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Milton seeking retail growth along Ga. 9/Deerfield corridor

City partners with Buxton Group to find suitors



MILTON, Ga. — Milton has partnered with The Buxton Group, a Texas-based company specializing in retail and customer marketing analysis, to fill vacant storefronts along the Ga. 9/ Deerfield Parkway corridor. Buxton Group met all of the city’s requirements and its bid of $50,000 was within the city’s 2017 fiscal budget, which allotted up to $50,000 for such a study. The Milton City Council approved the agreement at its March 6 meeting.

The aim of the partnership is to seek out and recruit retailers and restaurants with the correct demographic for the city, and to retain current businesses. Buxton Company will facilitate introductions and offer support throughout the recruitment process, and city staff will have access to Buxton’s web-based SCOUT platform that reports demographic and trade profile reports. Buxton Group will also use Milton’s future land use and zoning maps to “identify nodes of potential growth.”

The agreement calls for recruiting 20 retail and restaurant establishments to the Ga. 9/Deerfield corridor by the end of 2017.

“Our goal is to help the business owner enter a space that matches their needs,” said Sarah LeDart, Milton Economic Development Manager. “Working with Buxton, Milton is better positioned to attract new retailers and fill vacant space. By finding the right retailer and/or space match, we’re setting businesses up for success and maximizing business retention.”

The data collected from the study will allow Milton to make informed decisions on the businesses it seeks to recruit, as well as show a need for a type of retail that is not currently offered in the city.

“It will be up to the city to meet with the suggested companies and see the project through fruition. As part of the overall process, we will be building relationships with 20 retailers with the hopes that a handful of them will choose Milton now and others will develop over time,” said LeDart.

“We know that proactive efforts are critical to finding the right businesses to fill our square footage,” she said.

The corridor is the largest area for development remaining within Milton’s 15 percent of land designated for commercial development.

The agreement with Buxton Group runs three years, with the focus each year on a different area within Milton. After the Ga. 9/Deerfield study, the Buxton Group will begin Phase 2 of the study in October which will survey the downtown Crabapple area. The final study, which begins October 2018, will concentrate on the intersection of Birmingham Road and Birmingham Highway.

Each study brings a separate price tag of $50,000.

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