Wed, April 24, 2024

Change of plans for North Augusta mixed-use development

North Augusta City Council has called a public hearing to explain significant changes proposed to the Master Development Agreement (MDA) covering Riverside Village (RSV), the city’s “Live, Work, Play” development near the Savannah River.

The agreement between the city and master developer, Greenstone Hammond’s Ferry, LLC was originally reached in March 2017. North Augusta is proposing a fourth amendment and adding a developer to move forward on still undeveloped parcels.

The announcement of the public hearing specified five steps included in the Fourth Amendment.

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“The Fourth Amendment provides for (1) the further extension of the term of the Master Development Agreement, (2) the revision of the Master Plan for Riverside Village to modify uses of certain parcels of land in Riverside Village, (3) the modification of certain Exhibits to the Master Development Agreement, (4) certain incentives to further development of Riverside Village, and (5) certain conditions to continuing effectiveness of the Fourth Amendment and the Master Development Agreement.”

Changes are proposed for Parcel C, which was to be commercial office space; Parcels G, H, which were going to have townhomes and retail space and Parcel K, originally senior living apartments.

“This new, updated, general development plan contemplates some changes to the original development plan that includes apartments on parcel K, whereas, originally those were senior living there are now basically standard, regular apartments,” explained City Administrator, Jim Clifford during a city council study session on March 25.

“Parcel C, which was again supposed to be a class A office building, that market has not rebounded since COVID. And so, that is now contemplated to be retail space on the ground floor with apartments above. Parcel G will remain a retail space, it will overlook the amphitheater, and the layout of parcels G and H will be a large complex, if you will, of retail and apartments together, he said.”

The proposed plan has more housing units than previously envisioned, particularly because apartments have been added to some of the commercial developments. The majority of the proposed new housing will not be owner-occupied.

The amendment also calls for bringing on a new partner, South City Partners, an Atlanta-based developer.

Clifford said South City has created developments in a number of Georgia cities, including Alpharetta and Kennesaw, where they built mixed-use apartments.

“I’ve had dialogue with the city managers of both of those towns along with some of their economic development folks and explain kind of the situation we were in, about what we were thinking would change and run did South City build what they say they were going to build? And the answer from both of the cities was yes,” he said. “And then based on the outcome that you are trying to achieve from the urban density perspective in the city center, both in Kennesaw and Alpharetta, is that a project that you’re proud of years later after that project is complete? And the answer from both the cities was yes.”

If approved, South City would be under contract to purchase parcels C, G, H, and K. That would make South City Partners the majority owner, with Greenstone the minority owner.

“Basically, South City Partners buying these properties,” said Mayor Briton Williams. “Greenstone is still the master development per se for the document. But, as far as dealings are concerned, they are a minority owner. That’s the important thing that Jim researched. Whatever has happened in the past is a different day.”

Several council members expressed concern about the impact of parking in RSV and anticipated comments from citizens at the public hearing.

“I think I understand the citizens’ concerns,” said Mayor Pro Tem, Jenafer McCauley. “I put the fault on us, that we have not improved the parking down there. And so, when you see extra development coming in, you automatically assume that it’s not going well down there right now, so how do we trust that it will go well in the future? I think that’s where the Council is committed and will hopefully give guidance to staff to get to that level of parking needs and the parking requirements down there.”

The April 1 public hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. It will be in the council chambers of North Augusta City Hall at 100 Georgia Avenue.

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1 comment

  1. It would be nice if you could click on the rendering maps to get an enlarged view of the graphic or give me a link were I can find them.
    Thanks!

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