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Old Aiken County plantation transforming to new housing

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 11:29 PM EDT
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re getting a first look at a new housing development coming to the North Augusta area’s east side.

The area could see more than 400 new homes going in the Old Aiken Road and Jefferson Davis Highway area.

The Aiken County administrator says it’s one of the county’s fastest-growing areas. Now more stores, restaurants and 400 new homes are on the way.

Nick Lyons lives off Old Aiken Road, a two-lane road about three miles east of downtown North Augusta.

“It’s been like silence ... just cars going up and down the road,” he said.

The road is about to get louder. A new development called Weeping Willows is coming right across the street from him. Developers say it will bring hundreds of new homes.

“There is a shortage of housing in this area,” said Tracey Turner.

Turner bought almost 200 acres of land there. He grew up in North Augusta.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling that you can come back home and actually put a footprint on somewhere you grew up,” he said.

But for him, it means more than that because of what this land used to be.

“All of this land was a plantation,” he said.

Some of it is still there — the old home and the slave quarters.

“This plantation is once where Blacks used to work as slaves, and now a Black developer owns it,” he said.

He plans to restore some of the old buildings and make them part of the community. He also says he’ll keep the shape of the land intact and won’t do any mass grading. Lyons has seen empty land with lots of potential here for years, and he’s happy to see something happen to it.

“The land’s just sitting there ... not doing anything. Anytime you’re growing the community, I think it’s a good thing,” he said.

County officials will conduct a study to see what changes need to be made to the two-lane road. The developer expects to have shovels in the ground in three or four months.

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