City of Augusta to create new downtown link for businesses

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 6:25 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - In the latest numbers from the Downtown Development Authority, 47 new businesses set up shop in downtown Augusta.

Now a new $1.7 million grant could make it easier to access those businesses.

The downtown connector would remove a chunk of this building and create a pathway to the Augusta Commons, making it more accessible to businesses and potential for new ones.

“No handout, just stand out,” said Reginald Middleton, owner of Came from Nxthing.

That’s Middleton’s motto.

“We never do the same thing. So, everything we make in here is one time,” said Middleton.

While Middleton is turning his shop from nothing into something, on the inside Augusta is trying to do the same outside.

Margaret Woodard, executive director of Downtown Development Authority of Augusta, said: “You’ve got an alley that is in terrible shape, that has some stormwater issues and could really be beautified so that when our visitors get out of their cars, at the convention center deck, they have something very nice to look at and can easily access the Augusta common.”

The new plans would take out buildings and pave a new walkway that would meet at James Brown Boulevard on Jones Street so that it would connect those visiting downtown to businesses.

Middleton said: “Some people just walk by and don’t even know this is a business.”

An alley would put people along their tracks and hopefully bring more businesses.

“With that opening up and giving them an avenue, it’ll get more people more interested in wanting to come up in these alleys and see what businesses we have,” he said. “Once that gets completed, it’d be a lot of stuff to be able to feed off of, or bigger businesses would want to put their stuff down here.”

On Tuesday, commission will have a chance to push it forward.

They’ll make a motion to accept the $1.7 million awarded to the project so that they can begin with the drawings. Once they start construction, engineering says it’ll take 18 months to complete.