Urban development plan proposes $1.5 billion in projects

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009 5:44 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 11:21 PM
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The vision of the future Augusta and North Augusta sees hundreds of new houses along the Augusta Canal and a revitalized shopping district along Broad Street that links to a new riverfront baseball stadium.

It envisions a Savannah River amphitheater flanked by a new art museum and symphonic hall and millions of dollars of new parks.

The new Augusta Tomorrow urban core development plan released today also suggests an extended Broad Street into a new Sand Bar Ferry area housing subdivision, the closing of the Fifth Street bridge to traffic to create a pedestrian shopping bridge, and a multimillion dollar health sciences research park along the newly created St. Sebastian Way.

In all, Boston-based consulting firm ICON Architecture Inc. conceived of $1.5 billion in potential development projects for Augusta and North Augusta over the course of the next 20 years.

Augusta Tomorrow, a private group of visionaries, deemed its first master plan, done in 1982, a success and then embarked last year on a new master plan with a scope that stretched beyond the downtown.

The group spent $275,000 on the plan. Of that, $95,000 came from the Augusta Commission, $31,000 from the North Augusta Council and the rest from private donations.

The 200-page plan focuses on nine specific "market creation projects" that could revitalize neighborhoods in both cities.

Many of the projects involve development along the river and Augusta's canal. Those are resources that have been underused, said John Shields, a principle with ICON.

The new master plan is historic in that it represents a regional strategy focused on both sides of the Savannah River, said Braye Boardman, chairman of the Augusta Tomorrow master plan task force.

"We are not only excited about the projects and the detail of the plan, but we're really excited about the joint planning effort by two communities that didn't have a lot of coordinated effort," Mr. Boardman said. "The river was the dividing line between North Augusta and Augusta. People go back and forth to work and to play all day, but we never did any joint planning."

Each of the projects involves a combination of public and private investment.

Mr. Boardman said the plan doesn't point to Augusta and North Augusta as "sugar daddies" to fund the projects.

"ICON is clearly putting the responsibility of getting these projects done on the various champions in the community," Mr. Boardman said.

The next step with the master plan depends on community leaders or organizations adopting an idea and working to complete it.

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Market creation projects

Learn more about each of the nine revitalization projects in the new Augusta/North Augusta Urban Core Master Plan.

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  • The Big Idea: A town center can be created around the new municipal building.

    Cost: $50 million private, $5 million public

  • The Big Idea: Tie Augusta and North Augusta together with a waterfront development spanning the Savannah River.

    Cost: $90 million private, $25 million public

  • The Big Idea: Redevelop vacant riverfront land into an arts and entertainment center.

    Cost: $80 million private, $30 million public

  • The Big Idea: Revitalize three blocks of Broad Street into a unique urban village.

    Cost: $150 million private, $50 million public

  • The Big Idea: Create a residential neighborhood on Greene and Telfair streets around a new Third Level Canal park.

    Cost: $140 million private, $8 million public

  • The Big Idea: Reinforce the connection between the medical district and downtown with a new high-tech campus.

    Cost: $500 million private/non-profit, $38 million public

  • The Big Idea: Give Harrisburg a new image and identity with a mixed-use retail center.

    Cost: $100 million private, $25 million public

  • The Big Idea: Capitalize on the new judicial center to create housing and commercial space around Dyess Park.

    Cost: $50 million private, $17 million public

  • The Big Idea: Develop a mile of forgotten riverfront land with parks and a "new urbanist" village.

    Cost: $100 million private, $38 million public

    [ENDCODE]

    Comments (8) Add comment
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    griesella
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    griesella 02/04/09 - 07:30 pm
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    It sounds just lovely.

    It sounds just lovely.

    fred1217
    4
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    fred1217 02/04/09 - 08:28 pm
    0
    0
    No Monorail?

    No Monorail?

    Brad Owens
    5435
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    Brad Owens 02/04/09 - 08:31 pm
    0
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    1.5 Billion? Bray can write a

    1.5 Billion? Bray can write a check for that and not even need to confirm his balance...

    aaa
    2
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    aaa 02/04/09 - 08:48 pm
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    0
    Somewhere over the rainbow .

    Somewhere over the rainbow . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    TrukinRanger
    1827
    Points
    TrukinRanger 02/04/09 - 08:56 pm
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    I don't see anything in there
    Unpublished

    I don't see anything in there about tearing down all the projects and running the crackheads off. If they can't make the community feel safe down there, then who wants to move there?

    Little Lamb
    57589
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    Little Lamb 02/04/09 - 09:00 pm
    0
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    I think the "Sand Bar Ferry

    I think the "Sand Bar Ferry Riverside" is the "tearing down the projects and running the crackheads off" part of the plan, Trukin!

    sprintman
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    sprintman 02/04/09 - 09:44 pm
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    Yeah monorail would be alot

    Yeah monorail would be alot better than a trolley. A stop on broad street downtown. A stop in evans on washington rd or north belair rd. Three stops in west augusta. One at wheeler rd, wrighsboro rd, and the other washington rd, one in the medical district. And two in South Augusta one on peach orchard the other near the airport. One in north augusta. After that expand it to Aiken, Hephzibah, and Thomson

    sprintman
    0
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    sprintman 02/04/09 - 09:47 pm
    0
    0
    North Augusta will look more

    North Augusta will look more like a city. Than Evans and Martinez which will continue to resemble suburban sprawl. Thomson, Wilkes, Lincolton, and Mccormick. Better watch out on what your area is going to look like in 5 to 10 year's.

    Brad Owens
    5435
    Points
    Brad Owens 02/05/09 - 04:27 am
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    sprintman, fred1217 was not

    sprintman, fred1217 was not being serious...as I have said many many MANY times. All these expensive plans (This one cost $275,000, $95,000 of which ARC paid for) are done and NONE of the ideas are ever acted on. What could have been done along Broad Street with and extra $275,000? How many busted sidewalks caoul have been replaced, how many potholes could have been filled, how many burnt out lights could have been replaced, how many benches could have been installed, how many clean up days would this have sponsored, how many extra security guards could have been hired for events, how many of ANYTHING that we need could have been bought for money like that? INstead some consulatant gets a pile of cash to tell us crapola we already know. I don't need a vision if there is no tomorrow. $300,000 has been (or is being spent) by the city to do a study on what is below the sidewalks downtown so they can install handicapped crosswalks mandated by the Feds. $65,000 on teh parking study. The DDA has spent untold thousands on these consultants. Yet NOTHING ever seems to get done by the city to just fix what we already have. How about keeping the Riverwalk clean, safe, lighted, and well kept?

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