News 12 First at Five/ Thursday, June 19, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Empty storefronts are one of the first things visitors see on Broad Street in Downtown Augusta.
Business Owner Jay Klugo has three restaurants out of state and picked downtown Augusta for his next spot.
"From where we're located, the demographics here in downtown Augusta are better than what we are accustomed to," said Owner Jay Klugo.
The Downtown Development Authority approved a $250,000 loan for Klugo. He plans to use that money to open his new sushi restaurant and hopes to have it open by the end of the year.
"For myself, the bank loan was separate from the loan and this is more supplemental," Klugo said.
The new sushi restaurant is going at 1033 Broad Street. The owner tells 12 he also bought the lot right next to it.
"We believe there will be a net gain. We've always been fortunate to have a gain. We do loses businesses," said DDA Director Margaret Woodard.
The DDA says this is part of a larger three to five year plan to fill empty spots along Broad Street. We've learned the DDA are in talks with at least 24 retail prospects interested in Downtown Augusta.
"We're going to start conversations of what we need to do. I would say in the next 60 to 90 days," Woodard said.
Leaders say downtown Augusta could be changing one storefront at a time.