North Augusta's booming, but is too much growth a bad thing?

Thursday, August 15, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

This rendering shows exactly what to expect with the new Riverside Village Amphitheater. (Source: North Augusta)

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- North Augusta has grown, and it's not slowing down anytime soon. First it was the Greeneway, then it was SRP Park and now it's Riverside Village Amphitheater.

City leaders hoped construction would begin this fall, but this project is changing -- just like North Augusta.

This 600-seat amphitheater is why George Claussen brought Southbound Smokehouse to Riverside Village -- another go-to spot in the growing cityscape of North Augusta.

“It's more like Augusta is going to be trying to keep up with North Augusta now,” Claussen said.

But for some people, that's not a good thing. Some argue there is such a thing as too much growth.

"North Augusta has looked at it and always has smart growth,” Rick Meyer, the North Augusta director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.

Meyer says the amphitheater park is a perfect example. The project's been over budget, delaying construction, so city leaders chose Monday to remove a splash pad, fountain, entry features, and shade.

Meyer says the projects are to better the city.

"I think this amphitheater is another venue that does just that,” Meyer said.

It’s just another venue as all this growth doesn’t seem to be stopping.

“This is now the new North Augusta,” Claussen said. “Whether residents don't like it or they do, it's here. Embracing this together is what we need."

A three-story building is set to be built nearby as well, but the final plans are still being worked out on that. A parking garage on the other side of SRP Park is under construction, too.

City leaders say they expect the garage to be done by January.

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