It's been a process more than three years long for the Foundry Place Project that will bring high-end apartment units near the medical district. It will be built near the Dental College of Georgia on the opposite side of the Laney Walker Bethlehem neighborhood.
I'm told we're looking at a groundbreaking in April that certainly will solidify a turning in what started years ago. The reason why it's a turning point, city leaders denied this project back in July because they didn't like the deal. Augusta is on the hook for 80% of the $30+ million price tag, while developer Columbia Ventures will be paying for 20% in addition to making all debt payments.
Some say a small price to pay when you're looking at the potential of growth for this historic district. I spoke with Housing and Community Development Director Hawthorne Welcher, Jr. who tells me he expects developers to be attracted to this area once this project is completed. "We're talking about grocery stores, we're talking about healthy food choices, we're talking about drug stores, we're talking about drug stores, pharmacies and things of that nature. Why should a resident of this area have to travel three to five to seven miles to eat."
Costs for the rental units starts between $900 to $1200. Welcher tells me the project is expected to be done next summer and tenant recruiting following six to eight months.
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