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Development would have 54 units
Corbitt family hopes to reach deal on 28.27 acres next year

Thomson City Council members allowed developers and an attorney to make a presentation to them about purchasing nearly 30 acres of property from a local family that would allow for the creation of new single-family homes.

No action was taken by government officials following the 30-minute PowerPoint presentation by Gary Hammond, president of Brideland Development, LLC. Mr. Hammond and his partner, Steve Munier, said the idea involves 54 units, which would be called Thomson Estates.

The development would be on 28.27 acres currently owned by the Corbitt Family, several of whom attended the council meeting to hear the presentation. The land is south of the Harrison Road bypass with frontage on Mendel Avenue and Hinton Drive.

The existing zoning is known as B-1 and would not be subject to change if the development becomes a reality.

Scott Kelly, an Augusta attorney representing members of the Corbitt Family -- many of whom live in Thomson -- said the family and developers are hopeful of a deal being struck sometime in 2011.

The project would mean a $6 million investment.

"This would be a good thing for Thomson," Mr. Kelly said.

Mr. Hammond explained that the units would be affordable and could someday be owned. The homes would range in rental fees of between $350 and $600 a month. There would include three- and four-bedroom plans.

The homes would be built on 7,500-square-foot lots.

Mr. Hammond said Bridgeland prides itself on working with community officials and the public in the neighborhoods they develop.

"We are seeking to open a dialogue with the community regarding the proposed development," Mr. Hammond said. "Ultimately, we will be asking for a resolution of support for the project from Thomson City Council."

Mr. Hammond said the resolution of support would not have any financial implications.

Already, Bridgeland has developed similar projects in Tifton and Tennille and in Blakely an Early counties in Georgia.

Last July, city council members in Thomson voted 3-1 not to pass a resolution in support of the project.

"We turned down the tax credit, not the project," Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry said.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Office of Affordable Housing administers the awarding of Section 42 low-income housing tax credits to developers for the construction and or renovation of affordable rental housing in communities across the state.

"We propose to finance the development of this community by applying for Section 42 Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to be awarded by DCA in the 2011 competitive application round," Mr. Hammond said.

Mr. Munier pointed out that all tenants must be employed, have a good credit report, pass a state and local criminal background check and criminal and drug-related activities. In addition, they must also have good references.

Web posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010

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