Ben Carter Enterprises to Break Ground on The Outlet Mall of Georgia at Augusta in December

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AUGUSTA, Ga., July 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ben Carter Enterprises announces it will break ground on the highly-anticipated Outlet Mall of Georgia at Augusta in December. The announcement comes on the heels of a key land agreement reached with the owners of the Georgia Theatre Company, who agreed to reposition their theatre to accommodate the mall.

The Outlet Mall of Georgia at Augusta will be an 800,000-square-foot fashion outlet mall with top-tier retailers, restaurants, hotels and other retail uses. Ben Carter has contracted to acquire 70 acres at I-20 and Riverwatch Parkway for the development, which when combined with the existing Costco and Cabela's locations and the Riverwatch Cinemas, will top 1 million square feet.

"We are attracted to Augusta and the regional trade area because it's home to nearly 2 million people, and its location has the ability to draw visitors and shoppers from Columbia, South Carolina, to the east and Greene County, Lake Oconee and The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation to the west," said Ben Carter, founder of Ben Carter Enterprises. "The area is home to scores of single-family homes along the lake and golf courses and equestrian-related developments."

The outlet mall's location offers excellent access to residents across the retail trade area that comprises East Georgia and the Midlands region of South Carolina. More than 18.5 million vehicles pass the site on I-20 annually and an additional 7.2 million vehicles drive by on Riverwatch Parkway.

Ben Carter entered into a real estate transaction with the Georgia Theatre Company that will result in Georgia Theatre building its new GTX at a different location within the Outlet Mall property. The land deal frees up a complete site where Ben Carter can build the fashion outlet mall.

"Our families have known each other for many years," said Carter. "They have agreed to work with us on a new plan to position their theatre to allow for better utilization of the site for what will become over a million square feet of retail and entertainment. Our mall and the Georgia Theatre Company's GTX Theatre with the most-advanced technology – combined with Costco and Cabela's – will ensure success for all of us. The synergy created by the uses should be exactly what our visitors want to experience."

Bill Stembler is chairman and CEO of the Georgia Theatre Company. He also said the transaction would be good for both parties.

"We agreed to accommodate Ben to allow him to modify our location," Stembler said. "We will develop a 14 screen complex with dining and a large format auditorium. Our new theatre complex will benefit from its proximity to a large retail development with terrific access and visibility."

The new theatre will feature digital projection with stereo sound, spacious seating and a full-service restaurant. It will also offer a large format presentation auditorium with an 80-foot-wide four-story screen, seating about 300 people. The theatre will break ground late this year and open in advance of the mall in the fall of next year.

Ben Carter Enterprises currently is pre-leasing retail spaces and marketing land for sale for additional development and expects to close on tracts by December of this year.

"We have 25 percent of the retail spaces in Phase I of the outlet mall under Letter of Intent and are working to convert those to leases," said Quito Anderson, CEO of Ben Carter Enterprises. "Our business plans call for us to have 60 percent of the space in the outlet mall leased when we break ground."

The Outlet Mall of Georgia at Augusta is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2016.

CONTACT: Tony Wilbert The Wilbert Group 404-254-1487 (O) 404-405-3656 (C)

Source: BenCarter Enterprises