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Medical College of Georgia Foundation waits for city to move buses from old depot

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Once the city’s buses move out, progress can begin on redeveloping the Augusta bus depot into a grocery store, according to a Medical College of Georgia Foundation official.

The foundation negotiated a deal with the city in January 2013 to purchase the Augusta Public Transit depot off Walton Way and 15th Street, but the contract wasn’t secured until late last year, said foundation President and CEO James Osborne. He said he hopes to get the property by March.

The site was once primed for the development of a Walmart Neighborhood Market, but Osborne said the foundation is negotiating with others.

“We want to turn this property into a gateway, where there will be amenities that most medical centers have that we don’t have,” Osborne said. “Our goal is to have an upscale grocery store. We’re still open for competition. Kroger is interested. Walmart is interested. We’ve got two or three others, but we continue to have discussions with them.”

The foundation wants to redevelop 20 to 25 acres along the corridor to create a destination for patients and students at the Georgia Regents University Health Sciences campus. The organization already owns the Kroger shopping center next to John C. Calhoun Expressway as well as surrounding land.

The foundation plans to move ahead with demolition of old structures, including a Chinese restaurant, TitleMax and an apartment building, on several neighboring parcels it purchased last spring.

Osborne said he expects the property to be cleared within the next two to three weeks.

Plans call for a grocery store, restaurants, a hotel and other commercial projects.

The sale of the depot hinges on city buses moving to a Mike Padgett Highway facility. The contract grants the city time to acquire grants with the Federal Transportation Administration that would assist in the transition.

“We know those buses have to have a place to be parked. We just have to be patient until the city can get clearance to move the buses,” Osborne said.

Special city counsel Jim Plunkett said he is awaiting documents from the Richmond County Board of Education, which has a new bus maintenance facility on the site, to legally separate the two properties so the city can access the grants.

Once approved by education board members and members of the Augusta Commission, the Fenwick Street bus property will be sold to the foundation, he said.

“There’s a lot of moving parts that all have to line up at the right time,” Plunkett said.

Osborne said there is no deadline for the city.

The bus depot has been long pegged for commercial development. In 2012, the commission decided in closed session to sell the site for construction of a 40,000-square-foot Walmart market. The property was then turned over to the Augusta Land Bank Authority.

The foundation was upset at the deal, as it had previously made a $1 million offer in 2009 to buy the property for redevelopment.

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corgimom
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corgimom 01/29/14 - 10:09 pm
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The Augusta Commissioners

The Augusta Commissioners couldn't sell Dixie cups full of Kool-Aid at a roadside stand and get it right.

There just is NO END to their incompetence.

Pops
14817
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Pops 01/29/14 - 10:46 pm
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Sounds like a big ball

of confusion. I hope everything works out.

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/29/14 - 11:23 pm
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Double post..

Double post..

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/29/14 - 11:44 pm
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Developers follow the money?

The commissioners don't believe that I-20 is the only reason the outlet mall is coming to Richmond County. The Columbia County government spent taxpayer money creating the outlet mall survey, and not the officials in Richmond County.. Why did Ben Cater choose North Richmond over Grovetown? The Grovetown I-20 exit is located in Columbia County, the site can provide hundreds of acres of empty land, and the area is much closer to Evans.. Both exit 5 and exit 1 along I-20 in North Augusta have more space to offer the private developers compared to Richmond County, and the locations are much closer to Aiken..

And somebody wants the public to belive the demographic of North Richmond, or the close proximity to West Augusta, Summerville, Forest Hills, etc had nothing to do with the decision?? The bias against Richmond County is simply ridiculous.. Why do you think Aldi is located on the RC/CC line? Why did Bass Pro choose a location on the RC/CC line?

The Medical District continues to grow, and I hope the city is ready for the upcoming improvements....

corgimom
38780
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corgimom 01/29/14 - 11:51 pm
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Because the land is

Because the land is dirt-cheap in Richmond County, because they are so desperate to attract businesses.

