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Topher1

The Watermark

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Since this project (surprisingly) seems to be moving forward, I think it's about time it got its own thread to consolidate future discussions.

Todays article in the chronicle had the first rendering/sketch I've seen of the project. I'm hoping this view is from the Riverwalk, since I can't see the old train depot that they're supposed to be preserving in the sketch...

1275748_512.jpg

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/062006/met_85978.shtml

Here's the stats gathered so far.

$120 million price tag

182 condos

2 towers in the 8-12 story range (not sure yet)

supposedly a renovation of the old train depot (hopefully retail purposes)

6.3 acre site

Priced from $250,000 to $775,000

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Now those condos look great!! This will definitely help improve the image of Augusta's downtown. I'm pretty sure that the project will go through.

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Here's a quick graphic I made of the site of the project.

The thin building on the front of the site is the train depot, which will hopefully be transformed into shops and restaurants.

The west/northwest border of the site are the CSX tracks. The site is a total of 6.3 acres.

The neighboring riverfront parcel is a church (whose real estate just got a lot more valuable) and the Port Royal Condo tower (and Fort Discovery museum).

watermark5pt.jpg

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Good looking project! Now this, along with perhaps a new hotel at the Golf Hall of Fame, the Canal Project and the new Judicial Center and Main branch library and Augusta will have a very fine Downtown!

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Here's another article that specifically mentions what might be done to the train depot. The article also discuss the profile of the potential residents.

The article

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They will be little more than a mile away from the Medical District Kroger, and 6-7 miles from Department Stores at the new Lifestyle Center on Riverwatch...not to mention the grocery stores and Department stores just across the river in North Augusta. Pretty much the same for those who live in the far flung suburbs past Evans.

I do like the prospect of turning the old depot into a grocery store...something upscale most likely, to suit the needs of those living at Watermark and [email protected] Royal.

I think there will be a need for something like this, with the new condos opening up just across the river and then when Hammonds Ferry starts filling in...even though they will probably have their own grocery store in thier retail area.

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They will be little more than a mile away from the Medical District Kroger, and 6-7 miles from Department Stores at the new Lifestyle Center on Riverwatch...not to mention the grocery stores and Department stores just across the river in North Augusta. Pretty much the same for those who live in the far flung suburbs past Evans.

I do like the prospect of turning the old depot into a grocery store...something upscale most likely, to suit the needs of those living at Watermark and [email protected] Royal.

I think there will be a need for something like this, with the new condos opening up just across the river and then when Hammonds Ferry starts filling in...even though they will probably have their own grocery store in thier retail area.

That's true. Since Reynolds street turns into Riverwatch, they will basically have a straight shot to the Village. I do think they need another grocery store. Kroger is the only grocery store downtown, and the only grocery store close to East Augusta. That area could use 2 or 3 more grocery stores.

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Great job on the maps. At first I didn't like the way downtown was progressing, with the judicial center and park flung out near Walton Way and everything being so spread out--but I think in the long run it will help us. I just look forward to the day when downtown has gotten rid of all the empty lots and those ugly buildings on the lower end of Broad Street. This is a very exciting time for Augusta.

That's interesting about turning the old depot into a grocery store. Downtown really needs a grocery store and Kroger is just too scary after dark. Personally, I think we need a new grocery store closer to the river; a new store that could incorporate its surroundings (like what's been down in Columbia's Vista area). In essence, downtown needs a ....Publix. Everybody likes Publix. I've never seen a Publix that wasn't crowded.

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Yes defintely! In fact Atlanta has been going on this trend for quite sometime now, with a Publix in Atlantic Station, and also they just opened a 25-30 story condo tower complex (Plaza Midtown), with base-level, street shopping. One of the stores is a Publix, and it's not set up like the typical large one that's in suburbia, but it's a bit smaller to make it more localized.

I think something like this in Augusta would be great, if they did this.

There are a few Krogers here too that are smaller then it's suburbia counterpart. These don't have to be Large mega-super markets, but they can be small enough to have what's needed, for the ones who live very close to it.

As far as I know too, BTW, is there still a Gurley's on Greene Street. I remember there used to be one. I know this is not what some would call a "real store" but it was indeed a type of grocery store that served the Olde Town/East Augusta Area for years.

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Yes defintely! In fact Atlanta has been going on this trend for quite sometime now, with a Publix in Atlantic Station, and also they just opened a 25-30 story condo tower complex (Plaza Midtown), with base-level, street shopping. One of the stores is a Publix, and it's not set up like the typical large one that's in suburbia, but it's a bit smaller to make it more localized.

