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Apartments going up, retail planned near the Gateway

Posted: July 30, 2013 - 11:09pm
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Developer Bobby Meybohm looks over the plans to build apartments, hotels, restaurants and commercial sites across from the Gateway.   Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Developer Bobby Meybohm looks over the plans to build apartments, hotels, restaurants and commercial sites across from the Gateway.

An apartment complex and retail developments are planned for a property near the Gateway near Grovetown.

Construction on Riverstone Apartments, as part of Mill Branch at the Gateway, is expected to begin before the end of September on a 39-acre piece of property across from the Walmart on Horizon South Parkway, according to Bobby Meybohm, a partner in the property and developer of commercial sites on an adjoining 41 acres.

“I think it’s a great location for that type use,” said Columbia County Development Services Division Director Richard Harmon. “When you mix it with the Gateway and the things going on over there and then you mix it with (multi-family residential) and then you mix it with retail, it all works out.”

The apartments are expected to be built in two phases, beginning with 192 units that are expected to be ready next summer, followed by about 150 more units. Plans for the first phase of apartments are in the review process.

Meybohm said most of the county’s residential growth in the last few years has been in the area, including the Mill Branch residential development on the back side of the 165-acre property Meybohm was a partner in buying in the early 1990s.

He expects to have the 16 commercial lots ready for sale by the first of November.

“Wherever you have residential growth, you need retail and commercial to complement it,” Meybohm said. “We hope it will attract hotel sites, full-service restaurants and potentially professional office buildings, that sort of thing.”

Meybohm said the property was zoned as a multi-family development in early 2000, years before county officials instituted a moratorium on multi-family zonings. The moratorium, which lasted about five years, was lifted in March 2011.

Riverstone and Lull Water at Riverwood, about 180 units currently in the permitting process, were approved before the moratorium went into effect in 2006. Harmon said at that time there were zonings for about 3,500 units in addition to existing apartments.

Since the moratorium was lifted, only small apartment and townhouse developments of less than 50 units have been approved.

Meybohm said the Interstate 20 interchange is a great area to develop.

“The good thing about it is at that interchange, everything is going to be new,” Meybohm said. “There’s not existing buildings or anything like that, so we’ll be able to have architectural control and hope we can do a quality development there.”

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