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Mayor Kelly Girtz on Proposal for Bethel Village Redevelopment


Plans to redevelop Bethel Midtown Village could be discussed in the coming months. The mayor and commission will vote on a memorandum of understanding at this evening’s meeting regarding the proposed development.

Mayor Kelly Girtz explains the proposal.

“We at the Clarke County Unified Government have been able to partner with the Athens Housing Authority and a couple of private affordable housing providers; the Columbia Group and the Johnathon Rose Group, to take over management of Bethel and to revitalize it.”

The mayor says planning will take place through the winter and possibly into the spring, no physical movement is expected until next fall. Girtz shares his vision of the project.

“We want the northern downtown area to continue to be a place where those who don’t have a lot of money can live, but also a place where retirees can live, where working class folks can live, where research professionals or others can live,” Girtz said. “A place that’s going to be safe, that’s going to be attractive, that’s going to a fun place to live, that’s full of amenities and that will be an asset to the community.”

The finished product could be similar to a development like Columbia Brookside. It would triple the density and have one-third affordable housing, one-third workforce housing and one-third market housing.

Girtz says rent would not increase for current residents.

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