A new luxury apartment complex will soon be coming to Athens, but not everyone is excited about it.
The Athens City Council approved the 456-unit complex at Monday night’s meeting. It will be on Lindsay Lane, just south of Highway 72 in Athens.
WAAY 31 spoke with people who live nearby and learned why they think the new complex will be more of a disruption than an improvement.
“This is where I put my roots down. It’s where my neighbor put his roots down. All the way up to the end of the street," Garnett Crask said.
Crask has lived in the same home for thirty-three years and says one of the things he enjoys most is watching deer from his sunroom.
But after the Athens City Council approved a new apartment complex to be built in his backyard, he says he’ll no longer see those deer, and he thinks his privacy will be taken away as well.
“They picked the worst, in my opinion, the worst possible location to test if these high-end, luxury apartments are going to be a benefit to the community," he said.
Crask says he’s worried the apartments will be too pricey and no one will want to rent them, causing the rent to go down and the clientele to change.
He says that makes him worry about the value of his home.
“As soon as they bring in the first bulldozer to start building the apartments, our property values here will go down by one-third," Crask said.
I talked with another man who’s lived in Athens his entire life and thinks the apartments are a great idea.
“It will bring growth to the city economically, and, then, it will give people a chance to look at Athens in a totally different light," Marcus Baker said.
Some people think, with the Mazda-Toyota plant bringing in new jobs, the apartments are a smart move, but Crask feels differently.
“Those are blue-collar workers and assembly line workers," Crask said. "They’re not going to want to rent and pay this amount of rent, I don’t think.”
Crask also says traffic is already bad enough in the area, and he thinks the apartments will just make it worse. But he understands the complex is coming, whether he likes it or not.
"We’ll have to just adapt," Crask said.
According to city officials, the project is expected to take at least five years to complete.
The complex will be gated and will include two pools, two clubhouses, two dog parks, a five-acre park, and a walking trail.