Watkinsville Experiences Explosion of Development | News


In February 2002, Watkinsville “was quickly adding new subdivisions,” such as Stone Shoals on Barnett Shoals Road and Christian Lake near Harris Shoals Park, according to The Oconee Enterprise.

The same could be said almost 20 years later, in late 2021, when the Wisteria Ridge apartment complex, Trove subdivision and Wire Park are under development in Watkinsville.

Wisteria Ridge is Watkinsville’s future 89-unit, 199-bed apartment complex at 75 North Main Street. The land has been zoned multi-family since 1968 and was approved for a residential complex in the early 2000s, but has been delayed twice, first due to the Great Recession and then later due to lack of capacity disgust.

Trove will offer 56 homes on 35.63 acres off Morrison Street and Colham Ferry Road.

Wire Park near Barnett Shoals Road will feature 56 condos, 21 townhouses and 53 single family homes in addition to office and retail space.

Earlier this year, the Oconee County Library Board of Trustees voted to move the Oconee County Library to Wire Park over the next several years.

Golden Pantry and Smith Planning Group move their headquarters to Wire Park. One of the most anticipated restaurants is Scoops, an ice cream and candy store.

Wire Park will also be home to Oconee’s first “Food Hall”, an outdoor courtyard of various restaurants nicknamed “The Grid”.

The lush green space at the front of Wire Park will host live music, family movies and fitness classes, said developer Duke Gibbs, CEO of Gibbs Capital. There will be a number of walking trails at the back. For the second year in a row, Wire Park hosted a community Christmas celebration earlier this month.

The visitor reception area is a 47-foot silo that has been converted into a Wire Park entrance landmark. It was once used to store electrical parts when the Southwire factory was in operation. The building itself dates back to the late 1950s, when Anaconda was Oconee’s largest employer.

In March, the Council of Commissioners approved Oconee Mercantile, a mixed-use development off Macon Highway. The property is just outside the city limits of Watkinsville where Oconee State Bank once had its headquarters.

In June, Oconee State Bank opened its new headquarters at the intersection of Main Street and Experiment Station Road. The two-story white brick building “makes a statement on our vision to be essential to the life and businesses of the communities we serve,” said CEO and Chairman Neil Stevens. The building is dedicated to the memory of H. Mell Wells, who was president of Oconee State Bank from 1979 until his death in 1986.

Watkinsville ended the year with a day of community work in December to install playground equipment for the Extra Special People Miracle League Playground, which will be accessible to the public once completed.

“Folks, the finish line is in sight,” said Watkinsville Mayor Brian Brodrick. “It will be an incredible space for the children of Watkinsville and the area to create memories once this spring is over.”

For more on that story, check out the December 30 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores, grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website.


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