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Hey! The Plans for St. Joe’s Don’t Look Half Bad

The Village on Prince

Photo Credit: Davis Property Group

Rejoice, ye townies, for the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church property shall not be maxed out with more student apartments.

Plans submitted Friday by Greenville, SC-based Davis Property Group show a 192,000 square-foot mixed-use development (not including parking) with commercial space fronting Prince Avenue and 146 one- and two-bedroom apartments above and behind it, all in three-story buildings.

That’s a far cry from what the developers could have built had they sought and received commercial-downtown zoning. If the 6.2-acre property were zoned C-D, the Athens-Clarke County code would allow a 1.4 million square-foot, seven- or eight-story development with more than 1,200 bedrooms. Even the property’s current commercial-office zoning would allow a 270,000 square-foot development.

Plans for “The Village on Prince” call for the church’s original sanctuary at the corner of Prince and Pulaski Street to be preserved and converted into a restaurant. 

Next door, a new building would house a 14,000 square-foot grocery store, as well as another 7,000 square-foot retail space, on the ground floor, with 23 apartments on the second and third stories.

A plaza would occupy the corner of Prince and Pulaski and the space in between the old sanctuary and the new building.

Two buildings further back on the property would include another 91 apartments and 236 parking spaces in a deck. 

At the back of the property, off Childs Street, would be six townhouse-style buildings with 42 units and 75 surface parking spots.

Parking for 18 bikes are included in the plan, too.

A driveway running between Prince and Childs would provide access to the property.

Renters will have to be at least 21 years old and qualified to sign a lease on their own, without a parent’s co-signature, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

The ACC Planning Commission is scheduled to review the plans at its Nov. 5 meeting, so the county commission could vote on them as early as Dec. 1.

The project’s architects are McMillan Pazdan Smith, also out of Greenville, and the engineers are Smith Planning Group of Watkinsville.