Aiken residents may have noticed more bulldozers and workers in hard hats around the city due to a small summertime construction boom.
New construction builds the foundation for new jobs.
Dozens of positions will be created in the coming month by the variety of businesses locating in Aiken. Typically, signs are placed on the construction site when jobs are posted and applications are being accepted.
Right now, Academy Sports is taking applications for a variety of positions. A total of eight jobs are currently posted on its website. To apply for a job at the new sporting goods store, visit www.academy.com.
Boom brings jobs
The city has recently experienced an influx in new businesses moving in, and several projects are in different stages of construction and building renovations.
The new Academy Sports in Hitchcock Plaza is nearly complete and just received a temporary Certificate of Occupancy from the City's Inspections Division.
Lulu's Express Car Wash on Richland Avenue near Walmart is in the very beginning stages of the construction process as it prepares the site while waiting for a building permit.
The construction of new businesses like Mattress Firm and Family Dollar just started in recent months.
Plans for the new Family Dollar were approved by the City last summer at 1103 Richland Ave. S.E. The new business replaces a vacant building that once housed a wholesale plumbing business.
The construction of the new Mattress Firm was approved by City Council in January. The 4,500 square-foot mattress retail store is locating at 2424 Whiskey Road, north of Lowe's.
Right down the road from the Mattress Firm construction site, LongHorn Steakhouse is quickly rising from the ground. Construction of the new restaurant started in the spring.
In the last few months, Which Wich, Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches and Shane's Rib Shack also announced new locations in Aiken. Those new eateries are locating in shopping centers along Whiskey Road.
City Manager Richard Pearce said it is encouraging to see new construction, remodeling and other repurposing project activity in Aiken.
“Our town has so much to offer, and we take it as a vote of confidence whenever we see these investments made in our local economy,” Pearce said. “The positive impacts from them reach far beyond the permit fee a builder pays. The jobs, retail sales and improvements brought by these efforts have a lasting positive effect.”
Amy Banton is the city beat reporter and has been with the Aiken Standard since 2010. She is a graduate of Randolph Macon Woman's Collage and a native of Rustburg, Va.