News |   Obits |   Sports |   Business |   Opinion |   Things to Do |   Life |   Blogs |   Photos |   Video |   Data |   Jobs |   Homes |   Autos |   Buy/Sell


Augusta Economy

More News | Fort Gordon | Plant Vogtle | Savannah River Site | Editor

Downtown retail project starting soon

Monday, April 22, 2013 5:46 PM
Last updated Tuesday, April 23, 2013 1:16 AM
  • Follow Local Business

The Downtown Development Authority of Augusta said Monday it plans to hire an Alabama retail consulting firm to aid in attracting businesses to Augusta.

Retail Strategies will provide the authority with market analysis, strategic planning and retail recruitment services. The project will involve a building inventory.

The three-year contract is expected to cost $40,000 to $60,000, with part of the funding coming from the private sector. As of Monday, Augusta Tomorrow, Augusta Regional Collaboration, The Emporium and Golden Living Centers of Augusta had contributed to the project.

“Our focus over the last five years has been doing anything we can to help people get more housing units downtown,” said Margaret Woodard, the development authority’s executive director. “We have a 99 percent occupancy rate. The living market is ready.”

The opening of the Augusta Convention Center in February is another factor that makes downtown prime for an increased emphasis on retail, Woodard said.

“This is the natural next step in our revitalization strategy,” said Cameron Nixon, the chairman of the authority.

“With 75 new units completed last year, a 99 percent occupancy rate and with the successful efforts in Laney-Walker and East Boundary, we need retail to support the existing base and attract future investments.”

The development authority is scheduled to complete the agreement with Retail Strategies at its May 9 board meeting.

The project will be done in three phases. The first is to update downtown’s demographics through studies that will pinpoint what type of retail projects are needed, said Woodard, who expects that process to take about a year.

“The demographic reports alone are worth the investment,” Nixon said. “The gap analysis will be available for existing businesses to look at expansion efforts and maintain a competitive edge as well as attract new retail.”

The goal of the initiative is to make downtown Augusta a “retail destination,” Woodard said.

Additional housing projects are in the works that could bring 35 more units downtown in the next six months, Woodard said.

“It’s hot,” she said. “Everybody wants to return to the urban core. There are waiting lists to get in projects down here.”

Comments (14) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
79682
Points
Riverman1 04/22/13 - 08:33 pm
7
0
"The first is to update

"The first is to update downtown’s demographics through studies that will pinpoint what type of retail projects are needed, said Woodard, who expects that process to take about a year."

Couldn't the 2010 U.S. Census and 2012 Census Estimate be used for that data?

KSL
122130
Points
KSL 04/22/13 - 09:08 pm
7
1
Riverman

The powers that be in Richmond County seem to be totally enamored with studies.

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 04/22/13 - 10:17 pm
2
7
I'm glad to see the private

I'm glad to see the private sector believes in the urban core of Augusta. Their willing to invest into the city, and the benefits are right around the corner. The CBD should have things similar to Publix, Old Navy, Gap, etc.

The census provides the demographics for Richmond County, and not specifically the Central Business District. The census doesn't breakdown the individual surrounding areas of Waters Edge, Olde Town, East Augusta, Laney Walker, Harrisburg, etc.

my.voice
4654
Points
my.voice 04/23/13 - 12:11 am
7
0
Next, the City of Augusta

Next, the City of Augusta will partner with an Idaho firm to study the effects of potatoes on local residents in the urban core and that of south Augusta. The study aims to provide insight into new ways to fry taters that will appeal to locals. The study will be funded for free.....errrr...... by Ricky Ricardo Azziz's discretionary BUS fund (same thing).

Bodhisattva
5647
Points
Bodhisattva 04/23/13 - 06:23 am
6
0
How about using the funds as

How about using the funds as a revolving start up bank for businesses that want to open in downtown instead of dumping it to someone in Alabama that will probably tell them they need access to a food market. In visiting many cities around the country, another plus would be a decent and reliable cab company. I know living in an area and staying in a hotel are different, but if I lived in an area and my car was parked in a parking deck down the street, many times I would use a cab instead of going to get my car for trips around town. For a night on the town where I might have a couple of glasses of wine or a couple of cocktails it's a no brainer. There, up to $60,000 saved.