It's also closer to Aiken County and Columbia.

Geez, that's a no-brainer.

Once again, Countyman, I'll post the 2010 census median income.

Aiken Cty- $44,399

Richmond Cty- $38,952

Columbia Cty- $67,295

The census doesn't lie, Countyman.

Richmond County has the LOWEST of the three counties.

Aldi? Aldi is a store that caters to low-income people!

Bass Pro chose NOT TO BUILD ANYWHERE, Countyman, how bizarre is that statement?

Oh, by the way, Countyman, I know you can answer these questions for me.

Why are the apartments at the J. B. White building on Broad St not selling? I thought, by your statements, that people would just snap them up. They've been on the market a long time with no takers.

Why, if downtown is so great, are the prices falling at Port Royal?

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/30/14 - 12:50 am
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5
Facts and not opinions

Now you want the public to believe the land along I-20 in North Augusta, Grovetown, and Harlem is expensive while the land in North Richmond/West Augusta is 'dirt cheap'? Why are the property values in North Richmond and West Augusta higher then? Why can't Grovetown or Harlem support a Publix? Why is Publix the only upscale grocer in North Augusta? How can West Augusta support the Whole Foods, Kroger, Fresh Market, and Publix on Washington road all right next to each other? The majority of the new commercial growth(outlet mall, cabelas, whole foods, texas roadhouse, movie theater, hotels, etc)is located in Richmond County.. Why do you believe Richmond County is any more desperate to attract business compared to the surrounding counties?

The median income stats you continue to post reflect the demographics of the entire county.. Do you really think the median income of West Augusta, North Richmond, Summerville, and Forest Hills is $39,000?

The grocery store chains like IGA cater to low-income people and not Aldi.. Please show me anything to back up your personal opinions? I can show you the link to the Columbia County outlet mall survey.. The new development at the JB Whites building consist of new condos(between 15 and 20 sold), not even 'apartments'..

Gage Creed
19463
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Gage Creed 01/30/14 - 06:58 am
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Facts are amazing when you make them up!

Upscale Grocers in NA? Only Publix? Yetin your very next statement you include Kroger as an upscale grocer in your support of your diatribe?

Typical countyman... make it up as you go.

As for median incomes if you are going to compare minutiae, compare minutiae.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 01/30/14 - 07:15 am
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Why are our tax dollars

being used to go into the grocery business? If the demand is there, the private sector will open one. This will just be a government-subsidized competitor to private enterprise. Stick to the education biz, MCG!

seenitB4
98708
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seenitB4 01/30/14 - 07:40 am
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Fantasyland

It must be a wonderful feeling to live here....

Riverman1
94386
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Riverman1 01/30/14 - 08:20 am
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Question

I have a question. This is said: "The foundation wants to redevelop 20 to 25 acres along the corridor to create a destination for patients and students at the Georgia Regents University Health Sciences campus."

I've asked this several times because it shows how confusing the whole naming issue is. Is there still a Health Sciences University? I've been told it's now GRU and the Medical College of Georgia still exists, but there's not a Health Sciences University these days. I'm not picking on the reporter because it's ridiculous trying to identify the two campuses.

Riverman1
94386
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Riverman1 01/30/14 - 08:26 am
1
1
Instead of grocery stores

Instead of grocery stores being subsidized as Dixieman points out, the city should pay street vendors to push vegetable carts around the neighborhoods.

Esctab
1324
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Esctab 01/30/14 - 10:38 am
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For those posters who are

For those posters who are confused about what the MCG Foundation is, please visit the following website:

http://giving.gru.edu/page.aspx?pid=592

countyman
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countyman 01/30/14 - 12:09 pm
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Kroger is not upscale and the private sector behind the growth

Who said Kroger is considered upscale? I listed Kroger among the several grocery stores right next to each other along Washington Road... Typical naysayer.... Portray the personal opinions as fact... The property values in West Augusta are much higher, and let's not waste anymore time debating frivolous issues..

