For more than two decades, government and businesses have reinvested in downtown Augusta. Still, the tipping point for revitalization – at which market forces alone drive redevelopment – has remained elusive.
To the west of James Brown Boulevard on Broad Street is a lively retail district tightly packed with small shops, restaurants and nightclubs. To the east, it’s quieter. For every two stores that are occupied, one is vacant. Twenty-two percent of Augusta’s downtown buildings and storefronts are unoccupied, according to an audit performed by the Downtown Development Authority in March. The survey, performed at the request of The Augusta Chronicle, covers Broad Street from Fifth to 13th streets and the cross streets from Ellis to Reynolds.
Empty/occupied storefront buildings between 5th and 13th streets from 2001-2010
yellow pin=vacant; blue pin=occupied
Source: Downtown Development Authority
Locations where business licenses were issued between 5th and 13th streets from 2001-2010
blue pin=occupied 1-2 years between 2001-2010; purple pin=3-4 years; green pin=5-6 years; yellow pin=7-8 years; red pin=9-10 years
Source: Augusta License and Inspection Department