AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -
A major investment is well on its way to completion in the Laney-Walker Bethlehem area. City Leaders hope the 30 million dollar Foundry Place apartments bring in more than just people.
“This was once a dream, once was concept, but it’s definitely now a reality,” says Hawthorne Welcher, Housing & Community Development Director for Augusta - Richmond County.
Shirley Cardwell says she never saw something like this while growing up here. “I’ve seen a lot in Augusta. Up’s & downs, good times and bad times,” she says.
She tells FOX 54 this project brings much-needed revitalization to the historic neighborhood.
“I think this is a wonderful thing to see Augusta being built up,” she explains.
City leaders and the Housing and Community Developer hope the apartments spark business investment in the area too.
“What it allows us to do is to be able to pivot to the commercial & the retail and the job creation. TO be able to put some emphasis on helping the small businesses,” says Welcher.
Welcher says a small coffee shop is already committed to the spot. The first building for the apartment complex is expected to open in August.
The city expects other businesses to follow with business owners willing to invest in the area. It’s a change of scenery that has long time Augustan’s like Cardwell excited for the future.
“This is much needed, much needed. Thank God it is happening,” she says.
Welcher says applications for this 221-apartment complex open this month in January..
The City is on the hook for more than $25 million dollars, roughly 80% of the costs. The developer, Columbia Ventures pays the rest of the cots including the bond and interest payments.