Some of the residents in Columbia County need to drive around the Medical District.. The private sector is behind the grocery store, because the demand already exist.. The $76 million Medical Commons is opening later this year, and the Cancer Center should begin construction in 2014.. The people expected to move into the new 4-5 story residential building at 1399 Walton Way need somewhere to shop..

The initial agreement was between the city and the private sector(Blanchard & Calhoun).. They city sold the land to the MCG Foundation, and now the foundation will help the private sector develop the area..

Riverman1
94386
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Riverman1 01/30/14 - 02:37 pm
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I wonder if the MCG

I wonder if the MCG Foundation is looking in Columbia County and going to help out with GRU's bid to build there?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/30/14 - 02:40 pm
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Call me late to the party,

Call me late to the party, but I have to point out something I don't quite comprehend fully regarding the development of that area.

I can fully conceptualize that the folks working in GRU and the students attending GRU, are potential shoppers that the developers have determined would be patronizing a new grocery store or market or what not. I get it. They are putting 1 and 1 and getting two.

I drive as far as I can away from work and get to a grocery store as close as possible to my home to do my shopping. It isn't deliberate but it is 100% of the time. I don't stray from the formula.

So obviously, my question is, where do all the students and workers from GRU live? What's the trend anyway? Are they onsite, within walking distance, etc? I know the area and surroundings and I don't recall alot of places that I would figure housed those two groups. Am I way off or right on?

Riverman1
94386
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Riverman1 01/30/14 - 02:55 pm
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Along DP's line, why would

Along DP's line, why would the type shoppers be any different than they are at the Kroger there now?

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/30/14 - 03:21 pm
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3
High incomes nearby

The Forest Hills neighborhood, Summerville, CBD, Waters Edge, and Olde Town are full of both GRU students and workers ... The residential developments are beginning to pop up in the Medical District, and the surrounding population will continue to grow..

The development can rely on the daytime population, workforce population, and residential population..

Many high and middle income people live within 5-10 minutes of the site, and they won't necessarily have to rely on GRU... The new grocery store will become the closes store for many of the residents living in the CBD, Olde Town, Summerville, Waters Edge, and Forest Hills..

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/30/14 - 03:23 pm
1
2
Developers follow the money

The residents living in the CBD, Summerville, Forest Hills, Olde Town, and Waters Edge don't shop at the Kroger on 15th street.

They either use the Kroger/Publix combination in North Augusta, or the Bi-Lo in Daniel Village..

Hopefully the CBD will be able to attract Publix, or Target in a mixed use development..

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/30/14 - 03:28 pm
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0
Some of the adjacent areas

Some of the adjacent areas can be a little sketchy looking to someone not from here. Say for example, a transfer/transient GRU student. Developers must want people lining up to shop and 100% comfortable with patronizing the businesses that will open up there. If those shoppers were aware of how close the development was to areas that are known for trouble, would they be lining up to shop and as comfortable as you'd want them to be? Regardless of whether trouble occurs on a street, block, neighborhood, does that area give the perception that trouble occurs there? That is a better question to pose.

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/30/14 - 04:03 pm
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3
Young people

Young people are the main one's responsible for gentrifying the sketchy areas/neighborhoods across the United States...

Both Harrisburg and Laney Walker are in the transitioning phase, and can offer someone a nice place to live.. The city is demolishing the Cherry Tree public housing development, and the GADOT/private developers have big plans for 15th street.

Gage Creed
19463
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Gage Creed 01/30/14 - 04:01 pm
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1
Facts are pesky things...

Amazing the double talk when some are confronted with their own misgudied diatribe...

Welcome to the magical North Richmond... Boy Kings, Fairies, Unicorns, mystical Dragons, and uber high rents... so only the privileged can play.
(eyeroll)

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/30/14 - 04:13 pm
1
4
Hilarious

The same few people are mad, because they spend all day trying to push their negative opinions onto the general public. They want everybody to believe the surrounding counties are so much better, and everybody living in Richmond County is low-income and black..