I think something like this in Augusta would be great, if they did this.

There are a few Krogers here too that are smaller then it's suburbia counterpart. These don't have to be Large mega-super markets, but they can be small enough to have what's needed, for the ones who live very close to it.

As far as I know too, BTW, is there still a Gurley's on Greene Street. I remember there used to be one. I know this is not what some would call a "real store" but it was indeed a type of grocery store that served the Olde Town/East Augusta Area for years.

Excellent. We should start a petition. That's a great idea about it needing to be localized. I wonder if one would fit into that old depot? I really think a lot of people would shop there on there way out of downtown from work or wherever.

Sadly, Gurley's closed. I work right down the street from there and it was a favorite haunt for me getting cigarettes, candy, etc. I used to love that place because it was like an old-time grocery store. I mean, you could buy pig tongues there! Name me a Publix in America that sells pig tongues! Interestingly enough, I saw a camper with California plates parked on the sidewalk one day so I decided to go investigate. Turns out they're trying to rennovate the place into apartments.

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Plans for the Watermark

Size: 182 condos in an eight- to nine-story structure

Where: On the Reynolds Street train depot property

Cost: About $400,000 each

support: Developer Harry Kitchen Jr. says The Landing at River Club is evidence the condos would sell. All 48 of the River Club's units sold between $231,000 and $393,000 in their first two hours on the market, its developers reported. Commissioner Betty Beard says Augusta should have some development projects, too.

Opposition: Some have pointed to the River Place condos, which struggled to sell. Commissioner Marion Williams says few residents would be able to afford to live in the condos.

Tax benefit: The project would generate an estimated $962,484 a year in taxes. Of that, $529,366 would go to the Richmond County Board of Education and $433,118 would go to the city.

I was hoping the when they originally announced this they would go for the higher end (11-12 floors)...but 8-9 floors is still not bad and will look great with 2 towers over the riverfront!

Also interesting are those projects mentioned for Savannah....I havent heard about those yet!

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Sounds great. I hope that it passes. Now all we have to do is build a hotel right there in that vacant area between 8th and 9th ( i think) along the riverwalk, find something (anything) to do with the golf hall of fame, because right now the only thing it is getting used for is weddings and parties, build the new judicial center, and turn the Bon Air into a Ritz Carlton and we'll be set (okay, maybe a little too optimistic on the last one, but still).

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^ If you're thinking of the same vacant lot I'm thinking of (the huge hideous dirt parking lot), there's been grumblings of using that land for convention space (which is sorely needed in DT, I'd just rather not use the last large riverfront parcel for it)...

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Yeah, that's the same lot I'm thinking of. I've always thought that the parking lots along Reynolds Street were ugly- for the longest time people have talked about building a parking deck at 8th and 9th behind the Lamar Building--I say build the deck and then tear down the parking lots and build a convention center there...

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Breaking news off augusta Chroncle: The Augusta Commission just voted today 6-3 on approving the sale of the site for 1.85 Million dollars to the developer.

Article

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6-3 decision? That's amazing. I've never seen a vote that much in favor of something on a big issue. Excellent news though.

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The project looks pretty impressive.

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A shot of the massive site from this weekend... I assume the project will consume the entire block, including the riverwalk parking on the end of the lot, and hopefully preserving the train station.

Watermark.jpg

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Interestingly, the article mentions that the project is now two 10-story towers... Awesome...

Less interestingly, it compares the architecture to the nearby Marriot Hotel and Suites, which is, IMO, just about as boring as architecture can be...

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Looks like the deal is done and the project should begin within the next year. The first step is addressing soil contamination on the site but site plans are already under preperation and the Downtown development authority is already getting calls from interested investors because of the project. The project will be in 2, 10 floor towers, as we all know by now, and prices for the condos will start in the 400,000 dollar range.

Here is the article.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/102606/bus_101942.shtml

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It looks like soil contamination is the current issue regarding the construction of the Watermark. It was known before hand that the site had some contamination and now they are in the process of figuring out how much. Until this is known land purchase or construction will wait.

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Plans now include 2, 3 floor office buildings and a hotel. The developer is currently in talks with the Hilton hotel co. This could mean 3 new highrises on the riverfront but only if the city of Augusta agrees to help in the costs of cleaning up the contaminated site. Please Augusta, dont [email protected] this one up!

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