AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – African Americans have been providing the building blocks for the foundation of this country for more than a century.
One local man is continuing the tradition by building homes across the CSRA.
NewsChannel 6’s Dee Griffin introduces us to Oscar A. Jessie owner of GreenSpace Communities, LLC.
“I always followed the blueprint of other successful developers,” explains Oscar A. Jessie.
Augusta native Oscar Jessie says the passion for producing housing started close to home.
“I used to always see abandoned homes next to newly built homes. So, it’s a dream of mine to actually construct and reconstruct and rehab those homes and make them livable next to the homes that were newly being built.”
What was once a dream is now reality. He is developing dozens of townhomes in south Augusta called “Orchard Landing” just off Peach Orchard Road.
“I actually started off with 13 and we ended up now with 44 units,” he reflects.
He says the inspiration to go bigger started at home.
Jessie adds, “I can probably say it was my wife. She’s always pushed me to dream bigger, grow bigger and things of that nature.”
That push has helped move him into making history as, perhaps, the first African American in Augusta’s history to create housing of this magnitude. His plans have a purpose.
“I listed them 10 to 20 percent below the market value. That was to encourage individuals to have some type of equity moving into their house. Just to give them a good kickstart when they’re buying their first home or things of that nature.”
He says Oscar Jessie is providing more than houses.
“Outside of the area of community housing and development organizations that have been doing this type of work for 20 plus years outside of that when you start talking about isolation and solely with a focus and concentration on providing not only affordable, but workforce housing, meeting that median type income is very, very important connectivity point. Because people want to be homeowners. I think from that standpoint he is definitely paving the way.”
Now, the man who started off following the blueprint of other developers is creating his own.
“It’s a humbling experience to be the first and just look to pave the way for other black or African Americans to come that can travel along the path that I took,” concludes Jessie.
Oscar A. Jessie is also developing more than 50 acres in Aiken. He says it’s a gated community of 260 luxury townhomes.