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digital_sandlapper

Missed Opportunity for North Augusta

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Have you all been keeping up with North Augusta's renaissance? The neo-traditional development Hammond's Ferry on N. Augusta's riverfront is exciting: public access to the water in the form of a park and town square, mixed use, corner stores within walking distance from homes with front porches close to the street, a traditional grid of streets, the whole community planned around the pedestrian, etc., all with liveability in mind. Here is the link--check out the beautiful website, and take the tour of the renderings of it all: http://www.hammondsferry.com/

But what if . . .

. . . it would have been planned for where it belongs: directly across the river from downtown Augusta (between the 2 bridges)?

That previously beautifully wooded stretch has been ruined forever by completely inappropriate private development. When I first saw it, I was stunned in disbelief--it looked like an atom bomb had been dropped. Now, while walking along the beautiful Augusta Riverwalk, one only has to glance over the Savannah River to get a load of the sometimes scantily-clad residents sunbathing in their oftentimes unkempt backyards of the countless "McMansions" that replaced the forest! Can you imagine going into your backyard to grill out with a few friends, only to have a whole city witness your every move? What was this developer thinking?? To the great chagrin of the Augusta town fathers, the North Augusta town fathers were asleep at the wheel on this one. That riverfront belongs to ALL residents of the area, and should have NEVER been allowed to be private lots.

What a tragedy--could've been done right, but now just reinforces Augustans mistaken stereotypes of those S.C. hicks . . [sigh] At least the new development is on its way . . just too far upstream to help the immediate perception from downtown Augusta. Also, I suppose the riverbank vegetation will quickly grow back (if not hacked back by the residents) to screen it from both sides, so that will help.

What are your thoughts?

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We had a thread about Hammond's Ferry a while back... I'm sure its still there :)

I have not looked at this development closely, but I think this is one case where it will be an acceptable loss.

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This is the development he's talking about. Rivernorth subdivision and golf course... It's basically a golf course with a single riverfront road for private mcmansions... It's THE prime location directly across from dt augusta...

agsriver27ng.jpg

agsriver59pj.jpg

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While I despise the development, I do understand the politics behind it.

For as long as flood-plain designations have existed, this area was considered a flood plain. Since the construction of Clark's Hill Dam (and subsequently the lake), there has been no flood activity in that area. So the flood-plain designation was finally released just a few years ago.

At the time, the North Augusta market wasn't in high demand, and few really saw the potential in this land. When the city decided to build a public golf course there, it was considered a monumental decision, and was applauded by basically everyone. The mcmansions came after the completion of the golf course, essentially at the point when there could be no other suitable uses for the sliver of riverfront land...

Basically, I think that it was bad timing that resulted in this bad municipal planning... This whole development was underway just before new urbanist ideas began to take hold, and at a point just before N. Augusta's desirability increased... Hammond's Ferry is the confluence of those two factors, but unfortunately, Rivernorth just happened a few years too soon...

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While I despise the development, I do understand the politics behind it.

For as long as flood-plain designations have existed, this area was considered a flood plain. Since the construction of Clark's Hill Dam (and subsequently the lake), there has been no flood activity in that area. So the flood-plain designation was finally released just a few years ago.

At the time, the North Augusta market wasn't in high demand, and few really saw the potential in this land. When the city decided to build a public golf course there, it was considered a monumental decision, and was applauded by basically everyone. The mcmansions came after the completion of the golf course, essentially at the point when there could be no other suitable uses for the sliver of riverfront land...

Basically, I think that it was bad timing that resulted in this bad municipal planning... This whole development was underway just before new urbanist ideas began to take hold, and at a point just before N. Augusta's desirability increased... Hammond's Ferry is the confluence of those two factors, but unfortunately, Rivernorth just happened a few years too soon...

Topher, thanks for your comments, photos, and insight. You are so right. I didn't realized, too, that this subject had already been through a thread. I need to do some reading of prior threads before putting my own suggestions out there!

Anyhow, your comments were right on. Let's just hope that Hammond's Ferry will improve things.

Cheers

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Oh ok. Now that IS different. This development I do not like. Particularly right accross from downtown Augusta.

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I do consider having a golf course complete with McMansions directly across from downtown somewhat of a waste--especially the McMansion part. I've never liked the idea of the Savannah River being blocked off from the general public. But like Topher said, when this place was developed there was not much growth in that part of North Augusta. I think it's been somewhat of a catalyst for the Hammond's Ferry development. Plus, as a golfer, the views of downtown Augusta are awesome from over there. But again, it has totally ruined the view of North Augusta from the Riverwalk.

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The Condos/Apartments or whatever they are rising next to RiverClub (the McMansion development) arent that bad looking...they at least give a more urban feel to this part of the riverfront. They arent finished yet so I guess Ill make a final judgement on them when they are.

Im hoping it all pulls together once Hammonds Ferry is finished.

Arent there plans for a hotel or midrise condo on the other side (the 5th street side) of RiverClub?

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