By Natalie Simms
Braves Boulevard off the Bypass in Rome is quickly becoming one of the hottest areas for development. Aside from State Mutual Stadium and Bella Roma Grill, within the last 12 months, we’ve seen a new Line-X retailer open, the RiverPoint Apartments rising and soon Lumina Coffee Co. will break ground.
Charles Williams Real Estate Investment Corporation is in the final stages of construction on their RiverPoint Apartment complex slated to open later this month off Braves Boulevard, adjacent to State Mutual Stadium. The complex has a total of 124 units including 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units and 47 garages available for storage.
“We are very excited and hopeful to be ready to release the first phase of apartments to residence in mid-April. We hope to open 56 units then and the others about 4-5 week later in a second phase,” says Gardner Williams, Vice President of Charles Williams REIC.
RiverPoint will also include a resort-style pool/cabana, grill stations and clubhouse with fitness room. Plus, it is in close proximity to the Heritage Trail for walking or biking.
“We have had lots of interest and good leasing up to this point. We have lots waiting to tour once finished,” he says. “We are extremely excited…we’ve been wanting to bring a development like this to Rome for years and the partnership with the City through the TAD really helped make it happen so this could be affordable for citizens of Rome.”
Williams says residents are excited about potential development in the area especially news of incoming Lumina Coffee Company.
“Our residents are very excited about the coffee shop. Another restaurant would be great, too,” he says.
Lumina Coffee Company
In early February, Mike and Matt Schieffer announced plans to bring Lumina Coffee Co. to Rome. The intent is to “be a light” for customers, whether it be a quick refuge from the day, a place to camp out during homework sessions or some social time with family and friends.
“Things are progressing well and we plan to break ground by June. There will be a 6-month build-out so we hope to be open by late October or first of November,” says Mike. “We are really excited to see dirt moving.”
Lumina will be located on the front east corner lot of Braves Boulevard and the Bypass. The Schieffers say they chose that spot for a number of reasons.
“We had looked at a variety of existing sites, but with this property, we could build it for what we have in our minds from the ground up, plus it offers us space for a drive-through which is important,” says Mike.
“Plus the traffic count was good and we were pleased with the progression of the area with the Rome Braves, the new apartments and being on an artery to new communities off the Armuchee Connector. It is also near the new Tennis Center, near the Rome Middle and High Schools and the colleges…we can offer a reprieve during the morning or afternoon commute.”
As for the shop itself, it will seat 65 inside and another 24 outside with hours 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sundays. They will be hiring some 25 to 50 people starting late September or October.
Even with all the current growth, there is still room for more. Property owners Doc Kibler and Dee Yancey own nearly 17 acres of undeveloped land along Braves Boulevard. On the west side of Braves Boulevard, in front of the RiverPoint apartment complex, they have three 2-acre plots and one 2.5-acre plot available for development. On the opposite side of road, Lumina Coffee Co. is going into the first 1.2-acre plot, with another 4 acres open for development between it and Bella Roma Grill.
“We have had a lot of interest, but nothing we can announce at this time. We are in ongoing discussions with one possible partner we’ve had for quite some time and we just started discussions about a month ago with another one. It’s too early to announce anything,” says Kibler, who would not comment on whether the potential development was for retail or restaurant.
One thing is for certain, any new development will be beneficial, not only for the community, but especially those along Braves Boulevard.
“The development will help in all areas…it is beautiful for all involved,” says Jim Bishop, general manager of the Rome Braves. “When the Braves moved to Mississippi, within a few years, we had a Bass Pro Shop next door then a Sam’s Club and a hotel. We saw lots of development after the stadium was built and then saw a good impact on attendance. I look forward to growing together.”