Valdosta Daily Times

February 23, 2014

Lakeland tour

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Early last week, I had the opportunity to take a tour of Lakeland with their Chamber director, who just happens to be my former boss of about a decade. A native of Lakeland, Sandy Sanders knows pretty much everything and everybody in Lanier County.

For a small community, that city has a whole lot of economic development happening. Heck, for any size community, Lakeland has a lot going on. The Shaw Olive Farms, a truly impressive and innovative operation, Gayla’s Grits, the berry farms, and all the rest of the Agri-businesses participating in the state’s Georgia Grown Trail are once again reinforcing the value of agriculture to the state and especially our region.

Downtown, in the former Stapleton grocery, a new generation of Stapletons are preparing to open a craft beer restaurant. The new Harvey’s in town reflects the local emphasis on community, and there are several new restaurants, along with established ones, participating in the taste of Lanier in March. Georgia Printco is expanding, again, and discussions with other new industries are going well.

It’s inspiring to see a neighboring community thriving and capitalizing on their strengths to grow, build and improve. Kudos to Lakeland for all you are doing to preserve the past and grow the future.


Business Roundup

The Remerton Mill and Pizza Buffet officially opened last week in the Remerton Square plaza. They are still working on the arcade area, but that should hopefully be open this spring.

The Valdosta Mall announced this week that a new store, Ulta, will be opening soon. Ulta is similar to a Sephora, offering a number of lines of makeup and more not available in Valdosta yet.

The work on the new Kaufmann Tires by Chick-fil-A is going well. Across the street from there, on the corner, demolition began this week on the building, which is supposed to soon be the location of another Starbucks.

Construction continues on the Baytree Animal Hospital, next to Black Crow media, and it looks really nice.

A sign on North Ashley across from the Judicial Complex says that attorney Jody Peterman has opened a new office in the building. Genius points for locating across the street from the courts.

On Eager Road, close to the Gornto intersection, the site has been cleared and the foundation set for the new Olde Town at Westover business and retail complex.

Smoothie King in the North Oak Plaza is officially opening Saturday, March 1.

The Raisin’ Cane on Newsome Road in the county is always expanding and is now offering breakfast daily, except on Sunday.

Around town, construction is ongoing on the Gondoliers restaurant and the Aspen Dental Clinic on Norman Drive, the Medicine Shoppe on North Ashley, the new Little Caesar’s location by Egg and I, and the new location of White Weddings on Connell. If there are others I missed, please let me know!