre tract owned by SKC Inc. and previously zoned Heavy Industrial. The property is now designated as Corridor Mix.

More than 1,700 parking spaces would be included in the development, which would be accessed by three entrances off Hazelbrand Road and possibly one entrance off Ga. 142.

Applicant Jerry Silvio of Silvio Development Company LLC, speaking on behalf of SKC, requested that the residential units be allowed to be used as commercial space until the housing market improves.

He projected that could take five years or more. The property needs an anchor store that will attract other development and then residents, Silvio said.

"The key is going to be to get the retailer who can pull the trigger sooner rather than later," he said.

The council agreed to that amendment and unanimously recommended approval, with several conditions, including requiring all out parcels to have internal access only, with no ingress or egress onto Ga. 142 or Hazelbrand Road.

In addition, any future site plans that increase the retail or reduce the residential components by more than 10 percent and/or increase acreage for out parcels, parking spaces or impervious surfaces by more than 10 percent, must go before the Planning Commission for approval.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.