Millennial Boom Expected for Downtown Augusta

Millennial Boom Expected for Downtown Augusta

The business boom in Augusta is set to bring more people in their 20s and 30s to the area, especially downtown. In fact, a lot of millennials are moving to Augusta because of the growth that’s already started.  And as the new companies announce their arrivals we can expect more.

“You’ve got the Riverwalk, you’ve got that entire nightlife scene down there,” Joe Edge, President and Owner of Sherman and Hemstreet described.

Downtown may be home to dozens of vacant buildings, but that could be a good thing.

“Your loft apartments, housing.  For the last at least five years there has been a big demand for housing in that area whether it’s college students or young professionals,” Edge explained.

The group known as Millennials, born between 1977 and 1995, are beginning to nestle into the Garden City and realty companies such as Sherman and Hemstreet also expect them to work there too.

“Millennials typically like the open spaces,” Edge said.  “More of a shared co-working type of atmosphere versus your traditional box office style where everybody has a little cubicle or an office space.”

They also prefer working from home and Edge said that’s why many places are vacant. But the newly announced Innovation Zone in the old Woolworths building will satisfy the need of those 20 to 30 somethings relocating.

“I have a dog and when we’re walking around Olde Town we run into our neighbors and it’s typically young people,” said Bryn Towner of Augusta.

Towner is one of those young professionals who relocated to the Garden City from Atlanta to work University Hospital’s philanthropic arm.  She told me she is seeing more people her age join Young Professionals of Augusta where she serves as president.

“We were overflowing.  We had more young professionals there than we had seats for,” she added.

And it won’t just be a place to work, but also a place to play.

“The city is growing and it continues to have opportunities for social life or night life,” Towner explained.  “The surrounding area offers plenty of recreational opportunities.  We love sharing about the fact that the cost of living is very affordable and housing is great.”

The only downside to the influx is keeping up with the demand as more and more businesses announce openings.

“You’ve got a bunch of properties that people have been sitting on for years and they’re not doing anything with them.  They won’t put them on the market. They won’t open them up to new investors to come in and do something with them. I guess they’re just sitting on them waiting to see what happens,” Edge explained. “The problem is that  we need those properties to open up so that people can actually do something with them.  The timing is now.”

Another challenge Joe Edge mentioned was parking.  But a benefit to living and working downtown is we could see more people walking and maybe even biking.