Saturday, May 09, 2015

Oconee County Issues First Building Permits For Falls Of Oconee Complex Opposite Athens Ridge

Shell Permits Only

The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office on Friday issued building permits for three of the five buildings to make up The Falls of Oconee speciality retail center on Old Macon Highway opposite the Athens Ridge student housing complex.

The permits are for the shells of the three buildings only and give no indication of how the buildings will be used.

Permitted Buildings On Left
Click To Enlarge

Promotional materials for the 4.7-acre center on its web site indicate the developer, Athens Ridge Commercial Properties LLC of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is hoping to have restaurants, shops and offices in the complex.

Those materials indicate that a second phase of the complex is planned for across Old Macon Highway from the site being developed at present. That second phase will be 9.7 acres and will abut the Athens Ridge student housing complex.

Permit Details

The three buildings for which the permits were issued on Friday will be at the rear of the property from the planned entrance off Old Macon Highway.

Building 200, furthest from McNutt Creek at the rear of the property, will be 700 square feet in size.

Building 300 will be 7,200 square feet, and building 400 will be 6,200 square feet in size.

All three buildings will be single story.

No start or completion dates are given in the permits for the construction of the building shells.

Restaurant Possibilities

Building 400 and the planned Building 500 both overlook McNutt Creek below an old mill dam. The abandoned mill is on the opposite site of the creek in Athens-Clarke County.

Buildboard Opposite The Site

Building 100, according to preliminary site plans, will be at the front of the complex near the intersection of Old Macon Highway and White Oak Drive.

The promotional materials are listing the two buildings overlooking McNutt Creek, Building 400 and 500, as restaurant spaces with outdoor seating overlooking the dam and falls running over it.

The building permits issued on Friday indicate that Value Added Concepts LLC, 8771 Old Macon Highway, paid water and sewer fees for the shells. Additional fees will be required if restaurants are to be the tenants when permits are issued for construction of the insides of the buildings.

Boardway On Wrong Creek

The promotional materials mistakenly label the stream on the north side of the site as Barber Creek. Barber Creek flows into McNutt Creek just west, or upstream, of the dam.

Those materials also indicate a boardwalk trail will be constructed from the retail complex along McNutt Creek and that the complex will be connected via walking and jogging trails to Athens Ridge.

Easy Access From Athens Ridge

Athens Ridge, which opened last August, is a 184-unit (780 bed) residential development targeted to students.

Another large student living complex, River Club, is on Old Macon Highway inside Athens-Clarke County a short distance away.

Rocks And Dirt

The developers of Athens Ridge moved rock from that site during construction to The Falls of Oconee site, which formerly housed a convenience store and gas station.

During preparation of the site for Falls of Oconee dirt was moved back to land in front of Athens Ridge, where it now is in large mounds.

That dirt likely will be used to prepare what is being labeled as Phase II of The Falls of Oconee complex.

The county issued the building permits on Friday to Kelly Mahoney, who is owner of Value Added Concepts LLC.

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