JENNPAT
241
Points
JENNPAT 04/23/13 - 08:03 am
4
0
south augusta

they need to do something about cleaning up south Augusta and why is it they always have to get people out of town to do these studies do we not have people here smart enough to do this? i think we do they waste more money on all this kind off stuff Augusta needs to save all she can so they can do what needs to be done

seenitB4
81877
Points
seenitB4 04/23/13 - 08:08 am
5
0
A little Atlanta in the making...

Good luck wth that ....
You may attract the gay community & seniors..but is that what you want.......a family will look for great schools---parks---outside activities for kids & etc......they usually don't find this in the inner core.....there ARE REASONS that people locate outside the big city...pretty good ones I think....heck..I would do this study for $20,000 save yall a bunch of moulah....you will have to get smart & savy to get the population into the town towers....won't be easy...jmo

GnipGnop
11543
Points
GnipGnop 04/23/13 - 08:33 am
4
1
Another survey....

Property taxes going up...why do we have a DDA? Isn't that the job of the Mayor and commission? We have so much micro management in ARC I am surprised anything gets done...

Dixieman
13038
Points
Dixieman 04/23/13 - 09:47 am
3
1
Oh, wow!

A project to bring retail and retail customers to a decaying downtown area! How innovative! How exciting! Why has no midsized American city ever thought of this before? And the study will cost taxpayers ONLY $40,000 to $60,000 - what a bargain!
Tell you what. Dixieman will give you study results right here, right now for free. Based on the almost universal experience of American cities over the last 20 to 30 years, the only sensible conclusion is:
Don't do it.
You're very welcome.

Riverman1
79682
Points
Riverman1 04/23/13 - 10:00 am
3
0
Studies

There’s some kind of geometric principle at work here with all these studies that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each study has a different circle drawn for the plan they come up with and there is less and less common area inside all the circles. There is no common goal or continuity with the various studies.

Doesn’t the Board of Elections use the U.S. Census data to determine the population of the Commission districts? How do they do that? Since the census includes the income level and race demographics, why can’t it be used here?

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 04/23/13 - 12:17 pm
1
2
Private Sector is paying for the study

Why are people complaining about the private sector? Multiple individuals/groups from the private sector decided to participate, and they obviously see the benefits of the study.

Dixieman.... ''As of Monday, Augusta Tomorrow, Augusta Regional Collaboration, The Emporium and Golden Living Centers of Augusta had contributed to the project.''

The taxpayers are definitely not funding the majority of this project.

The CBD is also far from decaying(richer than North Augusta and gaining on Martinez), and neither is places like Olde Town or Waters Edge. Even the neighborhoods in the transition mode(Harrisburg, Laney Walker) are improving.

Seenitb4. The two best high schools, three best middle schools, and best elementary schools in the metro are located in the urban core. Davidson, AR Johnson, and CT Walker. Let's not forget how Davidson is the best schools in the entire state of Georgia.

Riverman1
79682
Points
Riverman1 04/23/13 - 12:24 pm
3
1
Augusta Tomorrow, Augusta

Augusta Tomorrow, Augusta Regional Collaboration, The Emporium and Golden Living Centers of Augusta should be commended for contributing to the project, but they obviously didn't pay all the costs. We don't know how much they contributed. I'd bet the county paid more by far.

Brad Owens
4110
Points
Brad Owens 04/23/13 - 12:48 pm
2
0
No local firm able to do this?

There has to be several firms that do this sort of work in Augusta.

GnipGnop
11543
Points
GnipGnop 04/23/13 - 02:26 pm
2
1
Davidson, AR Johnson, and CT Walker

are not regular schools. They pick the best of the best at the sacrifice of other schools. What majority are the tax payers not paying? You first said it was being paid for by the private sector but amended that at the bottom to say taxpayers were not paying a majority...which is it?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Property tax jump OK'd

Augusta commissioners broke a seven-year trend Wednesday and agreed 7-0 to raise property taxes by 1.75 mills to cover a deficit and provide employees a small bonus.
Search Augusta jobs