The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office has issued 10 permits for buildout of three of the four units in The Falls of Oconee commercial complex at the corner of Macon Highway and White Oak Drive opposite the Athens Ridge student living complex.
All of the permits are for interior suite buildouts, but the permits list tenants for only three of those suites.
One of those is The Olive Basket, a gourmet olive oil and vinegar store, currently located at 297 Prince Avenue in Athens. The Facebook page of the store indicates it is moving to the Oconee County site.
Another is PT Solutions, a physical therapy practice currently located in Kennesaw.
The third identified tenant is Lodge Management, with Derek Lodge listed as the owner. Lodge gives his address as 8771 Macon Highway, Suite B.
All of the permits were issued to Value Added Concepts, the developer of The Falls of Oconee complex. The address for Value Added Concepts also is 8771 Macon Highway, Suite B.
Russ Henson, commercial building inspector for the county, signed all 10 of the permits on Nov. 15.
|White Oak Drive, Building 2 (Left) to Building 5 (Right)|
According to the permits, construction was to start immediately, and estimated completion date is Feb. 1 for all 10 suites.
Four of the permits are for Building 200, which is the 7,000-square-foot building furtherest from McNutt Creek and the waterfalls over the historic dam. An old, abandoned mill is on the Clarke County side of the Creek, which forms the border between the two counties.
The four permits are for all of the space in Building 200, according to the square footage listed in the building permits.
Lodge Management is one of those four suites.
Five of the permits are for Building 300, including one for PT Solutions.
Those five permits encompass all of the 7,200 square feet in Building 300.
Building 400 totals 6,000 square feet, and the Olive Basket will use up only 1,450 square feet of the building.
Building 400 and Building 500 have views of the dam and beach beneath it. That beach is commonly referred to as Red Neck Beach and is popular with students in the summer.
Building 500 also is 6,000 square feet in size.
The county issued permits for the shells of Buildings 200, 300 and 400 in May of 2015 and for Building 500 in April of 2016.
The building permit indicated Building 500 would be a restaurant.
The 10 permits issued on Nov. 15 are the first for interior work on any of those shells.
The property is owned by Falls of Oconee LLC, with the same address as Value Added Concepts.
In May, the Board of Commissioners rezoned 10 acres across Macon Highway from The Falls of Oconee and in front of Athens Ridge to allow for a drive-through restaurant and construction office.
Land planner Ken Beall, of Beall and Company, working for Strategic Holdings, told the Board that the office building would be used by Value Added Concepts.
Kelly Mahoney is the registered agent for Value Added Concepts and also represented Strategic Holdings of Madison in the rezone process.
Kelly also was developer of Athens Ridge.
Ken Beall, fast food King of Oconee County, strikes again.
That stretch of Macon Highway is already dangerous, noticeably moreso now with all the UGA students darting in and out of the apartment complex. Ridiculous and irresponsible for the county to allow a drive through restaurant there. There will be many, many serious traffic accidents there.
And, just one more instance of Oconee County becoming Gwinnett County-Lite, thanks to the Ken Beall's, the Frank Bishop's, the Jamie Boswell's, the Abe Aboudhamdem's...
That monstrosity electronic billboard by QT is just the tip of the iceberg...we're on our way to becoming a soulless, bland suburbian anywhere/nowhere.
Anonymous' comment concerning the huge lighted sign by QT is an important one. By allowing such a monstrosity, the entire Mars Hill corridor is now open season for an ugly sight-view.
This sharp curve with the attendant traffic is a silly place to put such a project. But pay no attention to common sense.
The Powers That Be hear the magic words "tax base" as simply more to spend.
The previous two commenters forget their history: the electronic billboard was put up before the overlay district was established. The ordinances in the overlay district forbid any further electronic sign. There will be no more electronic billboards on Mars Hill Road.
Also, those apartments on Athens Ridge primarily cater to college students that are going into Athens. Their primary destination is north on Macon Highway, so they will rarely come south down 441. Traffic on 441 northbound may increase, but most of that traffic will go onto the Macon Highway.
And as for the fast food place going on... It is unlikely one will go there, even though the plans call for it. There simply isn't enough car traffic to justify the investment by a franchisee. And even if one does pop up, do you plan to visit a fast food place located beside a college apartment complex (which, again with the history lesson, used to be a crime-ridden trailer park before it was redeveloped into the apartment complex)? If not, this is very unlikely to affect you!
Bottom line: the sky is not falling. It's easy to see gloom and doom when you ignore reality-based facts.
Anonymous 9:21 - I beg to differ on the student traffic, most are coming south on 441 because they attend UNG so they are on 53 as well along with Government Station Road ( of course which is not a cut through - HaHa). Also while I agree there was a trailer park before, there are still a good many calls to the sheriff with students fighting and robberies according published reports. Also, the only way those apartments could be more dense is if they had been allowed to have another floor on each building.
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