A Columbus company is building two apartment complexes with 107 units at a newly annexed site on Athens’ west side and the mayor is happy with the development. 

Woda Cooper, a housing developer, general contractor and management company, recently began work at the intersection of South Plains Road (State Route 682) and Luhrig Road. Tyler Park will be built with frontage on Luhrig Road, while Kershaw Greene will be located just to the north, on the other side of an existing pond. Two more phases are planned to start construction next summer, said Woda Cooper Companies Vice President Thomas Simons.

“Kershaw Greene and Tyler Park will be affordable work force housing,” Simons said. Rents are projected to be $475 to $1,097 a month, depending on the number of bedrooms, according to Simons. Kershaw Greene will have 51 residential and Tyler Park will have 56 units. Both will offer a mix of one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom units, Simons said. 

“Kershaw Greene and Tyler Park represent a $14 milllion investment,” he said.

Woda Cooper, formerly known as the Woda Group, developed the Nelsonville School Common project and been involved with Beaumont Green, a senior living community on Della Drive in Athens. 

The project began with an independent third-party market study that assessed the need for affordable work force housing in Athens County, Simons said. The results were promisin.

“The existing rental market is very strong in Athens County with affordable work force units at or near 100% occupancy,“ Simons said.

That assessment is confirmed by Athens Mayor Steve Patterson. 

“Where the city is really struggling right now is in the area of affordable workforce housing and I am confident that the Woda Cooper will have a significant impact on addressing that need,” said Patterson.

The Kershaw Greene site is a little less than three acres with access from South Plains Road.  The Tyler Park project is about four acres with access from Luhrig Road.   

According to the mayor, Woda Cooper is already looking ahead to building more units in that area. Phases three and four call for two additional buildings, Patterson said, with 54 units in one and 30 units in the other.

 “I feel that this is going to be a wonderful and much needed addition to the Athens community,” said Patterson.

Fred Kight is a retired newsman who now does some freelance reporting. Before deciding to take life easy he worked for nearly 40 years in radio news.

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