COVINGTON, Ga. — City and county officials gathered Thursday morning, Dec. 17, for a ceremonial ground-breaking on The Cove at Covington Town Center — a 26-acre, $57 million apartment complex that will provide 350 “Class A” apartments starting in 2022.
The Covington Town Center is a 131-acre mixed-use development located at the intersection of Alcovy and City Pond roads that has been in the works since 2016, according to previous reports by The Covington News.
The Cove, a three-story “garden/urban style” complex will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans ranging from 620 to 1,945 square feet. “Premium amenities” will include a luxury clubhouse, resort-style pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, linear park, dog park and pet spa. In addition, the community will be adjacent to a five-acre park complete with walking trails.
Lanier Sims, chairman of the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, opened the event with remarks on the city’s partnership with development group Haven Communities and other involved parties.
“Today is an awesome day for me,” Sims said. “Many people may not know, but 10 years ago I was just elected to the Newton County Board of Commissioners. And coming from construction and development background, one of the visions I had as a commissioner was how could I be part of bringing quality development and jobs to the Covington, Newton County area. So to actually see new companies, new developments breaking ground is just awesome for me.
“As Steve Jobs once said, ‘Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people,’” he continued. “So today, the word ground-breaking stands for far more than just the breaking of ground. It stands for the vision our board has to have a ‘live, work, play’ community. It stands for all the naysayers that say Covington, Newton County cannot have a high-end luxury community. It stands for the wisdom and vision of previous boards of commissioners and city councils. It stands for the vision of the Foxfield Company to invest into the future of Covington with the development of Town Center. It stands for the ‘yes, we can’ when everyone else said ‘no, we can’t’ — when Haven Communities had the vision to change the landscape of what luxury communities can be in Newton County.”
Jay Williams, founder and CEO of Haven Communities, said his company was excited to play a part in the growing community of Covington, despite a “number of obstacles” to arise along the way.
“We were, quite frankly, astonished with the amazing things going on out here. So for us to be able to be a part of it is special,” Williams said.
“This project in particular has had a number of obstacles thrown in its way, not to mention a global pandemic … but we have persevered and we’ve done that with the help of so many people … along the way.”
Williams set high expectations for The Cove, saying he hoped it would become “the standard for quality” in Newton County.
“We are so so excited to be building this project, The Cove,” he said. “It is going to be great. It is going to set the standard for quality in this area hopefully for a long time. We’re hopeful all the various employers that are here and that are coming here will send folks over to live here. I think it will be a great spot. And obviously this particular development, Covington Town Center, I think is special and will be great for a long long time, and we’re just excited to be a part of it.”
Mayor Steve Horton voiced his excitement for the project’s ground-breaking.
“It’s a great day in Covington, Georgia, and it’s a day that’s been anxiously awaited for a long time,” Horton said.
“On its own merits alone, (construction of The Cove is) very exciting to us. But even more so, as Jay mentioned, it’s viewed as the first real critical step to completion and full bill out of the Covington Town Center project.”
Horton went on to recognize and thank various leaders across the city for their efforts in making The Cove at Covington Town Center possible.
The Cove at Covington Town Center joins a growing list of projects at the center, including the Marriott Residence Inn, Marriott Courtyard and Staybridge Suites, which are in the final stages of engineering/city approval, said David Bernd, executive director of the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, prior to the ground-breaking event.
Breaking ground for The Cove at Covington Town Center marks the first new market-rate apartment development in the area since 2000.
“With the vast majority of our incoming (highly compensated) workforce under 32 years of age, there is an extreme demand for upscale corporate housing options, providing our industries additional recruitment tools,” Bernd said in a statement. “With COVID-19 causing shock waves through the restaurant, and retail industry, several of those projects have had to pause. However, with our region’s economy rebounding, with our unemployment rate back in the lower single digits and with literally (hundreds) of high end jobs available, we are seeing these projects starting to wake back up. (The year) 2021 is going to be a very good year for Covington Town Center.”