With the student housing complex Athens Ridge on Old Macon Highway now fully leased, Kelly Mahoney said he is turning his attention to the future commercial complex across the street.
The goal is to make that complex, named The Falls of Oconee, a “more boutique version of Butler’s Crossing,” Mahoney said last week.
|Falls Of Oconee Site In Background|
The commercial complex will include restaurants and shops, Mahoney said. He also is hoping to land a coffee shop.
The area is part of the district the county has set aside for beer and wine sales.
If citizens pass a liquor-by-the drink ordinance in November, the complex is likely to be included in the areas allowing alcohol to be sold in restaurants.
No Permits Yet
Athens Ridge Commercial Properties LLC of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., filed revised preliminary site plans for The Falls of Oconee on March 31 showing five buildings spread around the 4.7-acre tract across Old Macon Highway from the Athens Ridge student complex.
B.R. White, director of the Oconee County Code Enforcement Office, told me on Friday that no permits have been issued for The Falls of Oconee.
Mahoney, who is listed as the 24-hour-contact for the project in the site plans, told me in a telephone conversation on Monday that he hopes to have the complex open by the end of the year.
The land is already zoned for business use.
Athens Ridge Leased
All 190 units of Athens Ridge have been leased, Mahoney said on Monday. The total number of residents is 787, he said.
Mahoney said he doesn’t know if all of those are students, but he thinks it is safe to say they are young, mostly under 30.
He said both University of Georgia and University of North Georgia students are included.
Because the financing for the project has been through a construction loan, it hasn’t been possible for anyone to buy the units at present, according to Mahoney.
Mahoney said as soon as financing is changed, the units will be made available for sale, either to individuals or to an investor.
Value Added Concepts
Mahoney is owner of Value Added Concepts LLC, with offices at 8771 Old Macon Highway, Suite B, just across from Athens Ridge.
|Value Added Concepts Office|
Value Added Concepts is listed as a nursery and landscape company.
Mahoney said he is involved in both the Athens Ridge and The Falls of Oconee projects.
Oconee County tax records list the owner of Athens Ridge as Athens Ridge LLC of Chicago, but state records list that company as inactive.
Mahoney is listed on county tax records as the contact.
Athens Ridge Commercial Properties LLC of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is listed on tax records as the owner of the property to be developed as The Falls of Oconee. Mahoney’s name appears on the planning documents.
Occupancy Permits Issued In July
The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office issued occupancy permits for the Athens Ridge units on July 15 and 16, and residents started moving in after that date.
|Athens Ridge Moving In 8/2/2014|
The advertised price was $475 per bedroom. The town homes contain four or five bedrooms.
The Falls of Oconee restaurants and shops not only will be easily accessible to the residents of Athens Ridge but also to those living in River Club, another student housing complex just across McNutt Creek and the Clarke County line at 1005 Macon Highway.
River Club, according to Athens-Clarke County tax records, was built in 1996 and is owned by a Chicago company.
Liquor Sale Map
County Attorney Daniel Haygood told the public and members of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on July 29 that he expects to draft an ordinance for the sale of liquor-by-the-drink in restaurants that mirrors the existing ordinance for the sale of beer and wine.
The beer and wine ordinance lists locations where beer and wine can be sold in grocery and convenience stores and in restaurants.
The existing map includes the properties where The Falls of Oconee will be located.
The Board of Commissioners voted last week to put a referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot to allow citizens to decide if they want to change the county’s laws to allow liquor-by-the-drink in restaurants.
The Watkinsville City Council will take up the issue of liquor-by-the-drink at its meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in City Hall.
The Council will have to put the issue on the ballot if it wants to change its ordinance to allow its restaurants to sell alcohol.