A Rome businessman is proposing a 10 to 12 unit townhouse development at 603 East Sixth Ave., at the intersection of East Sixth Avenue and East Third Street.

JBF Development, Jay Barksdale, is seeking to rezone the 0.6 of an acre property from Office and Institutional to Urban Mixed Use to facilitate the development. The rezoning request will go before the Rome Floyd County Planning Commission on Thursday, May 7.

Barksdale, who also owns Courtesy Ford-Lincoln-Mercury in Rome, said he and real estate business partner Andy Cash were still very early in the development stage of the project but that the homes would be two-story, two-bedroom, two-bath townhouses for lease or sale.

The lease range to be from $1,000 to $1,200 a month given the rent structure for other developments in downtown Rome, he said. Sale prices could be anywhere from $200,000 to $240,000.

Brice Wood in the planning office said the urban mixed use zoning is being sought for a number of reasons. The lot does not meet minimum size standards for a multi-family residential use. The project would also benefit from the reduced setback standards that would be required in other zoning categories.

Final plans will depend on what is approved by the city but Barksdale is hoping to have ten units along the exiting wall that runs between the property and the Federal Building. Two more units could be located along the property line that parallels East Eighth Avenue.

The community would be gated with the only entrance located off East Third Street.

Wood said the lot is one of just a small handful of undeveloped lots in the historic Between the Rivers District of downtown Rome. A one-acre parking lot between the Barksdale property and East Eighth Avenue is actually a series of six lots all owned by NPC Property leasing, A group of about seven lots, adding up to a little more than four acres at the corner of East First Avenue and East Fourth Street owned by Echota Realty and another group of seven lots across from the downtown fire department on Riverside Parkway at West First Street, all owned by BAB Real Estate is another potentially buildable site.

Once the Planning Commission acts on the rezoning request it will have to be considered by the full City Commission before construction could begin.

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