AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Mayor Hardie Davis spoke about the future of the Garden City as investments continue to land in Augusta at the West Augusta Alliance’s quarterly meeting Monday evening.
The West Augusta Alliance is a group of people who represent more than a dozen neighborhoods. They meet to discuss common issues. Monday night, guest speaker Mayor Hardie Davis of Augusta took the chance to lay out his view of where he thinks the city is heading and answer questions.
“There is a lot going on in the city of Augusta,” Davis said. “Things that I think all of us can be tremendously proud of.”
For starters, Gov. Nathan Deal’s announcement of a $50 million Cyber Innovation and Training Center in downtown Augusta represents a major recent investment. But the Mayor thinks that figure underestimates the impact it’s going to make.
“While they talk about $50 million, I anticipate that investment will be upwards of about $70 million in terms of overall investment with accessory structures and things for this first phase of development that will take place on what we’ve historically known as the the Georgia Golf and Gardens Hall of Fame property,” he said.
He also spoke of some other investments he’s looking forward to that will change the face of Augusta’s “urban core.” Among those is a plan to enhance downtown streetscapes with a $100 million dollar overhaul.
“The Broad Street that you see today…seven years from now will not look the same,” Davis said.
He also reiterated the importance of Fort Gordon, which he says is a $2.6 billion economic engine in the region. And he says as it continues to grow, the area that leads up to it will need improvement.
“We have to make investments in what we call the Cyber Corridor. That’s from Fort Gordon Gate One to Gordon Hwy. that leads there to downtown,” Davis said.
He says he wants to re-brand the South Augusta area, that is south of Gordon Highway, as “SOGO.”
And that investments in certain areas should be viewed as an investment for the whole community.
“It’s time for us to move beyond the notion of west Augusta versus south Augusta, white versus black,” Davis said. “As I said from day one in our administration, our goal is to have one Augusta. That’s an Augusta that works for all of her citizens.”
Mayor Davis says he’s also looking to expand the Augusta Common, specifically in a way that incorporates the Savannah River.
He says the goal is to begin work on that in 18 or 19 months.