River District Review: Saturday’s music festival, art party just parts of the success story. Artagus Newell, Brice Wood walk you through what’s next for Rome’s hot neighborhood.

River District Review: Saturday’s music festival, art party just parts of the success story. Artagus Newell, Brice Wood walk you through what’s next for Rome’s hot neighborhood.

Rome’s River District is where you want to be Saturday. Two events this weekend are why and they’re just a chapter in the ongoing success story in the revived neighborhood. More on that in a minute. What’s on tap Saturday:

  • The music festival, featuring local musicians, is from noon-8 p.m. The free event is Fifth Avenue and guests are welcome to bring chairs and blankets. No outside coolers or drinks allowed; food and drinks will be available. We recommend The Foundry Growler Bar with a special menu includes pulled pork sandwiches and bratwurst as well as four craft beers from Rome City Brewing Co. including Oktoberfest.
  • Outsider Art Party featuring Pony Bradshaw at 7 p.m. at the Harbin Clinic Gallery at Makervillage. The event will feature an art auction, dinner and music with Rounder Records’ Pony Bradshaw. Cost is $40 for VIP tickets or $20 general admission. Proceeds benefit Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden Foundation. Details.


Artagus Newell, right, and Brice Wood, left, at Brand Red Studios recording this Druck Report podcast on the River District. Photo by Todd LaBerge.
It’s called the River District, along North Fifth Avenue from Broad Street and sandwiched mostly by Turner McCall Boulevard and Second Avenue on the other side of the Oostanaua. If plans hold up, the River District will be the buzz district as local planners work with property and business owners to turn the area into a shopping and entertainment district.
Artagus Newell, planning director of Rome Floyd County, and Brice Wood, associate planner, joined Hometown Headlines’ John Druckenmiller recently to discuss changes coming to  the River District just across the Oostanaula from downtown and Broad Street.
  • They talked about the new urban mixed use zoning to ease some of the red tape in redeveloping the area.
  • Among the goals for the River District is to “maximize density” as well as increasing foot traffic for merchants.
  • Some of the pioneers of the redevelopment push included River City Bank, Barron Stadium, The Foundry Growler Bar and Courtyard Rome Riverwalk.
  • The latest projects are a restaurant by Kevin Dillmon on West Thursday Street as well as a storefront on Fifth Avenue owned by Ginny and Doc Kibler. Sunflour Community Bakery is now open at 500 Avenue A and MakerVillage is home to Harbin Clinic Gallery (with a new exhibit premiering this weekend)
  • Up next: Wayne Robinson’s The District adjacent to the Courtyard. Valued at more than $20 million, plans call for retail on the ground floor followed by apartments and then condominiums.
  • Artagus and Brice joined us in the River District — at the offices of Brand Red Studios, 4 Bale St. off Fifth Avenue. We thank Todd LaBerge for another round of solid podcast editing.

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