RICHMOND COUNTY (WFXG) - Businesses open and close everyday in the CSRA, but Richmond County is seeing more growth lately. In Richmond County in the past 90 days, $700 million of new investments were announced.
Cal Wray, the President of Development Authority in Augusta, says it doesn’t stop there, the area is looking forward to more growth in the future. “Right now just on the industrial side we have about $2 billion worth of investment looking at the community with more than a billion dollars in final negotiations with the community," Wray said.
When it comes to meeting the needs of the community, leaders are currently focused on making developments in retail. “We’re targeting under-served areas so that residents of Richmond County don’t have to commute outside our county for certain retail, so we are targeting retail companies specifically to serve the needs of the community based on spending patterns,” Wray explained.
Despite the recent closure of Tin Lizzy’s, Washington Rd. is seen as a hot spot and the building isn’t expected to be vacant for long. “You’ve had manufacturers who’ve moved in, you’ve had businesses of all types come to the market leave the market, the one that happened on Wednesday, no idea what the cause for that was, but I assure you that space will be filled quickly,” Wray said.
The unemployment rate is going down and there has been an increase in the labor force. Wray says the focus is on continuing to bring in businesses and jobs to all areas of Augusta.
“I think downtown is going to see a continued growth with new hotels going in, new restaurants going in and then flip that to south Augusta where some of our focus is on south Augusta and east Augusta, really trying to get a growth throughout the economy not just in certain pockets that have always had growth.”