Documents distributed Friday by the City of Aiken reveal in-depth plans for a multimillion-dollar affordable housing project off Whiskey Road between Walmart and Publix, an already busy stretch.

Woodford Trace SC LLC, registered to a Columbia address, has requested annexation into the city and a concept plan approval for a proposed 48-unit multifamily complex, the Aiken Planning Commission's Oct. 15 meeting packet shows.

Thirty of those units would be two-bedroom apartments. Eighteen of the units would be three-bedroom apartments, about 1,200 square feet each.

Planned amenities include a playground, picnic area, business center, community room and a laundry facility, according to the Planning Commission documents.

The concept plan depicts nearly 100 parking spots, more than what's required by city rules.

All of it – two residential buildings, a clubhouse and a parking lot – would be on a 4.5-acre vacant tract at 920 Dougherty Road, near Owens Street and Palmetto Crossing, an established affordable housing complex.

"The community has an excellent location with easy access to employment, retail, parks, public transportation and community services," reads a project narrative included in the meeting packet. 

Concept Plan, Dougherty 1

This concept plan was included in the Aiken Planning Commission's Oct. 15 meeting packet.

"We anticipate most residents will work within one mile of the community," it continues.

The total development cost is estimated to be $8.8 million. Flatiron Partners and Classic Development Company are listed as the developers. Examples of previous projects handled by Flatiron Partners are included in the meeting packet.

The Planning Commission will review the plan, among a long list of others, Tuesday night. Planning Commission advises City Council, the body with final say on such matters.

At least three people with business interests nearby have come out against the prospective housing development.

"I strongly oppose having 2 more apartment complexes build in the area around my business," reads one letter written by Patrick Donovan of Bravefriend Apparel & Design LLC. "I do not believe this area is an appropriate location for apartments."

"I believe that it is NOT in the best interest for business on Whiskey Road for this annexation & concept to be approved," reads a similar letter written by Marsha Hopkins of Aiken Motorcycle Sales & Service.

The Planning Commission meets at the Municipal Building in downtown Aiken, 214 Park Ave. S.W.

A work session will begin at 5 p.m. The commission's regular meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

Also on the Planning Commission's Tuesday agenda:

  • An updated old Aiken County hospital property concept plan
  • Public review of city hall plans for the Regions Bank building along Chesterfield Street

Colin Demarest covers the Savannah River Site, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration and government in general. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin