A super cool 35-acre mixed-use project with a big music venue, apartments, retail and a Terrapin Beer Co. warehouse is planned in Athens, Ga.
Knotting Development LLC is proposing what it calls “General Time,” a reference to the manufacturing facility previously located on the site.
The project, which has been in the works for two and a half years, would include a 3,000-seat music venue, “maker space” for crafts people, around 100 apartment units, three to four restaurants, and retail space.
The project site is at 100 Newton Bridge Road, which is on the northside of Athens a couple of miles from The University of Georgia.
“We want this to look and feel like Athens,” says Michael Dinerman, CEO of Knotting Development and a 1995 graduate of UGA. After graduating, he got into real estate development. Seeing the adaptive reuse projects in Atlanta, he looked at opportunities in Athens, where he says there is a shortage of big spaces. He spent about six months “interviewing anyone and everyone” to come up with the concept for General Time. He hopes the development will be like The Battery at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. “We hope people will come spend long periods of time instead of just coming for a show.”
Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens, which has a brewery at 265 Newton Bridge Road directly across the street from the development site, has signed a long-term lease for a 68,000-square-foot warehouse at General Time. “We’ll probably look at having a tasting room in support of the music venue,” says Frank Skorzewski, president of Terrapin. “Terrapin has always supported music venues here in Athens. I think it will be a great opportunity because of its location directly across the street from the brewery.”
Terrapin has been expanding every year and needs more room, Skorzewski added. When approached by Dinerman with plans for General Time, Terrapin bought into the concept immediately, Skorzewski says. “It’s a great opportunity for the brewery to partner with Michael and his team and we are very excited about it.”
Dinerman says plans call for Terrapin to occupy its space by October. “I think it’s going to be fantastic for Athens to have such a nice music venue,” Skorzewski said. Dinerman hopes to start full-scale development in January 2019, and to deliver the project in the spring of 2020.
Dinerman’s business partner in General Time is Jennifer Davidson. The project’s equity partner is Ardent Companies.
The project’s architect is Studio.BNA of Athens. Lenart Architecture is the consulting architect for the amphitheater. Landscape architecture is being done by Smith Planning Group of Watkinsville, Ga. He is also working with Red Light Management of Nashville, Tenn., a management firm for independent artists.
Dinerman says two of his best advisors and advocates have been David Barbe of the UGA’s Terry College of Business; and Lisa Love of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, who formerly served as executive director of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in October 2017 about another proposed amphitheater for live music that’s being proposed in Athens. Read about it here.