With a new parking lot completed, construction is set to begin on Social Circle's much anticipated Blue Willow Village.
Blue Willow Inn owner Louis Van Dyke said the paving of the parking lot with curbs and gutters was completed earlier this week. The underground utilities which will support the Blue Willow Village have also been put in place he said.
Construction on the buildings which will make up the village is set to begin the first week in December, Van Dyke said.
Van Dyke said the construction company for the project, Sunbelt Builders, is projecting a completion date of mid-April. This will put the opening date of the village sometime in late spring he said.
Though the village was originally anticipated as opening this winter, delays in the building permit process pushed the construction date back said Van Dyke.
"This is the first time I've ever done a project of this nature and things took longer than I've ever expected they would," said Van Dyke who along with his wife Lois came up with the idea for the Blue Willow Village. "I've learned a great deal about patience."
Hearkening back to the genteel beauty of the Victorian Age, once completed the Blue Willow Village will contain nine small shops with room for four more in the future as well as a Creation and Natural History Museum.
Businesses which have committed to the village include a 1950s-style soda fountain shop, a Georgia Originals Shop featuring pottery, wood ware, glassware and culinary products and a garden shop and greenhouse.
Anchoring the Blue Willow Village is the Blue Willow Inn restaurant - famed for its traditional Southern cuisine - which sees an estimated 200,000 visitors a year.