Regularly scheduled DDA board meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at the DDA office
located at 936 Broad Street, Suite 107. This is a tentative schedule. Please call 706-722-8000 to confirm.

NOTICE: The regularly scheduled Downtown Advisory Panel meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. at Redemption Church (The Doris Building) located at 930 Broad Street, Augusta, GA 30901.

Images of Augusta

Business Activity

Historically, Broad Street has anchored downtown Augusta and ensured its status as the metropolitan area’s financial hub. There are 895 businesses employing approximately 17,476 people located downtown. The service sector accounts for the largest share of businesses and jobs. Over 463 service businesses (51.7% of all downtown businesses) employ 9,187 people (52.6%). Downtown is well diversified with a significant number of businesses and employees in Finance, Insurance & Real Estate (5.5%), Retail Trade (7%) and Government (19.8%). Approximately 1,228 (7%) workers are employed in the manufacturing sector. Major downtown employers include: Medical College of Georgia (7,800), University Hospital (3,860), and the Augusta-Richmond County Government (2,600).


Downtown Businesses by Sector

Downtown
1-mile Radius
3-mile Radius
Sector

Number of Businesses

%

Number of Businesses

%

Number of Businesses

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agriculture & Mining

4

0.4%

5

0.4%

35

1.2%

Construction

27

3%

44

3.7%

145

5.2%

Manufacturing

18

2%

24

2.0%

70

2.5%

Telecom, Comm. & Utilities

24

2.7%

28

2.4%

86

3.1%

Wholesale Trade

27

3%

36

3.0%

100

3.6%

Retail

173

19.3%

216

18.2%

564

20.1%

Finance & Real Estate

97

10.8%

112

9.4%

249

8.9%

Services

463

51.7%

623

52.4%

1,404

50%

Government

55

6.1%

92

7.7%

132

4.7%

Other

7

0.8%

10

0.8%

23

0.8%

Total

895

 

1,190

 

2,808

 


Source: ESRI BIS, Market Profile, 2005 (May not add to 100% due to rounding)

Downtown Employment by Sector

 

Downtown
1-mile Radius
3-mile Radius
Sector

Number of Employees

%

Number of Employees

%

Number of Employees

%

Agriculture & Mining

10

0.1%

12

.1%

130

0.3%

Construction

428

2.4%

593

2.8%

1,303

3.3%

Manufacturing

1,228

7%

1,355

6.3%

5,025

12.7%

Telecom, Comm. & Utilities

689

3.9%

965

4.5%

1,751

4.4%

Wholesale Trade

292

1.7%

371

1.7%

1,252

3.2%

Retail

1,215

7%

1,612

7.5%

5,224

13.2%

Finance & Real Estate

954

5.5%

1,049

4.9%

1,466

3.7%

Services

9,187

52.6%

10,198

47.7%

17,468

44.1%

Government

3,465

19.8%

5,217

24.4%

5,933

15%

Other

8

0%

13

0.1%

32

0.1%

Total

17,476

 

21,385

 

39,584

 


Source: ESRI BIS, Market Profile, 2005 (May not add to 100% due to rounding)

Unlike many downtowns engulfed by residential land uses, the number of businesses around downtown increases substantially. Within a 1-mile radius of downtown, the number of businesses grows by 33% to 1,190 while employment increases by approximately 4,000. Within a 3-mile radius, there are an additional 1,913 business and 22,108 workers. For residents living downtown, this means access and convenience of neighborhood shops and larger retail areas.

