Walton Oaks housing complex to have grand opening Wednesday

The second phase of Augusta’s first mixed-income housing development will have its grand opening Wednesday.

Residents began moving into Walton Oaks on July 5, property manager Alicia Holland said.

Wednesday’s ceremonies will include remarks by Mayor Deke Copen­haver, state Rep. Wayne Howard and state Sen. Hardie Davis. Tours of a model unit will be offered.

Walton Oaks is built on the former site of the Underwood Homes public housing project off Sand Bar Ferry Road. The 75-unit family housing complex follows a model widely used across the nation that replaces traditional barracks-style public housing with modern apartment homes available to both poor and middle-class tenants.

The first phase, Legacy at Walton Oaks, opened in October for residents older than 55. The newest addition to the complex includes one- and two-bedroom units, a fitness center, an activity center and a playground.

Fourteen units at Walton Oaks are reserved for public housing tenants through the Augusta Housing Authority. Higher-paying tenants receive the same amenities at a rate reduced from market value to attract middle-income families.

District 1 Commissioner Matt Aitken said the project will help revitalize the area and spur economic growth. Adjacent property could be prime for commercial development, he said.

“It’s going to be a great asset to the community in several ways. It really opens up opportunities to the families,” Aitken said.

The development will offer free summer care and after-school care for children who are residents.

Applications are still being accepted for the apartments, said Melissa Whirledge, director of marketing for Walton Communities, the property’s developer. The number of applications has exceeded capacity, but many did not meet approval requirements, she said.

IF YOU GO

What: Walton Oaks grand opening celebration

When: Wednesday, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: 401 Fairhope St.

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