Somebody earlier wanted you to believe the land in Grovetown/Harlem is expensive, and the land in North Richmond/West Augusta is quote 'dirt cheap' lol..

It's funny how the CEO of Electrolux(was located in Martinez off Bobby Jones) lived in a million dollar home in West Augusta, and not those so called 'expensive' areas lol..

Riverman1
94386
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Riverman1 01/30/14 - 05:38 pm
2
1
"It's funny how the CEO of

"It's funny how the CEO of Electrolux(was located in Martinez off Bobby Jones) lived in a million dollar home in West Augusta, and not those so called 'expensive' areas lol.."

If he was making poor decisions like that, no wonder they closed up here.

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/30/14 - 06:21 pm
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3
Charlotte

Coroprate moved the company right up the road to Charlotte, a place that can provide much nicer suburban counties..

The Whole Foods, DSW, Home Goods, and the private development in front of the Kroger..

Washington road
West Augusta > Martinez

Riverman1
94386
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Riverman1 01/30/14 - 06:32 pm
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1
I love West Augusta and the

I love West Augusta and the residents there love Columbia County. They'll probably use the new hospital that will be built in Columbia County.

Riverman1
94386
Points
Riverman1 01/30/14 - 06:45 pm
2
1
"Coroprate moved the company

"Coroprate moved the company right up the road to Charlotte, a place that can provide much nicer suburban counties.."

Actually, Columbia County has a higher median household income than any of the 16 counties in the Charlotte Metro area.

countyman
21687
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countyman 01/30/14 - 07:15 pm
1
4
Have you been to

Have you been to Charlotte? I don't feel like checking to see if your correct, but I'll take your word.. Corgimom already lied about the 2010 median income of Richmond County.. The median income of Richmond County in the official 2010 census was $39,512.. The $38,952 figure is actually the five year estimate(2008-2012)...

The median income of Columbia County is higher than Fulton County, but Evans/Martinez is not on the level of the cities in North Fulton(metro Atlanta)..

The population of Columbia County is only 130,000, and let's watch how the median income is affected over the next decade...

Riverman1
94386
Points
Riverman1 01/30/14 - 07:19 pm
2
1
Well, Facts are Facts

I've been to Charlotte, but I have no idea what you are talking about. You said Electrolux left Columbia County for nicer suburban areas in Charlotte. I remarked Columbia County has a higher median household income than any county in the fantastic Charlotte metro area. It really says a lot about Columbia County.

• Alexander County, NC (37,087)
• Anson County, NC (26,351)
• Cabarrus County, NC (184,498)
• Catawba County, NC (154,181)
• Chester County, SC (32,546)
• Chesterfield County, SC (46,557)
• Cleveland County, NC (97,489)
• Gaston County, NC (208,049)
• Iredell County, NC (162,708)
• Lancaster County, SC (79,089)
• Lincoln County, NC (79,313)
• Mecklenburg County, NC (969,031)
• Rowan County, NC (138,428)
• Stanly County, NC (60,626)
• Union County, NC (208,420)
• York County, SC (234,635)

Riverman1
94386
Points
Riverman1 01/30/14 - 07:23 pm
3
1
Super Comeback

"The population of Columbia County is only 130,000, and let's watch how the median income is affected over the next decade..."

What a super comeback. You want to come back in 2020 and see if the income level has dropped. I'm not sure that adds much to our little conversation tonight.

Gage Creed
19463
Points
Gage Creed 01/30/14 - 07:40 pm
3
1
FACTS are pesky things!

countyman posits "They want everybody to believe the surrounding counties are so much better, and everybody living in Richmond County is low-income and black.."

You mean like you want everybody to believe that surrounding counties and their residents are so inferior? (SMH)

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