North Downtown Athens Planning Study
The North Downtown Athens Project consists of the 12-acre site currently known as Bethel Midtown Village at 105 and 155 Hickman Drive, Athens Housing Authority property known as College and Hoyt and some adjacent parcels. The project is set to include a mixture of housing types, land uses, and density as part of a mixed-use/mixed income development. The redevelopment of the property will be funded, in part, with 2020 SPLOST funding through Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov). To achieve the success and cohesiveness of the project, it will need to be built in several phases. The first step in this process is to develop a Master Plan for the site in collaboration with the community. This Master Plan will inform – at a minimum – zoning, subdivision guidelines, land uses, densities, street layout, building massing and demolition/construction phasing concepts. Such Master Plan will go before ACCGov for formal adoption when complete.
Master Planning Goals and Considerations
Provide a range of affordable, public, or workforce housing and market rate housing options
Limit the displacement of existing residents
Consider multi-family and single-family developments or redevelopments
Consider commercial and retail
Increase density across the site
Listen to community to identify needs and goals
The Study Area is generally bounded by W. Dougherty Street to the south, Hull Street to the West and College Ave to the East with the northern edge being College & Hoyt property. In October 2019, the ACC Commission voted to approve a partnership with Athens Housing Authority for the purchase and ultimate redevelopment of the Bethel Midtown Village Apartments, a 190-unit multifamily apartment complex located in the subject area. In November 2019, voters of Athens-Clarke County approved SPLOST 2020 which approved this North Athens Downtown Development Project as the Affordable Housing Project to be redeveloped using $39 million of SPLOST funding. This may take the form of direct expenditures by ACCGov in public infrastructure such as streets, curbing, sidewalks, lighting, utilities, public parking facilities, parks, recreation facilities, and other public facilities as outlined in the SPLOST 2020 page here.
The Steering Committee of the North Downtown Athens Redevelopment brings together a cross-section of community partners representing the North Downtown area, specific technical expertise, and diverse community interests. Steering Committee members help provide strategic direction, vision, and oversight for the master planning initiative and serve as champions for the redevelopment.
Kelly Girtz – ACC Mayor
Ovita Thornton – ACC District 9 Commissioner
Blaine Williams – ACC Manager
Brad Griffin – ACC Planning Director
Contrena Little – Bethel Resident
Janet Lawrence – College & Hoyt Resident
Rick Parker – Athens Housing Authority CEO
Jim Smith – Athens Housing Authority Board Chair
Charlie Gluodenis – Athens Housing Authority
Valdon Daniel – Athens Housing Authority Board Chair
Dexter Fisher – Clarke County School District Chief of Operations
Jason Leonard – Athens Downtown Development Authority
Jennifer Lewis – UGA Center for Community Design and Preservation
Smith Wilson – S&W Development, Inc.
Brian Keith – JHP (Master Planning)
A Resident Feedback Group comprised of Bethel residents was formed to consult on resident-specific issues and provide direct feedback on the planning process.