Troup Commission approves DASH’s Hillside housing project

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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On Tuesday, the Troup County Commission approved a $750,000 contribution to a Hillside housing project being led by Dependable, Affordable, Sustainable Housing (DASH).

The project will add 20 units of housing in a block on Jefferson Street, near where Beacon Brewing Co. is located and will use American Rescue Plan Act funding.

“The county commissioners are very pleased to make this investment in our community along with the Callaway Foundation and City of LaGrange,” said County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews. “DASH has a proven track record in improving housing opportunities for our citizens. Their planned development has a great curb appeal and will add to the improvements they have made in Hillside over the last 20 years. As we strive to attract individuals to our community to live and work in Troup County, this will be a wonderful site for them to consider for their new home.”

Along with the new housing development, DASH also announced a new development in a 7,072 square foot, historic building previously inhabited by the Hillside Food Mart. The newly renovated development will upgrade the building, which was built in 1935 by Callaway Mills, to include a barbecue restaurant, an ice cream shop, bakery, grocery store and a vintage furniture store.

DASH identified the ice cream shop as Rocksalt, Milk Bar and the barbecue restaurant as The Oink Joint — both which already have locations in Newnan. Old Town Provisions, which has a location in Columbus, was identified as the grocery store. Thriftique Retail was recognized as the vintage furniture store retailer, and the bakery is Copper Carrot Bakery.

The housing project was “shovel ready,” as Crawford described it, and just waiting on Tuesday’s approval from the commission to get started. It’s estimated completion is January 2024.

DASH Executive Director Nate Crawford said DASH’s vision for the project was an area that very walkable, with businesses in close proximity to one another. Crawford said 65% of the housing will be market rate development, while 35% will be workforce at area median income.

Along with Troup County’s $750,000 commitment, DASH received a $2 million grant from Callaway Foundation and a $750,000 commitment from the city of LaGrange. DASH also committed $750,000 and will incur $375,000 in debt, per information shared at the commission meeting.

“We already own the lot. We have a civil engineer ready to go,” Crawford said during Tuesday morning’s work session. “We have a site plan. We have a call right after this with the designer of our floor plans. We are ready to pull the trigger on this.”

Crawford said approximately 42 people are expected to live in the 20 housing units. The conceptual site plan includes a duplex, townhomes, garages and more.

He noted that most homes in the United States are built with the typical, nuclear family in mind, where children are living with their parents. However, he shared statistics that only about 20% of America’s households fit that description. Still, 74% of homes are “large simple family homes” that cater to the idea of a traditional family.

Crawford said many people are looking for a place to live as a single person or couples with no kids, single parent families or adults with roommates. He said this new housing development would help individuals who fall into those descriptors.

“We are wanting to … create more missing middle housing here within the city of LaGrange and then ultimately across Troup County,” Crawford said.

Crawford said the housing will be a mix of one bedroom and two-bedroom units.

“We’re building places with human capital. I want a doctor living next to a single mother, and we are helping create that integrated neighborhood, if you will, from socioeconomic levels, race levels, all sorts of different aspects, one block that we’re developing,” Crawford said.

Sheridan Construction is the general contractor for the project.

Crawford said over the last 20 years, DASH’s investment in that block in Hillside will be over $13 million.

DASH’s partners in the project are all excited about the future of Hillside as well.

“Our Trustees are excited to partner with DASH, the City of LaGrange and Troup County on a project that will further energize the Hillside community,” said Callaway Foundation President Tripp Penn. “The Foundation’s vision is for ‘Everyone in Troup County to have a quality education, good job, safe and affordable housing, engagement in the community, and what they need to flourish.’ DASH has a proven track record in the region over the past couple of decades, and this project helps to meet the need for additional quality housing for people in Troup County.”

LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton sees the project as one that will transform the Hillside community.

“The city council members and I see this as a transformative project for the Hillside Community with benefit to the entire city,” Thornton said. “DASH has been a great partner to the city for many years, and this project is another demonstration of the value of that ongoing partnership.”

Ricky Wolfe, founder and chairman of DASH, also spoke at Tuesday’s work session, giving an overview of the work DASH has done in LaGrange.

“We are humbled by the generous support and confidence our partners have placed in us,” Wolfe said in a DASH press release. “This represents the largest project we have undertaken with a joining of private and public funding. The goal now is to execute with integrity and deliver a product this community will be very proud of.”