Downtown Spending Patterns

Downtown retail goods & services expenditures reflect the need for a wide variety of products. Approximately $45 million is spent annually on products ranging from apparel and computers to food and home furnishings. Expenditures within a 3-mile radius of downtown climb to nearly $725 million. The primary downtown expenditure is home services ($6,231 per person), which include rents or mortgages. Other major expenditures include financial services ($5,817), food ($5,188), and transportation ($4,593).

downtown aerial of Augusta

Medical and College District

Downtown Retail Goods and Service Expenditures

 

Downtown
1-mile Radius
3-mile Radius
Sector
Avg Per Person
Total
Avg Per Person
Total
Avg Per Person
Total

Apparel and Services

$1,232

$1,822,261

$1,129

$2,764,953

$1,326

$27,040,061

Computer

$142

$210,499

$136

$332,012

$161

$3,284,776

Entertainment & Recreation

$1,739

$2,572,605

$1,634

$4,003,502

$2,013

$41,030,972

Food

$5,188

$7,673,098

$4,726

$11,577,779

$5,492

$111,955,737

Financial

$5,817

$8,603,135

$5,299

$12,982,441

$6,364

$129,744,475

Health

$472

$698,486

$442

$1,082,983

$528

$10,769,641

Home

$6,231

$9,215,003

$6,041

$14,799,893

$8,180

$166,761,548

Household Furnishings

$645

$953,752

$606

$1,485,020

$764

$15,574,713

Household Operations

$879

$1,299,523

$818

$2,003,096

$1,018

$20,750,031

Insurance

$2,341

$3,461,899

$2,190

$5,365,009

$3,461

$70,567,585

Transportation

$4,593

$6,793,617

$4,326

$10,599,777

$5,454

$111,200,529

Travel

$670

$991,245

$636

$1,599,353

$781

$15,930,129

          Total

$29,949

$44,295,123

$27,983

$68,595,818

$35,542

$724,610,197


Source: ESRI BIS, Retail Goods and Services Expenditures, 2005

Downtown Investment

Downtown is undergoing significant private investment. Castleberry/Snow's Brands Foods has invested $9 million at its 15th Street factory, adding as many as 200 new jobs. Additionally, dozens of smaller commercial establishments, ranging from antique shops to restaurants, have opened along Broad Street, revitalizing the downtown area. Retail in downtown is in the midst of recovery after being hit hard by the suburban development of the 1980s and 1990s. These new commercial establishments are beginning to anchor residential development.

Renovation and rehabilitation of existing properties is also occurring at record pace:

* Commerce Building– On the 600 block of Broad Street, the historic 1880s building is undergoing a $30,000 face-lift with Augusta Façade Program grants and another $1 million in private funds is being invested to turn the building into office space, loft apartments and a restaurant.

  • DeLaigle House – The mid-1800s residence once considered for the wrecking ball and a parking lot is undergoing $700,000 in major rehab. An accounting firm will be relocating to the renovated facility and a new coffee shop will open later in the year.
  • Miller Theatre – This landmark dating back to 1940 was purchased this summer and is undergoing approximately $400,000 in rehabilitation while a complete redevelopment plan is put in place.
  • SunTrust Building– Purchased this summer for $4.7 million, plans are underway to spruce-up the building with $1 million for renovation of the interior and the installation of new windows.

aerial view of augusta

Over $3 million in public and private funds has recently been invested to develop the Augusta Common, conceived as an urban park and gathering place for residents and visitors, and venue for special events. Reaching from the riverfront across to Broad Street, anchored by the Morris Museum of Art to the north and commercial areas to the south, the park is ideally situated between the existing financial sector and the emerging Artist Row/Marbury Sectors.

With a capacity of 10,000 to 15,000, the Common has been wired for live music, and is used for a variety of outdoor festivals, including the Arts in the Heart festival. The residential development generated by the Common will likely lead to more retail development and business opportunities. Restaurant and café owners have invested in seating capacity anticipating growth.

The City of North Augusta, located along the Savannah River just across downtown, is in the process of redeveloping 200 acres along the River in a well-designed effort to re-link the city with its riverfront. The project includes mixed-use traditional scaled residential and town center of over 800 single-family homes, condominiums and apartments with a wide range of affordability. The riverfront portion, extending approximately one mile from the Thirteenth Street Bridge west, will encompass a riverfront park, open to the entire area, and linked by the existing North Augusta Greenway Trail system.

