Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Updated Plans Under Review For The Falls Of Oconee Commercial Complex On Old Macon Highway

Dirt And Rock Hill Remains

The developer of The Falls of Oconee commercial complex on Old Macon Highway just inside the county line has submitted slightly revised preliminary site plans as the project moves through the review process.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich., company turned in the latest plans for the five-building center to house restaurants and small shops on Aug. 29. Those plans have not yet been approved by the Oconee County Planning Department.

The county issued a demolition permit to remove the convenience store on the site on Aug. 26, and the site has been cleared of that structure.

A hill of dirt and rock from construction of the Athens Ridge student housing complex across Old Macon Highway from the commercial site is the most visible feature of the property at present.

Details Needed

Written comments on the submitted plans indicate the county is seeking clarification of parking, guard rails and other minor issues and asking for documentation of wetlands certification.

The project overlooks McNutt Creek and a water falls over a dam created to build a mill pond.

The Falls Of Oconee Site On 9/20/2014

Original plans called for a boardwalk to that dam, but the more recent plans have dropped those intrusions into the wetlands.

One of the buildings does include a cantilevered overhang of the foundation that will bring the building close to the 50-foot conservation corridor above McNutt Creek.

Varying Sizes Of Buildings

That building closest to the creek will be next to another of equal size, both with 6,000 square feet of space.

Those two buildings will be connected with a patio or viewing area that also will take advantage of the view of the creek and falls.

The largest building will be 7,200 square feet in size. A fourth building will be 7,000 square feet.

The smallest building of 1,950 square feet will face Old Macon Highway right at the intersection with White Oak Drive.

All five buildings will be single-story construction.

Opening Planned This Year

The commercial complex will include restaurants and shops, according to Kelly Mahoney, the local representative for the Michigan company. Bloomfield Hills is a northern suburb of Detroit.

Mahoney said he also is hoping to have a coffee shop in the complex.

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.

In addition to Athens Ridge, also developed by the Michigan company, the site is close to two other student housing complexes, River Club and Flats of Puritan Mill, both off Old Macon Highway just across McNutt Creek. The creek is the dividing line between Oconee and Clarke counties.

Mahoney has said he hopes to have The Falls of Oconee operating by the end of the year.

Demolition Plan

Athens Ridge Commercial Properties LLC, the official name of The Falls of Oconee developer, also submitted a demolition plan for the site on Aug. 29.

The gas pump island and canopy are to be removed, as is all of the existing concrete and asphalt on the site.

The preliminary site plans show trees across the frontage of the 4.7-acre property and around the edges of the central parking lot, which will include 128 spaces.

The plans indicate that the tree canopy along he creek will be left in place.


Anonymous said...

The patio overlooking the creek and falls will be a lovely place for scores of UGA students to consume alcohol before they walk across Macon Highway or get in their vehicles and drive home.

Way to go Melvin and the IDA...anything in the name of development! Maybe Sheriff Berry can permanently station a patrol car there, bringing in a brand new revenue stream.

Beanne said...

I hope they include a crosswalk or some other way for students to get across the road safely.

Mentok said...

As long as anonymous doesn't to, it should be a good time. I hope it works. A crosswalk might be a good idea but I've never been concerned about the ability of adults to cross a road.

Anonymous said...

Mentok, then you must be unfamiliar with the speed vehicle drive around that bend on Macon Highway. Cars fly by, and when you add college students and alcohol to the mix, I just hope there's no tragedy there.