Newsletter: Downtown Rome’s ‘infill’ push bringing more townhomes. Plus: Tracking new businesses. Regional development updates. Popcorn & Politics: Election cops; look who’s talking. Peaks & Valleys.

Newsletter: Downtown Rome’s ‘infill’ push bringing more townhomes. Plus: Tracking new businesses. Regional development updates. Popcorn & Politics: Election cops; look who’s talking. Peaks & Valleys.

DOWNTOWN ROME’S NEXT BIG THINGS

More housing proposed for downtown Rome: “Infill” was one of the big words used last year as Rome’s Special Committee on Housing met to consider options for the community’s growing housing crunch. We’ve seen some of this begin around the city as other options were developed, including converting some existing hotels into mini apartments renting for under $1,000 a month.

Tonight, Rome City commissioners will hold a public hearing with plenty of infill options. Commissioners will review plans to convert 3.4 acres along First Avenue (behind the Atrium Health Floyd offices and south of Summit Hill Foods) into 41 town homes. According to the application from Echota Realty Co. and Buckel Design Group:

  • The project “would allow for the infill development of multiple vacant parcels as a townhouse development consisting of 41 units on a combination of 3.4 acres.
  • “The applicant is proposing three-story townhomes with two-car garages that are approximately 1,800 to 1,950 square feet as well as two-story townhomes with  one-car garages that are proximately 1,630 square feet.
  • The three-story (homes) will be rear loaded, the two-story will be front loaded.
  • It comes with an 8-0 approval from the Rome-Floyd Planning Commission as well as a planning staff recommendation.
  • You can read the entire application here.

In her analysis, Senior Planner Brittany Griffin writes:

“The proposed townhomes along 1st Ave would be the perfect addition for Rome, downtown
Rome and Between the Rivers Historic District. Density in this area should absolutely be the
focus in order to continue Rome’s appeal as a destination different from other cities across
Georgia. Density and walkability are what make Rome standout. It’s become clear in the
past 30 or so years that a car-centric lifestyle is a source of never ending construction, poor
health, isolation, depression, etc. the sort of peninsula that downtown and Between the rivers
should continue to grow upwards and less appealing drivers as the years go on.”

SPEAKING OF WALKABILITY …

The second phase of Riverbend off Broad is on the way: The first phase of the townhome development is between the federal courthouse and the Rome News-Tribune offices between Sixth and Eighth avenues.  With current units listed at $260,000 to $285,000 (a recent sale was for $264,900), the plan is to improve the parking lot below with units similar to those already completed at 603 E. Third Ave. 

This parking lot will give way to the next round of town homes at Riverbend. Hometown photo.

 

Toles, Temple & Wright is the listing agent and includes this summary of amenities:

  • New construction: Phase 2 breaks ground this spring.
  • Floor plan features open living space.
  • Each townhome will have the latest finishes, a one-car garage and a covered patio.
  • Kitchen will include granite countertops with custom cabinets as well as stainless appliances.
  • All bedrooms are upstairs.
  • Hardwood flooring in living space in your choice of finish.
  • High quality carpet in all bedrooms.
  • Tile baths and flooring in all bathrooms.
  • Secure gated entry.
  • Additional parking for guests.
  • Covenants and restrictions apply.
  • HOA covers outdoor maintenance and landscaping.

SPEAKING OF DOWNTOWN

Here’s a teaser of what’s on the way at 425 Broad St.: Rome Furnishings & Beyond. The scuttlebutt on the street is we’ll see some upper level antiques here as well. More details soon.

About that Cotton Block incubator: A reminder the Downtown Development Office continues to seek feedback on this project (and maybe others). What to know: “We are seeking input from business owners and entrepreneurs in Rome and Floyd County. Please take a few moments to complete this survey so we can better serve our small business community. https://forms.gle/dp38v5MNyknmPdbR7

Due this week: An update on the next tenant(s) of a hot spot in downtown Rome as the “leased” sign goes up.


SPANNING THE REGION

Hamilton Healthcare System in Dalton has been looking at projects in Calhoun for some time based on applications we’ve seen. On Friday, the next phase began — a Gordon County Chamber of Commerce groundbreaking at the site. We’ve got notes into Hamilton for more on the Physicians Group plan.

Watching and waiting in Cartersville: Still no signage for The Varsity location touted for Cartersville near Tractor Supply across from the new auto museum. We cruised the area Saturday and only saw the “for sale” sign on the hot tract. What is new in the Highlands project area: A huge amount of groundwork for what should be apartments and maybe senior housing as well at the intersection of Tennessee Street and Ga. 20.


POPCORN & POLITICS

Next up: Election cops? That one-term senator who wants to be governor now wants an elections police force. Again pandering to the Big Lie crowd, CNN reports David Perdue would create “an Election Law Enforcement Division in the State of Georgia” that would “be charged with enforcing election laws, investigating election crimes and fraud, and arresting those who commit these offenses.”

Speaking of former senators: Kelly Loeffler, the Kemp appointee who also lost in the Senate runoff a year ago, is due in town Thursday to address the Floyd County Republican Party’s 6 p.m. meeting. Loeffler has launched Greater Georgia, her version of the success Stacey Abrams is having with Fair Fight. Also on the agenda:  Cole Muzio of Frontline Policy Council. What to know: The meeting is at John Henry’s Grill, 233 Broad St. “Attendance is free but if you would like to eat, please bring $15 for the buffet, which begins at 5:15 p.m. Please remember to leave a tip for the restaurant’s staff, as well. If you plan to eat, please RSVP by emailing info@floydgagop.com by noon today so we can give the restaurant a head count for how much food to prepare.” We wholeheartedly endorse the tipping part.

And speaking of 2022 Senate candidates: A private Floyd County fund-raiser for Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker is set for Feb. 8, organized by business leaders in the community. It includes a half-hour private session and then an hour reception. Tickets are $5,800 for host level, $2,900 for co-host level and $1,000 per person for “general reception.” For expanded details, please click here. (No autographs, please).


PEAKS & VALLEYS: The highs and lows of Northwest Georgia.


Peak to the wrestling teams at Cass, Rockmart and Trion high schools. All three brought home state titles on Saturday. That’s impressive because there are only seven in all so nearly half are owned by Northwest Georgia. Four other area teams made it to the final day of competition this season. (Above video shows the rousing reception for the Rockmart team late Saturday).

 

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