The Athens-Clarke County Planning Commission tentatively approved plans Thursday night to turn Flagpole's offices into a fraternity house and an abandoned mill in Boulevard into apartments and art studios. Both projects will move on to the county commission for a final vote Nov. 5.
The Sigma Chi house also needs Historic Preservation Commission approval, which could come as soon as Oct. 16.
The fraternity chose 110 and 112 Foundry Street, owned by George and Danny Sniff, after community opposition deep-sixed a plan to build a house on North Milledge Avenue. Flagpole has not yet chosen a new location.
Millworks, at the site of the former Southern Mill off Oneta Street, drew some opposition from people who worried that it would clash with industries in the neighborhood, but a majority of Boulevard residents supported it.
"It's our vision that this will not only be a workforce housing development, but something that can serve as a center for the arts and the procurement of art in this area," said Scott Haines of Williams and Associates, the project's architects.
Another sticking point was whether the developer, Millworks Holdings, could move a historic water tower closer to the development. The planning commission decided it could, pending federal approval.