Unified Government & Athens Hospitality Holdings, LLC Partner on Athens Creative Development Campus
In a Special Called Session on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, the Mayor and Commission of the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County agreed to a letter of intent with Athens Hospitality Holdings Group, LLC to partner in the development of property located between Jackson Street and College Avenue at 250 Strong Street in downtown Athens, Georgia. The Strong Street property, in front of Hotel Indigo, is currently a surface parking lot owned by the Unified Government and operated by the Athens Downtown Development Authority.
The letter of intent specifies terms for the creation of an agreement to construct the Athens Creative Development Campus, a mixed-use development that will tie into the Hotel Indigo and include offices for the Athens-Clarke County Economic Development Department, business incubation facilities that will be owned by the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, co-working space, hotel rooms, dining, and multi-purpose space. The project will serve as a destination for business travelers, makers, and entrepreneurs by creating a space that will encourage collaboration opportunities across a wide variety of interests.
The proposal is the result of a study provided by Ninigret Partners through a partnership between Georgia Power and the Unified Government. Key findings from the study noted the growth of the University of Georgia as a major research institution; a need for flexible, bio-ready space; an active digital tech industry; and a vibrant creative consumer product industry that builds on the culture and vibe of Athens.
"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with an existing Athens business on a project that will improve an underperforming asset, ignite the entrepreneurial community, and increase the daytime activity and investment in this area of downtown," said Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson. "There is still much work to be done, but we expect to move forward judiciously to make this wonderful concept a reality."
Frederick L. "Rick" Fine, CEO of Rialto Property Partners and representative of Athens Hospitality Holdings Group, LLC, credits the efforts of the Unified Government to support innovation. "We are looking forward to bringing to life a project that will be an iconic addition to downtown Athens, as was the previous development of Hotel Indigo - Athens," said Fine. "In the spirit of a true public/private partnership, our goal is to create something very special for Athens area residents, visitors, and businesses alike."
For more information about the Athens Creative Development Campus public/private partnership, contact Athens-Clarke County Economic Development Director Ryan Moore at 706-613-3233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.