DASH cuts ribbon on townhomes in Hillside community

Published 6:32 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2019

For many at the ribbon cutting for The Gables in Hillside on Tuesday, the event was about more than just the eight townhomes a stone’s throw from LaGrange’s only brewpub. It was another step in revitalizing the historic Hillside community.  

The Gables represent phase 1 of a DASH project on Jefferson Street, which broke ground in August 2018. 

“It is a continuation of what we’ve been doing over here for the last 10 years or so,” said Ricky Wolfe, a member of DASH’s board of directors. “It is the first time that we’ve built any townhouses over here. Most of what we’ve done has been single family, and we just think that LaGrange needs, and Hillside needs every available type of housing to meet a very diverse market. So, we are very proud of these.”

The market rate townhomes each have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. The next phase of the project is slated to feature 10 additional townhomes, and they are far from DASH’s only projects in the Hillside community.

“We’ve got the cottages across the street that we did, and we’ve got single family [homes],” Wolfe said. “We just think that with today’s needs in housing, there is not one solution to it. It is going to require a lot of different types, so we are very pleased.”

In order to build the townhomes, older homes that were in poor condition had to be removed, thus improving the quality of housing in the area. The development also addresses a need for a wider variety of housing that was identified during a recent Georgia Initiative for Community Housing survey.

“I think the GICH study pointed out specific needs that we have in our community, and this helped fill a great need that was identified in that plan,” said Patrick Crews, a member of DASH’s board of directors and chairman of the Troup County Board of Commissioners. “So, I think that even though we didn’t know it when we started — I think the intentions at the beginning was to make a nice investment in the Hillside community and continue the improvement of this neighborhood, make it a very desirable neighborhood in Troup County and LaGrange. “I think this will be another step in making it another great place to work and live.”

During a meeting on rezoning the property in July 2017, DASH representatives discussed the role of different housing types in a mixed-use neighborhood like the Hillside community, and with new businesses now filling store fronts that sat empty for decades, those over the development felt that the new homes serve to create a variety of property uses in the area. 

“It revitalizes everything,” said Elia Baltes, community development director for DASH of LaGrange. “This brings a place to stay, more housing — which is needed — into the neighborhood. Housing sometimes brings more industry.”

Baltes noted that new residents will likely support existing businesses within walking distance of the development feeding into the success of those restaurants and stores in the community. 

The homes are also a short walk on a sidewalk from local businesses and a short distance from where The Thread trail plan shows the multi-use trail eventually going through the area.

“We were a part of that housing study, but when it came out, and we went to see it — it makes you feel proud that we are already doing that,” Baltes said. “You want to make sure that you are doing the correct thing, and that does make you feel good.”

Wolfe compared the community layout to old mill villages, which is where the Hillside community originated.

“All the services you needed were provided in your community,” Wolfe said. 

“That is what we are trying to do here.”

DASH Executive Director Marie McNally recognized DASH’s many partners at the ribbon cutting, including local businesses, the City of LaGrange and contractors.

To learn more about DASH Neighborhood Revitalization, visit Dashlagrange.org, email info@dashlagrange.org or call (706) 298-0221.