Commissioners question hiring real estate broker for Laney Walker


New homes continue to sprout up as the Laney Walker-Bethlehem Revitalization projects moves forward.

Now the Augusta Housing and Development Department wants to partner with real-estate firm  Sherman and Hemstreet, to bring in more dollars to the project. 

“We want them to be able to market and sell at a very high level we want to sort of out pace ourselves there’s property that we have in partnership with the Augusta Georgia Land Bank Authority we need to get that property back on the tax rolls,” said Hawthorne Welcher Director of the Housing and Development Department. 

But the proposal has some Augusta Commissioners asking questions about hiring Sherman and Hemstreet but the  project is slow large another firm could be brought in as an apprentice to work with the firm.

“Just a minority firm period to work with them and get an idea how to market homes, in a foot print that large very rarely is that done in this  community and for a foot print that size, there needs to be some participation in there,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan. 

“So we need to try and do something that could get our smaller  firms a little more involved.” said Commissioner Dennis Williams. 

Housing and Community Development Director Hawthorne Welcher said this an apprenticeship is something to consider,  but not right now.  

“I think that is something  definitely a good idea, something we can consider for the future,” said Welcher.

“Not on this one?”

 “I don’t believe,Welcher said. 

Welcher says he will also be coming back to commissioners with  another   proposal to hire a national marketing consultant for the Laney Walker Bethlehem area. 

 “I would right now support a marketer because your main concern is changing the image versus trying to market and sell houses,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams. 

 A commission committee takes up the request to hire the firm Tuesday if the full commission approves, Sherman and Hemstreet would not cost tax payers any money directly it  would  receive a  6  percent commission on the sale of the houses 

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