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Milliken plans retail complex near mill in New Holland
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A South Carolina firm has big plans for a 55-acre tract at the intersection of Limestone and Jesse Jewell parkways.

Pacolet Milliken, a Spartanburg, S.C.-based company that includes executives of the Milliken textile empire, is planning a 460,000-square-foot retail complex on the land.

This week, the company announced that another South Carolina firm, Carolina Holdings Inc., had been retained by Pacolet Milliken to develop the site.

"We believe Gainesville is underserved in many retail categories," said Bill Misiaveg of Carolina Holdings. "Notwithstanding the current economic environment, the strategic location of the site combined with the growth characteristics of the market will provide the impetus for a development of the size and scale we are planning."

The development is projected to include about 460,000 square feet of retail space and associated outparcels upon completion. The project would be slated for a 2011 or early 2012 opening.

Tim Evans, vice president for economic development of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, said the center would be similar in size to the Stonebridge Commons center in Flowery Branch.

"They’re going to Las Vegas next month to market this development," Evans said. "They have conceptual plans and are ready to move ahead with preliminary tasks, such as rezoning the property."

Milliken is the owner of the nearby mill, which is a landmark in the New Holland community.

"Milliken has been committed to the Gainesville community for many decades and looks to further that commitment by enhancing one of the gateways to Gainesville with a sustainable development," said McFaddin Blanding of Pacolet Milliken Enterprises. "Our goal is to apply industry best practices in developing a retail center that is architecturally consistent, efficiently planned, and pedestrian friendly."

Carolina Holdings was founded in 1986 in Greenville, S.C., and has developed more than 5 million square feet of development in 115 projects. The company is no stranger to retail projects and is presently co-developing Richmond Centre, a 750,000-square-foot open-air center in Richmond, Ky., near Lexington.

The company has been retained by the owner of Crystal River Commons to act as its developer for the 525,000-square-foot retail and office development in Crystal River, Fla.

Carolina Holdings will be responsible for overseeing the development, including project entitlements, planning, architectural and civil plan development, selection of the general contractor, project management, major tenant leasing and marketing of small stores and outparcels.