Phase two of Clark's Grove gets under way; shortcut to downtown closed

COVINGTON - Phase two of Clark's Grove is now under way directly across the street from phase one on Clark Street.

Motorists traveling down Turner Lake Road may notice the shortcut to the downtown courtesy of Old Clark Street is now closed while installation of water and sewer lines is taking place.

That work should be completed by early February, according to Randy Vinson, Clark's Grove town planner.

Grading for streets and sidewalks will be completed in March, Vinson said, adding the property will be developed in two phases, with about 45 lots developed initially.

In total, phase two will include 78 single-family lots, 20 townhomes and seven live/work buildings, Vinson said, adding he expects a five-year build out.

A new facility for the Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church is also part of phase two.

"We try to have a civic anchor in each of our phases," Vinson said, adding that the Montessori School of Covington was the anchor for the first phase.

Clark's Grove is a master planned community based on principles of Traditional Neighborhood Development - a mixed-use, walkable neighborhood with front porches close to the sidewalk and lanes in the rear. The neighborhood includes a choice of house type and styles. The community is situated on 90 acres developed by Clark's Grove LLC. Eventually, the development will include a total of 300 homes.

Work on the first phase began in January 2003. To date, there are two new single-family homes still on the market, Vinson said.

"It's been slower than what I had hoped, but I know there have been plenty of skeptics who come up to me and say it's been more successful than they would have ever imagined," Vinson said of the project's success. "It just blew them away that we could get this built here. I really thought that it was going to go faster, but I think with the market we've been dealing with over the last year, even before that, for Newton County, we've been just as successful selling houses as any other developer in the county."

The first phase of Clark's Grove is still under construction - a three-story, 1,200-square-foot condominium unit is the next project.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.