Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the number of acres involved, as well as the amount for which it sold.
An upscale apartment community whose amenities include boat access to the Augusta Canal is set to open next year at the Village at Riverwatch, bringing a residential component to the high-profile retail-office zone.
InterMark Development LLC, a multifamily real estate company based in metro Atlanta, said it plans to break ground on the 260-unit complex on 22 acres of canal-front property just north of the Riverwatch Cinemas in early August.
InterMark principal Joe Mackey said the development, known simply as Riverwatch Apartments, will raise the bar on what is considered a “class A” in the local market.
“There are a lot of terms used to describe high-end apartments,” he said. “But most of them don’t do what we do justice.”
Mackey said the community will have all the features normally found in modern luxury communities – a resort-style pool and a clubhouse complete with a fitness center and cybercafe – in addition to unique amenities such as a bocce ball court, a dog park, a fitness trail that skirts the property’s perimeter and elevators in each building.
The one-of-a-kind benefit for those who choose to live in one of the $950- to $1,375-a-month units, though, is access to the adjacent Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. The Augusta Canal Authority has given InterMark approval to construct a floating dock and a pavilion on the banks of the 7.5-mile waterway.
“We will have a really nice vista of the canal, so we’re excited for those who are avid kayakers or canoers,” said Mackey, adding that the complex will offer covered storage for small boats.
Mackey declined to disclose what the development represents as an investment for the company, but Richmond County property records show the real estate on which it will sit sold this month for $2.5 million.
The remaining 55 acres of developable land at the Village at Riverwatch is owned by Los Angeles-based Silagi Development & Management Inc. and marketed by Augusta-based Jordan Trotter Commercial Real Esate.
Silagi and Jordan Trotter intend to market the rest of the property at the nexus of Interstate 20 and River Watch Parkway to retailers, restaurants, hotels and potential office users seeking convenient access to all corners of the metro area, Jordan Trotter partner Dennis Trotter said.
“This is a regional site,” Trotter said. “With the road network it sits on, we’ve got the ability to draw from 15 to 20 miles in every direction.”
He said tech companies and defense contractors would be natural office tenants at the site, given the expanding cyber-related missions at Fort Gordon. Silagi and Jordan Trotter were responsible for redeveloping the former Fort Discovery space in downtown Augusta into a support center for global IT giant Unisys.
Riverwatch Apartments will consist of seven four-story apartment buildings containing one- to three-bedroom units. The community will be operated by InterMark’s Columbia-based property management affiliate, which oversees 11,000 multifamily units nationwide and 750 in the metro area at four communities: Woodcrest, Woodhill and Cobb House in Augusta and Gatewood in Aiken.
Mackey said InterMark had been hoping to boost its local portfolio “for quite some time.” Its impetus to act were Fort Gordon and Augusta University expansions that promise to lure more high-tech and research-related professionals to the region.
“Some of the more recent announcements and some of the projects in the near term are very favorable for multifamily,” he said. “The economy in Augusta has always been stable, but I think it’s getting stronger.”