Public Investment

The City of Augusta, through the Augusta Housing & Economic Development Department, is helping to restore downtown commercial structures through its Façade Rehabilitation Program. The programhas been designed to assist commercial property owners improve the exterior of their buildings through appropriate rehabilitation. Façade Grants of up to $30,000 have been awarded to numerous downtown businesses.

The Richmond County Board of Education recently moved its administrative office to downtown in an adaptive reuse of a large retail property. A new courthouse and judicial center, U.S. Bankruptcy Court building and expanded library also are being planned in the area.

board of education building

Downtown’s main colleges - Medical College of Georgia, Paine College and Cambridge College, along with nearby Augusta State University some 3 miles from downtown – collectively enroll approximately 10,000 students and are a major generator of downtown investment, jobs and street traffic.

Augusta State University has just invested $18.5 million for housing for over 500 students at the Wrightsboro Road Campus and additional units are planned. A 50,000 square foot student center is under construction at a total cost of $12.5 million. The Georgia University system has committed $65 million to upgrading the Augusta State University Campus. Downtown will benefit from ASU’s continued growth.

Medical District Investment

Investment in downtown’s renowned medical facilities is also occurring at a rapid pace. University Hospital is undergoing an $84.5 million upgrade of its facility - one of the single largest investments in downtown Augusta. This venture includes a new $50 million cardiovascular center, a one-stop outpatient center and surgical suites designed to accommodate emerging technology.

investment

Major medical construction is also underway at the Medical College of Georgia, and includes a $54 million Cancer Research Center. Also under construction at MCG are a Health Science Building ($38 million) and an energy plant ($7 million).

With the recent opening of the Augusta BioBusiness Center, downtown Augusta added another building block to the infrastructure needed to attract and support a growing life sciences industry. Recently designated by Governor Purdue as one of the Georgia’s Innovation Centers, the Center is focusing on the development of medical device and medical software companies. Its current tenants include related organizations such as East Bay Capital, the MCG Innovation Center Outreach, and the Development Authority of Richmond County.

The Center is a complement to the Medical College of Georgia Life Sciences Business Development Center (MCG Biotech Incubator), which opened its doors in mid-2004. The two incubators are essential in nurturing the fledging downtown life sciences industry. Client companies in either incubator have access to the services of the other, including core lab space and state-of-the-art equipment, furnished offices, and access to MCG basic and clinical research programs.

Canal Area Investment

The Augusta Canal is one of downtown’s jewels. Originally devised to harness the power of the Savannah River for mills, today the Canal is being restored for recreation and includes trails, hiking, as well as memorable paddling and boat tours. The only National Heritage Area-designated in Georgia, the Canal’s nine-mile corridor follows the full length of the best preserved canal of its kind remaining in the southern United States.

Over $84.9 million ($16.9 million public and $68 million private) has been invested along the Canal in recent years. Approximately 91% of the funding has been invested in the downtown section of the Canal. The $15 million reconstruction of portions of the second and third levels of the Canal at Walton Way at a has resulted in a beautiful waterfront setting for future development. The development potential around the Canal is estimated at $300 million.

Petersburg Boat on the Augusta Canal

The Augusta Canal is a Major Downtown Tourism Generator

Planned Investment

Over the next few years, significant additional downtown investment is anticipated. The following list includes some of the major planned projects:


Major Planned Downtown Investment

Project

Value

New Entertainment and Sports Arena

$60,000,000

New Exhibit and Trade Center

$25,000,000

Expanded Arts in the Hearts Festival

$150,000

Gateways Projects

$5,000,000

Botanical Gardens Expansion

$15,000,000

New one-stop visitor, residential and business relocation information Center

$500,000

New James Brown Museum

$100,000

New Performing Arts Center

$30,000,000

                                    Total

$135,750,000


Source: Augusta Economic Development Working Group



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