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the tomorrow of downtown Augusta, Georgia

View Gallery East Augusta Riverside District

The East Augusta Riverside District, also known as the Sand Bar Ferry District, is an attractive area of one-story, suburban-styled homes.

The large area north of Sand Bar Ferry Road to the Savannah River offers the opportunity for neighborhood-defining redevelopments and recreation-oriented areas with both waterfront and rural character all located on the edge of Augusta's urban core. As part of the recreation area, the Savannah Riverkeeper received approval  from the Augusta Commission in late 2013 to lease and rehabilitate 14 acres of land bounded by the Augusta Levee and the Savannah River for educational and recreational activities.

Since the unveiling of the Urban Area Master Plan, a huge redevelopment effort has been fully completed on Sand Bar Ferry Road. This redevelopment, called The Legacy at Walton Oaks, replaced the 30 acre former Underwood Homes public housing apartments. This project was developed in 4 phases by Walton Communities from Atlanta, Georgia in conjunction with the Augusta Housing Authority. This new housing was built in the spirit of the Master Plan and is a cohesive community. It has tree lined streets, an urban garden and many other amenities that promote healthy lifestyles. Read more about this development below.

Flooding has long been a deterrent to development in the East Augusta Riverside District. This part of the city is geographically the lowest area in Augusta, and water drains toward Sand Bar Ferry Road. The City of Augusta took action and hired an engineering firm to study and resolve the flooding problems. Phases I and II of this massive project were completed in 2015. Those phases included drainage behind the Hornsby Elementary School and the East Augusta Middle School with the backbone of the project, a new detention pond and water channel, also completed. Phases III through VIII are currently being completed.

The Big Idea: Bring a beautiful mixed income living complex to this area
Time: 4 years to complete all 4 phases
Details: This major new development in the Sand Bar Ferry area replaced the old Underwood Homes public housing apartments with a brand new mixed use/income property developed by Walton Communities from Atlanta, Georgia in conjunction with the Augusta Housing Authority.

In 2009, the East Augusta Riverside Implementation Team met with the principals from Walton Communities to discuss the proposed development and ways to build the project in keeping with the spirit and recommendations of the 2009 Urban Area Master Plan. Walton Communities agreed to amend their project development to add options recommended in the Master Plan, most notably to open access from the Marion Homes subdivision when that subdivision is redeveloped.

On 4/20/2010, the Augusta Commission officially supported the Underwood Home Redevelopment Plan, to become a 30 acre mixed use/income community.

On 9/8/2010, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for The Legacy at Walton Oaks Apartments first phase. This first phase, which is for seniors 55 years old and older, consists of 75 one and two bedroom apartments.

On 10/25/2011, Walton Communities officially opened the first phase of development - The Legacy at Walton Oaks Apartments for seniors.

On 7/18/2012, Walton Communities officially celebrated the completion of Phase I for families. There was no official groundbreaking for the development of Phase III for families. There will be 106 family units in this new phase, and it is anticipated that residents will start moving into this new phase in November 2014.

In 10/2014, there was a groundbreaking for the 4th and last phase of Walton Oaks, to be called The Legacy Phase 2, a 64 senior multi-story complex with completion estimated to be December 2015.

2/18/2015, Open house of Phase III for Families.

11/11/2015, Grand opening of Phase IV for seniors.

Progress: All four phases of this development have been completed.
The Big Idea: Create a new, regional, multi-use open space destination at this eastern edge of Augusta's downtown core. Includes comprehensive redevelopment of the area north of Sand Bar Ferry Road to include a 'New Urbanist' village within a regional park setting, levee improvements and a waterfront park between the levee and the Savannah River. At the heart of the the concept is a new residential neighborhood, replacing the distressed Underwood Homes and redeveloping Marion Homes.
Cost: $100 million private funds. $38 million public funds ( in 2009 dollars).
Time: 20 years
Details: This is a large project with many components that include three basic areas: along Sand Bar Ferry Road to the levee; atop the levee; and from the levee to the Savannah River.

Over the years, it is envisioned that this area would see new and improved roads with a Riverfront Park and levee improvements. It is also recommended that there be introduced a mixed-use community with home rentals, single family homes, town homes and village housing over retail and a park to host events and activities. Above all, the park would provide a significant passive, non-urban, soft landscape with which the neighborhood can identify. There is even room for an organic farm and for the relocation of the Exchange Club Fairgrounds.

Redesign the Broad Street/Sand Bar Ferry intersection to improve the 'gateway' arrival from I-520 to downtown Augusta.
Progress: While flooding remediation is being tackled, the Savannah Riverkeeper is working on educational and recreational opportunities on the Savannah River and levee at this location. In 2015, The 30 acre Legacy at Walton Oaks was completed. In 2016, the area also saw major improvements to the I-520 gateway and Sand Bar Ferry Road corridor beautification.