New restaurants, businesses spur Valdosta growth

Published: Jul. 11, 2018 at 7:27 PM EDT
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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News

July 11, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The City of Valdosta is dubbed "the City Without Limits," and right now, that may be the case.

Several new businesses and restaurants have already opened up this summer, with several more on the way.

"It's great we're getting new industries in. New places to shop, go out to eat, that kind of thing," said Renea Salter of Valdosta.

Among the list; Panera Bread opened last month, Margaronas Restaurant opened just last weekend and Cook Out is currently under construction.

"It's really exciting for me, because I like food and people get tired of eating the same thing over again," said Dakovias Mathis of Valdosta.

City officials said the sales tax revenue is going up almost every month. With a population that nearly doubles with commuters every day, they expect the trend to continue.

"We attract a lot of people to restaurants because of the interstate, people are stopping here," said Mayor John Gayle. "When Coleman Talley's new law office opens downtown, that's going to bring 50 to 70 people downtown. There's probably going to be some more restaurants opening up downtown."

With development comes growing pains on things like public services and infrastructure. But the city said, with investments like the recent T-SPLOST, they're ready.

"We're prepared for that. We continue to resurface and repave. We continue to spend our money on capital projects such as we did with the waste water treatment plant," Gayle said.

Many community members said they hope doors keep opening.

"I hope it continues. I would love to see Valdosta grow even bigger than what it is," Salter said.

City leaders said there is a major development project that has been in the works for over a year. It's expected to bring a lot of jobs to the county. Officials have not yet announced what that is, but did say we can expect to find out more as early as next month.