$250K Georiga Cities loan to help fund new housing, retail near TEE Center

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News 12 First at Five / Friday, June 29, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Augusta's new convention center is expected to open in a matter of months. The Downtown Development Authority is announcing thousands of dollars to provide new retail and housing in downtown Augusta.

There is a new push to get heads in beds downtown.

"The recession was a set back for a lot of people," said cafe owner Christine Allewelt. "But I'm not scared."

Allewelt is relocating New Moon Cafe to the old J.B. Whites building. There are luxury condos upstairs.

"This is a great opportunity. We need more space," she said. "And there is a conference center about to open a couple of blocks away. That is a no-brainer."

You can spot the TEE Center parking deck, the latest addition to the Augusta skyline, from one of the 41 units now available to own.

"I think the TEE Center has proved to be a catalyst already," said Margaret Woodard, director of the Downtown Development Authority.

The authority is announcing a $250,000 Georgia Cities loan to fuel new development on the corner of Broad and 9th streets.

"It's going to be renovated into nine beautiful market-rate apartments and 4,044 square of retail right here on 9th Street very close to the new TEE Center," Woodard said.

Allewelt can't help feeling good about her investment. She will have her final inspection next Monday. Most of the TEE Center construction should come to an end this fall. It is expected to open at the beginning of the year.