Oct. 18—As the City of Aiken is working toward redeveloping Williamsburg Street, there are preliminary plans for new housing units and renovations to existing residences.
Beatrice and William McGhee brought forth plans for this project to a recent Aiken Design Review Board Meeting. The plan calls for renovations to two existing residences at 131 and 135 Williamsburg St. S.E., as well as the construction of 13 new housing units on a .99 acre site
The new construction would be dubbed "Market Row," and McGhee said she envisions it being "a community within a community."
"We're hoping that revitalizing the market front area will create interest in that area," she said. "We even hope that it will bring in visitors because it's something unique that is not already represented in the city."
The 13 units are described within agenda documents as being comprised of six one-bedroom units with a loft that are 898 square feet, four lofts measured at 602 square feet and three two-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalows at 1,215 square feet with Williamsburg Street frontage.
The parcel numbers are listed as 121-06-10-004, 121-10-01-001 and 126-06-10-005.
"These, we see as suitable for young families, single people, even people that are wanting to downsize such as widows and such, but who want to be close to the city and have access to the downtown," McGhee said in describing the new construction.
"We've visualized creating the cottages to be reflective of the design of a historic home and we'd like to see them with the similar front porches and columns and in a variety of color groups, so that they have a community feel," McGhee said.
Some of these colors include yellow, green and blue, according to agenda renderings.
Some work has already been done, mainly taking down the chimneys on the homes.
As the project encompasses a new subdivision, the McGhees will have to submit their plans to the Aiken Planning Department, which will review them. The department acts as a repository, as it will then submit the plans to agencies representing different sectors, including the Aiken Department of Public Safety and the engineering and utilities department, to check all aspects of the plan.
Site improvements are required for the proposed residential units and to include driveway entrance, parking, storm water drainage, water service and sanitary sewer service.
The Design Review Board passed the renovation and plans unanimously.
The redevelopment and rehabilitation of the Aiken County Farmers Market Neighborhood, which includes Williamsburg Street, has been a focus within the city in recent months.