In a brief appearance before the Jasper City Council, local developer Craig Meffert sought to sell the city on his idea of a multi-use development along the Highway 515 corridor. He with Onyx Investment’s J.R. McLaughlin brought proposed drawings and explanations of their vision before the council Monday night.
Tentatively titled Gateway to the Mountains, the initial phase would include commercial space, a hotel, restaurants and multi-family dwellings (apartments, townhouses and condominiums). Other phases would be implemented in a 3-5 year period that could see a maximum potential of 600 units of mixed use.
The property in question is located on the west side of Highway 515 just south of Cornett Lane South. A satellite image of the proposed property is located here:
A vital portion of the proposal is a 32-acre public park including a 10-acre lake the companies would hand over to the city along with a $50,000 check to get the green space project going. The park would be open for anyone’s use and could see the inclusion of walking trails and picnic areas.
“This will end up being a destination,”
Another aspect of the proposal is the retirement facet where “aging in place” (assisted living) would be installed along with on-site medical facilities. With the inclusion of the retail stores and dining opportunities, seniors would have everything they would need right outside their doors.
With water and sewer already established in the area the development should move quickly and relatively easily towards city services.
“This project would have a staggering effect on our taxes,”
Meffert stated. A Jasper resident himself, Meffert said this could be his signature development and being a member of the community it’s important to include green space so Jasper doesn’t become like Marietta.
The corporations will be presenting their $50,000 check to the city at the January 6 council meeting and the council will decide at that time whether to accept the offer or not.
This sounds like a great opportunity for Jasper. I can't help but wonder what the Mayor will do to see that this becomes a reality. We need the jobs, we need the taxes, we need the recognition on the 515 corridor and we need the "old dogs" to get out of the way and let this happen. Whether they like it or not, Jasper has got to grow. Moving from Atlanta to create a Utopia different than Atlanta is a pipe dream. Even those folks want restaurants, grocery chains, shopping plazas and all the conveniences without having to travel far.