New homes are coming to one of Augusta’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods.
On Monday, city leaders joined private investors to announce a set of new developments coming to downtown Augusta’s Olde Town neighborhood.
For the last 6 years, Saunders Investment Group has bought lots in Olde Town. They now have 55 lots and the goal is to build 55 new homes in the neighborhood during the next three years.
“After much patience, much prayer and a lot of diligence over the past 4 or 5 years, we are now at that point,” said Augusta’s Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner and Augusta, Georgia Land Bank Authority Chairman Chris Johnson during Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
Curious neighbors rerouted their walks to check out what was going on as Augusta’s Mayor, commissioners and Chamber of Commerce leaders joined local pastors, non profit organizers and business owners in front of the vacant lots that will soon be developed.
“You can’t do projects like this without community partnerships,” said Mayor Hardie Davis said to the group.
Olde Town is in Commissioner Bill Fennoy’s district. He says blight is a problem in District 1 and has been for years so he is excited to see progress.
‘It lets me know that people are concerned and want to see Augusta grow and want to see all parts of Augusta grow,” Fennoy says. “The project we have here and the one that we have on Adams St. and James Brown Boulevard is an indication that we’re on the move downtown.”
Fennoy hopes the residential development will entice commercial development in the future.
“We lack a grocery store. We don’t really have a pharmacy down here and I think what’s happening right now is going to create some of that,” Fennoy says.
Jonathan Aceves is a commercial real estate broker with Meybohm Real Estate and a partner with Saunders Investment Group. Aceves is more than just one of the investors developing the new homes in Olde Town, he is also a neighbor. He has lived in the neighborhood for about 13 years and has gone to church in the area for even longer.
“We really want to protect the diversity that’s here in the neighborhood,” Aceves says. “Initially when we thought about what a project looked like here, we envisioned something different, but after living here and thinking about what makes Olde Town a great place to live, we realized that it’s the diversity of product type that really creates the diversity of age and stage and all the people that are here and so we really want to protect that.”
Aceves says they will start with 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom homes with the potential to build bigger houses in the future.
The construction is scheduled to happen in 5 phases during the next 3 years.