The General Hospital Neighborhood: Old World Charm with a Fashionable Appeal

January 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

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The General Hospital Area, with its close proximity to shops, restaurants, and the university, is fast becoming one of Athens’ most desirable neighborhoods.  Located in town between the streets of Oglethorpe Avenue, Prince Avenue, and The Atlanta Highway, The General Hospital Area puts its residents at the center of Athens culture. The neighborhood’s name and growth can be attributed largely to The Athens Regional Medical Center, the second major employer to Athens, behind the university.  King Avenue and Talmadge, two of the neighborhoods main streets, connect from Prince Avenue and run adjacent to Athens Regional.  Upon entering these streets from Prince, you will notice a mixture of small businesses and doctor’s offices, shortly before becoming fully residential.  Rich in character, many of these homes were constructed in the 1940s and 50s, providing the neighborhood with an old world charm unfounded in today’s cookie cutter subdivisions.  Being both in town and mature in age, The General Hospital Area is closely akin to two of Athens’ most premier regions, Five Points and Boulevard. While similar in these aspects, there are differences as well, mainly with regards to price and to some degree size.  Homes in The General Hospital Area are on average 1,100 sq ft. and have a median price of $175,000, far below the $300,000+ price range of Five Points and Boulevard.  However, this substantial price discrepancy has provided home builders and re-modelers with affordable and unique houses to flip.  Many buyers have found great value in remodeling the interior with custom kitchens, and bathrooms, while still maintaining the vintage exterior.  This best of both worlds approach has proved lucrative for investors, and in turn created a heightened appeal to the area.  Even with the recent fashionable upgrades, General Hospital has always been revered for its in town amenities. Whether shopping for groceries, dining downtown, or working at the university, it seems as if everything needed is within a 5 minute drive.  Closer yet are the numerous local cafes, restaurants, and shops of Prince Avenue and Normal Town, both of which are only a short walk down the road.  Further interest in the area will be created with the arrival of the new medical school on the corner of Prince Ave. and Oglethorpe Ave.  The University of Georgia and The Medical College of Georgia, in an effort to address the physician workforce issues in the state of Georgia, have partnered to create a new four year campus at The University of Georgia.  This past fall marked the arrival of the school’s first class. Temporarily residing on the university’s main campus, the medical school plans in 2011 to move to its new and permanent home on the 58 acre campus, once home to the Navy Supply Corps School.  With the new jobs and new students the school looks to bring in, The General Hospital Area will surely see an increase in home buyers to the neighborhood.  At the same time many current and prospective businesses will be looking to support the new school, so expect the intersection of Oglethorpe Ave and Prince Ave to receive some added commercial development.  So what does the arrival of the new medical school really mean for General Hospital?  Home prices will rise. Taking this into consideration along with the vast array of close amenities provided by Alps Rd, Prince Ave, and downtown, means now, more than ever, is the time to buy.

–Sissy Erwin

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