May 5, 2016
Owners of downtown Athens, GA’s older buildings, which have plentiful retail at the ground level, are looking toward converting upper-level vacant space into student housing. For example, the former George Dean’s men’s clothing store on East Clayton Street will place a Zaxby’s fried-chicken restaurant at the ground level, and two five-bedroom apartments on the upper floors.
Also on East Clayton, the former Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother’s gift store will soon consist of multi-bedroom apartments, as well as ground-floor commercial space. The latter is required by Athens-Clarke County’s zoning ordinance.
Bruce Lonnee with the county planning department, said converting downtown commercial space into residential use has been ongoing for some time. It also fits with the local government’s goal to bring more people downtown.