TIFTON — After more than a year of planning, the groundbreaking for the Tifton North development was held at 10:30 a.m. at the 12 acre site, which is located on Hwy 41 across from Harvey’s Supermarket.

The project is led by brothers John and Michael Bowen of 31 North Capitol Partners.

The property was acquired from the University System of Georgia and was previously used as a tree research nursery for the experiment station. It stretches from the intersection of Hwy 41 and Interstate 75 to the railroad.

“We’re really grateful for y’all joining us this morning and helping us celebrate this important milestone,” John Bowen said. “Michael and I started this project in May of 2017, so this is a particularly significant moment for us.”

Michael Bowen said that they want to develop the location as a gateway to Tifton from the north and that they want the exit to become a destination in its own right.

John Bowen said that the site location is a blank slate and allowed them to be creative with what went in.

“When Michael and I first developed the vision for Tifton North and started imagining what was in store for this site, we pictured a landscape that was much more than wood and concrete and steel and brick,” he said. “We imagined a landscape of memories. We imagined a first date that included a stop by Tifton North to listen to live music at our Main Street promenade. We envisioned friends meeting at our beautiful dog park to walk their dogs and take a walk together. We envisioned kids laughing and playing in the splash pad in front of the hotel. We envisioned an engagement party in our one-of-a-kind event center that might celebrate that first date.”

He said that clearing the site will begin within the week and development will begin shortly after.

Tifton North is slated to have a Courtyard by Marriott hotel to anchor the area and serve the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.

Hotel construction is expected to take 14 months. It is expected to open in October of 2020.

The project will also feature retail space; a Main Street area with a park, band stand and splash pad; and a dog park.

The Bowens said they have secured Chicken Salad Chick, Stripling’s General Store and Ace Hardware as partners for the location.

Out parcel and other amenity development is expected to be completed in spring of 2020.

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