Hoffmanns Sees More Growth Opportunities in the Augusta Area of ​​Downtown Washington | Local News

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Investor wants ‘bigger footprint’ in downtown Washington, D.C.

Commits to Addressing Augusta’s Housing Market

As Augusta’s business community grows, so do concerns that the influx of workers and visitors will likely exacerbate an already tight local housing market.

For the past few weeks, the Augusta City Council has put in place a six-month moratorium on the opening of new short-term rentals in Augusta in hopes of stemming the wave of investors from outside the city. town who have come to the community in hopes of transforming single-family homes. homes into short-term rental properties, while giving city leaders the ability to update city ordinances on parking requirements, nights-of-stay limits, occupancy inspections, and fee collection. taxes.

“If we don’t do something, we’re going to lose our city,” zoning commissioner Clinton Hedrick told a public hearing in January. “It’s been scary to see all these houses being sold.”

City Council President Bob Hofer proposed the moratorium in hopes of addressing residents’ concerns.

“Now that the Hoffmanns are here, there are fears that everything will change,” Hofer said.

The Hoffmanns’ plans have met with some resistance from some in Augusta, where family roots run deep as multi-generational families live side by side, tied to their shared love of the hills and commitment to long-term stewardship. term of the earth.

In August, dozens of residents attended a meeting in St. Charles County to voice their concerns about a planned amphitheater and helipad at the Hoffmann Lodge site. The Hoffmanns had also proposed using a hot air balloon tethered on the property, but these plans proved controversial as neighbors criticized the proposal as turning Augusta “into a three-ring circus”.

The Hoffmanns later canceled their helipad and hot air balloon proposal.

But some community members remain indifferent, believing the Hoffmanns’ investment will gut Augusta’s tight-knit community by driving up real estate prices and pushing away existing homeowners.

At the Planning and Zoning Commission, residents complained that property speculators were leaving the community with too few homes occupied by full-time residents.

“We need people. We need neighbors,” Hedrick said.

In an interview, David Hoffmann said he heard these concerns about the Augusta areas housing market.

“It will not happen and here is my promise. If someone doesn’t come (to the area) and start building more houses, the Hoffmanns will,” said David Hoffmann. “I don’t really want to do this, but I will because Augusta is such a great opportunity. We recognize, as the largest landowner in Augusta, that we need people to live here. We need Augusta to be a strong and vibrant community.

the Hoffmanns want a larger footprint in downtown washington

The Hoffmanns said their commitment to the local community, particularly their hometown of Washington, remains unchanged.

“I think what we’re doing in Augusta is really going to help Washington, especially downtown Washington,” said Borgia High School graduate Jerri Hoffmann. As a Washington native, she said she was thrilled to see the downtown revitalization efforts.

“Growing up, downtown was the heart and soul of the community. I love this part of town and seeing it all come back to life is just an answered prayer,” Hoffmann said.

David Hoffmann, who is the son of a waitress and milk delivery driver who served the Augusta community, said he felt the same way about downtown Washington.

He grew up on William Street in Washington and attended Washington High School, where he played on the football team. “Washington is our home and always will be. We chose to live in the Washington School District for a reason and I truly expect that we will continue to become an increasingly important part of the Washington community.

The Hoffmanns’ company purchased NOA Medical in May and moved the sales team and showroom space to downtown Washington. David Hoffmann said he wanted “a bigger downtown footprint,” while patronizing existing businesses.

He said the company plans to develop a dock for its yacht Miss Augusta along the Washington River, open a wine tasting room and purchase additional businesses. They are still in talks with Missouri Meerschaum, the corn cob pipe plant in downtown Washington.

He plans to join the Washington-area transportation committee to advocate for Augusta Bottom Road improvements in rural Warren County and hopes that leaders in Warren and St. Charles counties will be receptive to the ‘effort. City leaders have long advocated for the road to be paved through Warren County, as it is currently a gravel road.

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s traffic count, which was completed in 2020, indicated that more than 650 vehicles per day use the St. Charles portion of the highway. Portions of Augusta Bottom Road in Warren County had no tally.

By comparison, Highway 94 averages about 1,500 vehicles per day, including 10 buses. Both carriageways are two-lane.

In addition to his business interests, Hoffmann said he plans to become a major philanthropist in Washington.

“It’s really important to me, personally, because I grew up with nothing,” said Hoffmann, who shared that the family home didn’t have hot running water until her sophomore year of high school.

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