MCG Foundation expects to buy city bus depot by December

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A deal transferring ownership of the Augusta Public Transit bus depot to the Medical College of Georgia Foundation is inching forward and expected to be finalized by December, according to James Osborne, the foundation’s president and CEO.

The sale would allow the foundation to move forward with its plans of creating a downtown gateway to the medical district and redeveloping the 15th Street corridor that runs along Wall Street and Walton Way toward Chafee Avenue.

Redevelopment plans call for a future hotel, upscale restaurants and a new grocer, which could be a Walmart Neighborhood Market, a Kroger or one of several other grocery store chains, said Osborne, who also envisions the site to include abundant green space.

“We hope to have amenities that would be in context with a medical center that you would find at Duke University in Durham, N.C.,” Osborne said. “We want it to be a place for not just students but patients to come here and go to the hospital.”

This spring, the foundation purchased several parcels, including a Chinese restaurant, TitleMax and two apartment buildings, surrounding the city’s bus depot. Demolition of those structures is projected to start soon, Osborne said.

“We expect all of those buildings to be demolished by the end of the year,” he said.

If the foundation purchases the 3.5-acre depot parcel from the city as planned, Osborne said the organization will have spent about $2.5 million on the land acquisitions, which encompass a total of about 25 acres. The foundation already owns a shopping center adjacent to the “bus barn” that houses a Kroger grocer and other smaller stores.

City administrator Fred Russell did not immediately return phone messages.

In January 2012, the Augusta Commission decided in a closed session to sell the bus site for construction of a 40,000-square-foot Walmart supermarket concept store, known as the Walmart Neighborhood Market. The property was then turned over to the Augusta Land Bank Authority.

The foundation was upset over the acquisition after having previously made a $1 million offer in 2009 to buy the property for its redevelopment plans.

Osborne said the foundation is still negotiating with Walmart but have added other grocery chains to the list as well.

Walmart spokesperson Amanda Henneberg also confirmed Monday that the project is “still on track,” but she could not provide any further details.

Metro Augusta’s first 35,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market opened on Oct. 2 in the Village at Furys Ferry shopping center in Martinez.

While demolition of the older buildings now owned by the foundation will soon commence, Osborne said the Kroger shopping center will remain untouched at least “until we get our final plans developed for the gateway,” he said.

During the demolition phase, Osborne said he expects to finalize more facets of the project.


Construction of a 152,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter on Wrightsboro Road near North Leg began in early summer and is expected to open in the spring of 2014. The store will create about 300 jobs but won’t include an auto care center or a fuel station.

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countyman 10/21/13 - 06:37 pm
Medical District

The Medical District will have to grow into the Harrisburg and Laney Walker neighborhoods and towards the CBD. The city, Paine College(new dorms coming soon), and MCG Foundation/GRU should all work together on attracting/building new residential in/around the Medical District.

The private developer building the new 4-5 story residential building at Walton Way/Saint Sebastian is very attractive due to the future amenities within walking distance of the site. I hope we can break ground on the Augusta Greenway, multimodal transportation center, and the rail system connecting the CBD/Medical District by 2018..

Gage Creed
Gage Creed 10/21/13 - 07:19 pm
The Loch Ness

The Loch Ness Monster...

Yeah.... that could happen

countyman 10/21/13 - 07:56 pm
In love with the private sector growth!!!!

The major growth is just beginning and we have to focus on smart growth.

The Medical District, Summerville, Olde Town, Midtown, Harrisburg, and Laney Walker should all have their own amenities outside of the CBD. The object is to have residential, grocery stores, coffee shops, clothing stores, restaurants, etc within a couple feet of each other. The city should declare one of those places another nightlife district outside of the Broad street/riverfront areas or create one between Telfair/Walton Way.

The Augusta Exchange, Village at Riverwatch/Washington rd, Peach Orchard/Windsor Spring/I-520, and somewhere in South Augusta near the city limits of Hephzibah all need to become urban nodes. The Augusta Exchange is the best chance to create the first edge city in the metro area.

countyman 10/22/13 - 02:50 pm
Moving forward

The Walmart market or a brand new Kroger would be perfect for the Medical District and let Publix build a 14,000 SQ. FT. to 20,000 SQ. FT. store in the CBD.

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