Monday, Sept. 21, 2015
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)----Augusta doctor Chelsea Martin works and now lives near the historic Laney Walker/Bethlehem area. The area has suffered economically for decades, but now she hopes her family is a small part of helping it change.
"We are invested in the area, we really like the downtown area and when we were looking for a new place to live we stumbled upon this development," said Martin.
The Heritage Pine neighborhood near 11th street where Martin chose to build her home is one of several developments in the Laney Walker area. More than 40 homes are expected in this neighborhood alone.
"We like the fact that our children's friends aren't going to be exactly like them and are going to have different life experiences," said Martin.
Hawthorne Welcher Jr, Augusta's Housing Director says buying up property in the 1100 acre area will stop for now and construction will begin.
The housing department says that the approval from the commission shows they want to see more transformations like this.
It's not only a physical change Welcher is seeking.
"Regenerated and revived to not only the point of building housing or bringing in multi family apartments or bringing back. but an emphasis was put on community as a whole," said Hawthorne Welcher Jr.
Just down the road from Heritage Pine a ground breaking is planned at Foundry Place, a 240 unit apartment development. Welcher says projects like these could spark businesses to come to Laney Walker Boulevard as well.
"There isn't a day that goes by that we aren't grateful for our home," said Martin.
Martin says she's using her new neighborhood as a teaching ground for her children and is ready for all her new neighbors to move in.