North Augusta making their own plans for cyber growth

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Thursday, Mar. 2, 2017 News 12 First at Five

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Cyber hits the Augusta riverfront....but people on the other side are cooking too.

"Well what we're thinking is how do we play into that?" North Augusta Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Terra Carroll said.

Just across the river from from Augusta's new cyber hub, North Augusta is digging in with Project Jackson.

"There's a lot that's going to happen down there and we just want to make sure that everyone is aware of what we have available and that they jump in as soon as they can," Carroll said.

Without even a brick laid yet, City Councilman Fletcher Dickert says companies are already flocking to North Augusta's Riverfront.

"We've actually had I think I'm being told that half of the office building is pretty much leased up with cyber-related business," Dickert said.

Music to the ears of business owners downtown.

"When you have local businesses or offices, lawyer offices, medical offices, that's an instant customer base that you're looking at right there," Russ Hamilton said, who owns Hamilton Bros food truck at The Truck Stop.

Part of the draw is the Crowne Plaza hotel, contracted with the Department of Defense, so high-ranking officials will stay there when visiting Cyber Command. The office building in the project is also being developed with cyber in mind.

"Secure meeting space that a lot of these cyber-related businesses are required to have by the government," Dickert said, "There is no SCIF space in Augusta currently."

North Augusta has been advertising to cyber-related businesses for more than a year with ads in cyber-related publications. And the results could impact downtown North Augusta.

"We're seeing a push and so much desire that it's going to push into downtown some and I could see us having other office buildings in our downtown," Dickert said.