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Thursday, September 5, 2013
Multiple projects have been in the talks for North Augusta, and last week City Administrator Todd Glover gave an update on the economic progress of the riverfront.
The discussion about the opening of a new Walmart was opened by Glover making a formal announcement about the construction of a new site along Highway 25.
“It’s an honor for a city our size that a corporation like Walmart sees the strength in us to have another store,” Glover said. “There are five out parcels that will be sold. There will be about 33,000 square feet of retail space along the edge for shops.”
According to Glover, the project is coming together smoothly, and he hopes that it will bring great growth to the community as a whole.
“The developer said they were over 50 percent leased before they broke ground,” Glover said. “This is the strongest development that we’ve had in five years. The economy of North Augusta is very strong.”
Glover said the power that the Walmart corporation has to make businesses want to locate around it is important for the city and increases the expectancy for an economic boost.
“Zaxby’s is taking the old Hardee’s building at Exit 5, and there will also be a Bojangles and Waffle House located near this area,” Glover said. “These are all new developments that are taking down empty buildings and putting in new thriving businesses. With this big development, we said this is the perfect opportunity to do streetscaping.”
Glover has been working the S.C. Department of Transportation to try to do landscaping that will improve the city visually, as well.
“We say when you enter North Augusta, you know it, and when you leave North Augusta, you know it,” Glover said. “The medians will all have brick pavers near Walnut Lane. We’ve developed a plan so that when you come along Exit 5, you will see shrubbery, trees and flowers like our downtown. That is the gateway to our city. We are making efforts to beautify and landscape these areas. This will let people know to come downtown and to see our growing businesses.”
There are other components that Glover believes will affect the overall vision, including education.
“Education is a key component to economic development,” Glover said. “Our community will feel the impact of the reconstruction of North Augusta High School.”
Another topic that is constantly the point of conversation for city officials is Project Jackson, and Glover made sure to make note of the possibilities with this change in question.
“You can ask pretty much anyone in the CSRA what Project Jackson is, and they know it,” said Glover. “This is potentially a game changer for the city. We don’t want to change the character, we want to add to the amenities that our people have to enjoy and work with. We want to have businesses that will want to locate in our downtown to help our community thrive. We’ve got to give people in Augusta a reason to come here to shop, to support the businesses here.”
Glover believes that with the passing of Project Jackson, North Augusta will be able to reach higher heights.
“I really think this will be the place to do business,” Glover said. “We will see growth in the next five years.”