Photo Credit: Lee Becker
Oconee County officials are still waiting on Presbyterian Homes to indicate how much money it wants the county to borrow through bond sales to help finance construction of its Presbyterian Village Athens on U.S. 441 at Hog Mountain Road.
In the last two weeks the company began land clearance and construction of a chain-link fence along U.S. Highway 441 for its complex. The county issued a land disturbance permit for the 79-acre property nearly a year ago.
The fence is covered with signage promoting the continuing care retirement community, but county code enforcement officials say those signs will have to be removed because they are in violation of county code.
Photo Credit: Priority Ambulance
National EMS—the company local hospitals contract with to provide ambulance service in Clarke and Oconee counties—has been sold to Knoxville, TN-based Priority Ambulance, the companies announced last week.
Priority is much larger than Conyers-based National, with 2,600 employees, and consolidation is the name of the game in health care as all the players seek greater resources and leverage. Insurance companies keep merging. Smaller hospital chains seek refuge with bigger ones.
The sale comes at a time, though, when National EMS is under fire for what former EMTs and the activist group Athens for Everyone say are unacceptably slow response times. They’ve called for an independent audit and for National EMS to release its raw data. St. Mary’s and Piedmont Athens Regional, though, recently released a joint statement expressing satisfaction with National EMS.
Photo Credit: Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce
The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce has named a North Carolina chamber executive as its new CEO.
David Bradley is currently president of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce in suburban Charlotte. The Guillford College graduate has also worked in manufacturing and served as president of the chamber in Mount Airy, NC. In Statesville, he served on the downtown development, regional development, and convention and visitors' bureau boards, led the effort to create a strategic plan for Statesville and was involved in theater and fim.
Tweed Recording Academy, a new school offering "cutting-edge audio engineering and mixing programs," plans to open in downtown Athens in fall 2019, according to a press release. The school will occupy the former Lamar Lewis Shoe Store building, which spans the block from Clayton Street to Washington Street and also includes the former Copper Creek brewpub.
Last month the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority approved unanimously the spending of up to $375,115 on a contract to beautify Mars Hill Road and preliminarily approved up to $115 million in bond funding to Presbyterian Homes for construction of its Oconee campus.
Jerry Peterson, representing Presybyterian Homes, told the IDA he was asking for preliminary approval for the Authority to issue up to $115 million in revenue bonds for Presbyterian Village Athens, to be located on U.S. 441 at Hog Mountain Road.
He said the bonds would be repaid through funds potential tenants pay as entrance fees, through a U.S. Department of Agricultural loan for heath centers, and bonds sold to institutional investors and banks.
Photo Credit: The Expat via Facebook
The Expat, the fancy French-ish restaurant in the former Two Story Coffee space in Five Points, has been open for a few weeks now, with lunch Tuesday through Saturday, dinner Tuesday through Sunday and Sunday brunch. The Sunday supper menu changes weekly. The other one is here. Also: very serious cocktails.
Las Monarcas, at 645 Danielsville Road, has closed but was quickly replaced by Taqueria Mundos, which just opened and is cash only for the moment.
Sonny's BBQ on Atlanta Highway is closing as of tonight after 37 years in business, as its franchise license is not being renewed by its parent company. It will reopen as Malinda's Country Kitchen and Catering, which does not appear to be a franchise. The sign on the door describes it as, "an a la carte buffet featuring home cooking with a wide selection of proteins and vegetables that will change throughout the week... It will also feature a menu of sandwiches and side items for those who prefer a lighter meal." The management team and staff will remain.
Piedmont Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield finalized an agreement Monday for BCBS to continue covering treatment in-network at Piedmont hospitals and by Piedmont-affiliated doctors.
The contract between the health care provider, which owns Athens Regional, and insurance company ended Apr. 1 with the two sides unable to agree on reimbursement rates. Gov. Nathan Deal urged them both back to the negotiating table, and they reached a "handshake deal" on Friday.
Photo Credit: Studio BNA Architects
The 35-acre General Time development on the long-vacant Westclox clock factory property off Newton Bridge Road would primarily serve permanent Athens residents as well as draw visitors from around the region, according to promotional materials released Monday.
"This type of adaptive reuse model works so well in countless scenarios in metro Atlanta and around the Southeast," said Michael Dinerman, who is developing the project along with Jennifer Davidson. "We saw the old Westclox property as an opportunity to help pull together many needs of the Athens community in one strategically located district."
Plans and renderings—available on the Athens-Clarke County website—show a brewery with a rooftop "tasting terrace," a "cycle cafe" along a stormwater detention pond and a "provisions market."
Photo Credit: Matt Clayton/Google
A "super cool" 35-acre mixed-use development including a 3,000-seat music venue is planned for the the old Westclox plant off Newton Bridge Road, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reportedThursday.
The project's developers, UGA graduate Michael Dinerman and Jennifer Davidson, have been eyeing the property for more than two years. Dinerman, an Atlanta real estate developer, said he has seen similar adaptive reuse projects in Atlanta and noticed that Athens lacks a large music venue.
In addition to the music venue, they want to build about 100 apartments, "maker space" for craftspeople, retail space and three or four restaurants. Terrapin Brewery has also signed a long-term lease for warehouse space at the development, according to the Business Chronicle.
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