Project Description

Augusta Walton Way Triangle Site

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Augusta, Georgia

The sustainable development firm Melaver McIntosh asked Michael Singer Studio to join them and their client Miracle Making Ministries to create the vision for a community regeneration project between downtown Augusta and the historic Laney Walker – Bethlehem Neighborhoods. The triangular project site is bounded by the Augusta Canal and Walton Way, between James Brown Blvd and 7th Street. The project envisioned is a mixed-use, mixed-income net zero energy community with innovative public spaces that will help catalyze redevelopment of Augusta‘s urban center. The land itself, once highly contaminated, has undergone an extensive remediation process and is said to be the largest such urban land recovery project taken on by Atlanta Gas and Light. The gradual re-use of this land, so close to Augusta’s urban core, and a critical connector site from downtown to the Laney Walker – Bethlehem Neighborhoods, will help to promote walking and biking to and from the downtown and re-knit communities. The adjacent Augusta Canal is also planned for revitalization, including new bridges (completed) and a new bikeway / greenway system.

The Singer Studio planning study examined the site from multiple perspectives including historical use, current and future infrastructure, local and regional planning, current and long-term development patterns and environmental systems of ecology, water and energy. Melaver McIntosh led the economic analysis, community interaction (through their multi-year ongoing efforts on behalf of the Laney Walker – Bethlehem Neighborhoods), brownfields research and interactions with the City and other land holders. The planning study put forth modest mixed-use residential and commercial buildings along Walton Way, 14 duplex homes within the existing neighborhood and the re-use of a historic church as a community center. All of the residential units are planned as affordable units, ensuring access to all income levels. The energy strategy plans for a 60% reduction through efficiency measures and the remaining 40% through renewable generation. The community is also planned with direct access to existing bus routes, a planned bikeway, and introduces a pilot car-sharing program. The water strategy proposes to stretch every drop through numerous rainwater harvesting tanks, permeable parking areas and drought tolerant native landscapes. The open space plan seeks to address the historical contamination by developing a container nursery and hydroponic farm above the capped locations with problematic soils. A future nearby farmer’s market was proposed by the City which could link to these start-up businesses.

The planning document has been presented to the Mayor of Augusta and several community leaders and has received enthusiastic support. The Jeffrey Cook Charitable Trust funded the design of the first residential unit for the project site. The low-energy home was developed by Michael Singer Studio with Melaver McIntosh and Southface who is providing energy modeling and design support under their existing Building America grant.

Artist / Designer: Michael Singer
Singer Studio Team: Jason Bregman, Jonathan Fogelson, Alejandro Borrero
Developers: Martin Melaver and Patty McIntosh
Client: Robert L. Williams, D. Min., Miracle Making Ministries

For the Low Energy Home:

Artist / Designer: Michael Singer
Architect: Alejandro Borrero (Concept to Design Development)
Engineering: Sonia Barrantes and Sam Thomas at Colby Co Engineering
Southface: Robert Stephenson and Oliver Curtis

Augusta Walton Way Triangle Site