New housing coming to Olde Town in Augusta

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:24 PM
Last updated Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:04 AM
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Boarded up houses on the edge of the Olde Town historic neighborhood will be replaced by a housing development for people with disabilities.

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Kenneth Jones, the board chairman of CSRA Housing and Family Development; Augusta Commissioner Bill Lockett; Augusta Commissioner Matt Aitken; Gloria Lewis, the executive director of the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority; and Mayor Deke Copehaver break ground for a housing development for people with disabilities on Sibley Street.  JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Kenneth Jones, the board chairman of CSRA Housing and Family Development; Augusta Commissioner Bill Lockett; Augusta Commissioner Matt Aitken; Gloria Lewis, the executive director of the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority; and Mayor Deke Copehaver break ground for a housing development for people with disabilities on Sibley Street.

Seven houses, a community center and an office will be built on Sibley Street between Greene and Telfair streets using an $818,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Existing structures on the site, four shotgun-style houses and two small white buildings, will be renovated or demolished if beyond repair. Project leaders said they will try to save parts of the houses with historic value.

At a groundbreaking ceremony for the project on Wednesday, leaders from the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority, CSRA Housing and Family Development and the city’s Housing and Community Development Department said the new housing will rehabilitate a blighted and neglected block.

“We’re always looking for something that will help our clients and help the community,” EOA director Gloria Lewis said.

The new houses will be 600- to 800-square-foot homes with one bedroom, a kitchen and living space, said Rufus Burdette, the president of Greene and Burdette Property Management, a building company in Waynesboro, Ga.

The seven housing tenets, which have already been selected, are existing clients of a EOA housing program that leases apartments at sites across the city. At the new complex, the community center will be staffed Monday through Friday to help clients with life skills training, provide transportation to doctors appointments, and assist with utilities and housing payments, said Lynda Suarez, the resource development coordinator for EOA.

“Everybody will be together. There will be on-site staff management,” Suarez said.

Lewis said she’s not concerned with crime issues on nearby East Boundary and surrounding blocks, adding that continual management of the site will be an asset to the residents.

“It will more enhance the rest of the Olde Town community than anything else,” she said. “Once we get this done, we’re not going to walk away from this.”

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scgator
1042
Points
scgator 04/11/12 - 03:58 pm
5
0
forgive me for not

forgive me for not understanding............7 cottages constitute a "housing development"??? 7 tenants need a community center ??? It seems like you could forego the community center and add a couple of more cottages. 600-800 sq ft is hardly a "house". Another question is that if it is indeed in the Olde Town District, will it have to adhere to all of the restrictions and requirements for architecture that current residents are required to do.????

countyman
20149
Points
countyman 04/11/12 - 04:48 pm
2
1
Olde Town is definitely

Olde Town is definitely becoming a great place to live, work, and play.. If 1st, Sibley, and Forsythe can be gentrified similar to the rest of the neighborhood goods things are yet to come.. The Walton Oaks development looks great, but let's continue to improve all of East Augusta(Eastbound & Sanbar Ferry specifically). The Riverwalk could also be extended into East Augusta... I make sure to ride through the CBD, Olde Town, Summerville, and Forest Hills when I'm entertaining out of town guest..

corgimom
32620
Points
corgimom 04/11/12 - 08:09 pm
4
1
"Lewis said she’s not

"Lewis said she’s not concerned with crime issues on nearby East Boundary and surrounding blocks, adding that continual management of the site will be an asset to the residents."

Sure, all of the criminals on East Boundary will stay away. That "continual management" will have them running scared, for sure!

My advice is that all the residents be issued guns as housewarming gifts- they will need them. Criminals love disabled people, they are the easiest prey of all.

debbiep38
428
Points
debbiep38 04/11/12 - 08:41 pm
1
0
urban renewal?
Unpublished

urban renewal?

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 04/11/12 - 08:52 pm
0
0
when i'm entertaing out of
Unpublished

when i'm entertaing out of town guest, I make sure to ride down east boundry and sanbar ferry....then a leisurely trip out to barton chapel road

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 04/12/12 - 08:32 am
0
0
what constitutes "disabled"
Unpublished

what constitutes "disabled" will it be the truly disabled or ****sterine or ####stal(mouthwash or brand of alcohol-popular with the hip-hop crowd) with her 5 kids, one that she gets a check for because she taught the child how to act like it has add/adhd on order to get a ssi check. these units should be for those who truly have a REAL disability. but somehow some way it will get corrupted and before you know it the lower end of olde town will be an extension of the riverglenn projects/gov't housing.

mike71345
75
Points
mike71345 04/12/12 - 08:47 pm
1
0
Isn't this the plan that both

Isn't this the plan that both the National Trust for Historic Preservation AND Historic Augusta, Inc went on record as opposing? It is.
Nice going, Olde Town Historic District!

mike71345
75
Points
mike71345 04/14/12 - 12:34 am
0
0
"Existing structures on the

"Existing structures on the site, four shotgun-style houses and two small white buildings, will be renovated or demolished if beyond repair."
I spoke to the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office yesterday. They confirmed that if those buildings are demolished or "renovated" to the point that they lose their historic integrity, the project's funding may well be revoked. Federal funds cannot be used to demolish certified historic structures such as the six (not four) "shotgun-style houses" currently standing on that Sibley St lot.
It's a shame that the grant for this project cannot be used on any of Olde Town's many empty lots. It's nominally a rehabilitation grant, which means that it's only existing structures in the historic district that can be targeted.

FromSavannahtoAugusta
0
Points
FromSavannahtoAugusta 04/30/12 - 12:12 pm
0
0
This is a great project! And

This is a great project! And by the way, did receive both state and local historic approval to rehab these houses. And for the persons it will help to provide permanent housing to, how could anyone really complain? I do understand that we all want to see more development throughout the city, eliminating blighted properties through revitalization of abandoned blocks. An investment in quality, affordable housing for deserving people. But isn't that what's happening in Laney Walker, Bethlehem, south and east Augusta, and you are complaining about it? I think someone will have something to say about any project involving local government partnership. If it isn't the area, then it's the price tag; if not the process, then the end user. And always the costs to taxpayers. Like abandoned houses currently being use for drug havens and prostitution don't have a costs to taxpayers? If you can bring back an area that is deplorable, uninhabitable, and crime ridden with no cost to the local tax base what is there to complain about? Good job guys, keep up the good work!

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