Aiken development panel recommends incentives for planned Whiskey Road apartments

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May 19—The Aiken Municipal Development Commission on Tuesday recommended the city provide development incentives to the firm expected to build a 60-unit apartment complex for older adults along Whiskey Road.

The incentives package, now pending City Council review and approval, would reimburse the team behind The Magnolia no more than $60,000 one year after a certificate of occupancy is issued.

"These incentives are available to any kind of business project," said Tim O'Briant, the city's development director, "but we've had a lot of housing."

The prospective three-story development — a mix of affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments and community amenities — represents a $12 million investment in Aiken, documents show.

Once built, The Magnolia would stand north of Stratford Drive and south of Brookhaven Drive; the surrounding area includes single-family homes and commercial properties. A previous project narrative said The Magnolia would "play a nice median between the two property types."

Only those 55 and older — a key demographic in Aiken — would be allowed to live at The Magnolia.

"In the rental housing market study that several groups commissioned in 2018, one of the problems that was identified was housing for low-income seniors," Aiken Chamber of Commerce President and CEO J. David Jameson said. "So this helps to meet that need."

City Council already signed off on the concept plan, meaning "the project will happen irrespective of this approval," City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said Tuesday, referencing the incentives.

Construction is expected to begin in June 2022.