Riverfront condos are on the way to downtown Augusta.
Augusta commissioners approved selling property at 6th and Reynolds.
City leaders hope the developer's plan will generate millions in tax revenue.
This project has been proposed for some time now, but with the city staring down a big budget deficit, and other projects on the other side of the river in the works, perhaps this development couldn't have come soon enough.
"It's a beautiful project," says Margaret Woodard of the Downtown Development Authority.
The Watermark on the Riverwalk isn't just a fancy idea anymore. The condos are coming.
"You know, we're thrilled," Woodard says. "We really, really are."
After voting the idea down weeks before, Thursday, June 29, the Augusta Commission approved the $1.8 million land sale 6 to 3. The decision allows a developer to build luxury high-rise condos right along the river.
The condos, consisting of 180 units, will be built where the old railroad depot used to be. They'll average about $400,000 apiece.
That price tag is why some city leaders voted against the project. They feel the homes will not sell.
"People are moving into Augusta, but they are not moving into condos," said commissioner Marion Williams. "We need another five star hotel."
Woodard says they did their homework by looking at area condominiums along with previous projects done by the developer.
But she says the proof is the fact that the condos currently being built on the other side of the river sold like hotcakes.
"Those condominiums sold in an hour," she said. "There were 100 sold in like 70 minutes."
And while some critics of the development say the deal will benefit those more well off, the mayor says everyone will benefit.
"The economic impact study shows that it would add $6 million to our tax base over the next five years," he said.
Construction on the condos will take about two to three years to complete. There's still lots of paperwork that has to be done. But this developer has some experience, with successful projects in Macon and Savannah.