New venture based on old model

Though construction is ongoing, developers for Hammond's Ferry will nonetheless hold a grand opening event Saturday and Sunday.


Turner Simkins, the primary developer for the mixed-use neighborhood and commercial venture in North Augusta next to the Savannah River, said the first phase is near completion and the time seemed right to showcase the project.

"One of the most critical things for a traditional neighborhood like ours is that the private realm relate to the public realm," Mr. Simkins said. "We're just trying to create a community where people feel really welcome, no matter what street they're on now."

A grand opening celebration seemed the proper way to introduce the community to Hammond's Ferry, which incorporates a mixture of homes, condominiums, apartments, parks, retail outlets and cafe-like restaurants, Mr. Simkins said.

Though the mixed-use concept of Hammond's Ferry might seem new, the model actually is more than a century old.

"We wanted to make sure we kept with the historical concept of the town plan created in 1891, but never really completed," Mr. Simkins said. "We're essentially just completing the city plan in a manner consistent with the way it was 100 years ago."

Mr. Simkins said he wants to re-introduce a pedestrian lifestyle to suburban communities, where every home is within a five-minute walk of a park.

"It feels kind of revolutionary, but it's an old concept," he said. "It's the way towns were built prior to the dominance of the automobile in our lives."

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 823-3424 or

Andrew Davis Tucker/FILE [CAPTION]


What: Hammond's Ferry grand opening

Where: Crystal Lake Drive, North Augusta

When: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Activities: Events will include rowing exhibitions, artist demonstrations, storytelling, a cooking lesson, a bicycling demonstration and a home-decorating session.

Tours will be given of home sites, including the recently-completed model home.