Reaction to the master plan from its potential champions has been positive.
Implementation of the projects in the master plan relies on people and organizations in the community taking them off the drawing board and working to make them reality.
With such an emphasis on waterfront development – four of the nine market creation projects involve housing and parks along the canal – the Augusta Canal Authority is cited most often as a potential champion for projects, assuming a leadership role in a public-private collaboration.
The economy shorted circuited the nation’s second largest electronics retailer. Circuit City said this morning that it would ask its bankruptcy court judge to allow them to liquidate their remaining stores and shut down. The judge said yes and liquidation sales will start Saturday.
The Bass Pro Shop waiting game may be ending.
Walter Sprouse, who is Richmond County’s development director, said the concrete slab in the Village of Riverwatch that will sprout Augusta’s Bass Pro Shop will be laid within the next 60 days – basically when the weather allows it. The Development Authority of Richmond County brokered the deal that got the outdoor retailer to locate in Augusta.
Owners of stores that re-sell children’s clothes and toys can breathe a sigh of relief.
There was a worry that a new law would force most of them out of business because they would be have been required under a new federal law to test all of their clothes and toys for lead content before selling it, a costly burden.
But today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a clarification of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that exempts the sellers of used children’s products from certifying lead limits.
Goody’s is bidding goodbye for good.
Last year, the area lost two of its three clothing stores, in Aiken and south Augusta. The last remaining store in west Augusta will now be closing along with the rest of the clothing retail chain nationwide.
An employee at the Goody’s Family Clothing store at 216 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway said today that the store will close its doors in the next four to six weeks. The employees are waiting for an exact closing date. A liquidation sale will be forthcoming, though.
CarMax said this morning that it will finish building its Augusta store, but it won’t open it right away.
The nation’s largest used car retailer is on target to have the store near the intersection of Wheeler Road and Interstate 20 done by March. What this means is the 50 to 85 people that were going to work there won’t have a job until “market conditions improve.”
The company released its corporate earnings this morning. It didn’t have earnings, it lost $21.9 million in the third quarter.
Augusta’s housing market is strong. Say what? Repeat that.
Augusta’s housing market is strong.
Our market is second in the nation in home value appreciation – not the “I like your house” brand of appreciation, but the increase in value version.
In the past year, the value of area homes increased (in total) 5.5 percent.
Those California cities that have been rocked by the housing bubble bursting and now rampant foreclosure are going down: 42.3 percent in Merced, 41.4 percent in Stockton and 36.7 percent in Modesto.
Delta Air Lines this morning let the world see a memo that it sent out to 75,000 employees that set the table for some buyouts to reduce its staff.
Next year, the airline is going to reduce its capacity, for Northwest flights too, 6 to 8 percent. Specifically, domestic seats are going to be cut 8 to 10 percent and international capacity is going down 3 to 5 percent in 2009.
The memo, signed by CEO Richard Anderson and President Edward Bastian, said the reduction comes as a result of the global economic recession and a weaker demand for air travel.
It has not escaped my attention that some major money is going to be invested in South Carolina.
American Titanium Works is going to build a titanium mini-mill in Laurens County. The Chicago steel company is going to spend $422 million on a plant that will employ 320 people.
As if that wasn’t enough, 40 engineering jobs are going to be created at Clemson. The company is setting up an engineering technical center at the university’s automotive research campus.
Even the Downtown Development Authority of Augusta has been affected by the credit crunch. This quasi-governmental agency has $184,000 deposited with Bank of America and paid its bills on time, but its credit card was revoked.
The executive director relayed the message that the revocation was a credit decision.
No surprise, the DDA is switching banks for its checking and savings.
U.S. banks charged off more than 5 percent of all credit card loans in the second quarter, representing some $50 billion that they’ll likely never collect, according to the Federal Reserve.