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LaGrange prepares for an economy boom

LAGRANGE, Ga. -- Thousands of jobs are slated to come flowing into LaGrange over the next few years.

LaGrange city planners say they began this project by first making the city an attractive place for businesses.

Now, new companies are coming to this town nestled between Columbus and Atlanta as the city of LaGrange starts to make a name for itself.

More than one billion dollars worth of investment is coming to LaGrange, but that's just the beginning for a city hoping to create 8,000 jobs in five years.

"We take it a little bit for granted what's going on because this is not happening everywhere," LaGrange President of Development Authority Scott Malone said.

Anthony Rodriguez is a co-founder of the Wild Leap Brewing Company, which opens in LaGrange Saturday.

He and co-founder Rob Goldstein first came to the city two years ago for the city's first beer festival. The event inspired them to come back and open up shop in LaGrange.

"We love being a part of the city," Rodriguez said. "We love being a part of the growth and that's one of the things that brought us here was the city's understanding and need and want to grow and bring in new demographics and embrace people and businesses."

Wild Leap is just one of many new companies that are a part of the city's economic future. Also coming to LaGrange: Great Wolf Lodge, Sentury Tire and a 90-room Courtyard by Marriott to name a few.

"You don't want to just stay the same over time," LaGrange senior planner Leigh Threadgill said. "You always want to change and you always want to grow."

The city is about to undergo yet another extreme transformation.

"When you talk about impact, you're talking about changing a community forever," Malone said. "That's what's happening before us in Lagrange."

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