Augusta, Georgia is located in the east central section of the state, and is approximately 150 miles east of Atlanta and 60 miles west of Columbia, South Carolina on Interstate 20. It is situated on the west bank of the Savannah River which serves as the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina. Augusta is about mid-way between the source of the river in the mountains of South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia and the mouth of the river at the Atlantic Ocean where the city of Savannah, Georgia is located. Augusta is Georgia’s second largest and second oldest city, founded as a trading post in 1737 during the British colonial period.
|This view from the east shows the Augusta Marina and the exciting redevelopment of Downtown Augusta.|
The counties in Georgia and South Carolina that surround Augusta form a region known as the Central Savannah River Area (the CSRA), and is home to approximately 500,000 people. Downtown Augusta is at the heart of this region and is mid-way between the rapidly-growing suburban areas of Columbia County, Georgia and Aiken County, South Carolina. It is immediately across the river from the progressive city of North Augusta which, in recent years, has seen the attractive development of the South Carolina Riverfront with the neighborhoods of Hammond’s Ferry, the River Club and River North.
The major economic engines which are powering the substantial growth of the CSRA include Augusta’s large and expanding medical complex, the U.S. Army installation at Fort Gordon, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, a host of diversified manufacturing plants and an influx of well-to-do retirees from across the nation who are drawn to the rich quality of life which they find here.
Augusta is also the home of a number of educational institutions including Augusta State University, the Medical College of Georgia, Paine College, Augusta Technical College, Cambridge College and several other institutions of higher learning. The cultural attractions of Augusta include the renowned Morris Museum of Art, the Gertrude Herbert Museum of Art, the Augusta Symphony, the Imperial Theatre, and many other attractions. Long known as a center of golf, Augusta is home of the world-famous Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Golf Tournament. It also is the home of the Augusta Green Jackets, the minor league baseball team.
In partnership with its across-the-river neighbor, North Augusta, the City of Augusta has recently completed a new Master Plan for the area which encompasses Downtown Augusta. This plan sets forth a number of exciting and visionary, but realistic, proposals which will be implemented in the years to come. This Master Plan makes it clear that Downtown Augusta is well positioned to take advantage of the growth and prosperity of the region. It lays out a strategy which will insure that Downtown Augusta will reclaim its position as the hub of the CSRA. Among the assets of the Downtown which are noted in the Plan are its central location within the region, its proximity to the beautiful Savannah River, the large inventory of very attractive buildings and a host of new public/private projects which are already positioned to go forward.
Chief among these new projects are the Augusta/Richmond County Judicial Center, the Trade and Entertainment (TEE) Center, the restoration of the historic Miller Theater as the new home of the Augusta Symphony, the redevelopment of two key river-front sites in the Downtown: the Augusta Golf & Gardens site and the Railroad Depot site, and the continuing redevelopment of numerous Downtown buildings for commercial and residential uses. Additionally, the completion of the Palmetto Parkway in South Carolina has substantially enhanced access to Downtown Augusta from I-20. Finally, and importantly, Augusta’s large medical complex, located only a few blocks from Downtown, continues to expand rapidly and is expected to have a dramatic impact on the Downtown in the decades to come.