First home sale takes place in Heritage Pine, the City’s flagship development in the overall revitalization of Laney Walker/Bethlehem. Mayor Deke Copenhaver and City Administrator Fred Russell to preside over ribbon cutting on Wednesday, March 2 at 5:00 pm. Housing director Chester Wheeler declares it “a giant leap for the re-positioning of Augusta as a model city.” www.heritagepineaugusta.com

(AUGUSTA, GA) – Chester Wheeler, looking as much like a proud new father as the director of the Augusta Housing and Community Development Department announced on Monday, February 28 the sale of the first new home in Heritage Pine, the City’s flagship development in the overall revitalization of Laney
Walker/Bethlehem.

“I am very pleased with our progress,” Wheeler noted. “We have been working for the better part of three years, starting with a vision and master plan and then rebuilding a neighborhood on Pine Street. But there’s something very special when that magical moment appears, you pick your head up out of the minutiae of day-to-day planning, and you see the beginnings of the fruit of so much labor.”

Heritage Pine, the City’s flagship development for Laney Walker/Bethlehem, features approximately two dozen Energy Star homes located on Pine Street between 11th and 12th Street south of Laney Walker Boulevard. Five houses are currently in various stages of construction, with several already under contract. Meybohm Realtors serves as the listing agent for Heritage Pine.

“We’re newlyweds,” noted new homeowner Clayton Andrews, “and we are trying to do the best with what we have, get established as a family. We feel blessed to be homeowners in Heritage Pine.” Andrews, with his wife Minimarie, son Pierce, and daughter Paige, are set to move into their new home on Pine Street in early March. The milestone event will be marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and greetings by
Mayor Deke Copenhaver and City Administrator Fred Russell on Wednesday, March 2 at 5:00 pm.

Wheeler was quick to point out that this watershed moment belongs to the City of Augusta generally. “Without the leadership of the Mayor, the Administrator and the Commission, this vision for revitalizing Laney Walker/Bethlehem would never have gotten off the ground. And without the interest and support of adjoining neighbors and stakeholders – Augusta Tomorrow, the Medical District, Historic Augusta, Paine College and others – this 20-plus year vision may have stuttered along at best. Sure, it’s
just one home being sold along one street in Laney Walker. But it’s a giant leap for the re-positioning of Augusta as a model city for the coming century.”

The revitalization of Laney Walker/Bethlehem got its start in 2008, when the Augusta Commission passed legislation to support strategies promoting an African-American Heritage program in Augusta. Funds are currently being used for land banking, acquisition, planning and improvements for Laney Walker/ Bethlehem. Since passage of the resolution, the Augusta Housing & Community Development Department
has been actively developing an overall master plan for the area, a pattern book to guide development, a roster of pre-qualified vendors (developers, builders, architects, engineers) selected to focus on early- phase catalytic construction, a financial incentives program, and the creation of a marketing plan to promote the overall effort.

Contact: Chester A. Wheeler III, Director, Augusta Housing and Community Development Department,
706.821.1797 or cwheeler@augustaga.gov.

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