Much has been written and discussed in every media outlet, open and closed door Richmond County meetings, civic clubs, churches, and everywhere else in Richmond County about the proposal to locate a new civic center at the former Regency Mall.
And I’m sure proponents of that site and proponents of the downtown location have covered every possible reason to make their argument.
Except one. Why did the mall close in the first place?
The answer: Crime. And lots of it. Merchants suffered losses due to theft, closed up and went elsewhere. Shoppers’ and workers’ vehicles suffered break-ins. Bags and purses were stolen when owners turned their heads.
Thugs – lots of thugs – hung out there. Shoppers quit coming.
So, what happens if the civic center is built at the mall? Crime, and lots of it. Shows will not draw crowds. Families will stay home. In a short time, so will big entertainers.
When, like the mall, the civic center falls to disrepair with kudzu growing in its corridors, leaders will blame others. Taxpayers will be paying a $130 million debt.
And Augustans will be going to Columbia and Atlanta for major entertainment.
Build it downtown!