27 Jul 2017 DOWNTOWN MASTER PLAN – AUGUSTA TOMORROW
3/22/1982: The City of Augusta partnered with “Augusta Tomorrow” (then still a group of community leaders) and commissioned the American City Corporation, to conduct a six-month study of the entire downtown area and the riverfront and produce a viable plan for its redevelopment. The $120,000 fee was paid ½ by the City of Augusta and ½ wholly by the individual members of Augusta Tomorrow.
9/22/1982: American City Corporation presented its $116 million plan, A Strategy for Downtown Development, to the City of Augusta and Augusta Tomorrow for downtown revitalization. The American City Corporation planners had studied all aspects of the city and found room for expansion and promotion of a medical complex, tourist attractions, historical sites and an economic base. But they also found problems – a downtown suffering from an image problem, little attempt to promote tourism, an inadequate effort to seek non-industrial businesses and too few convention facilities.
Two Conditions Precedent to Implementing the 1982 Master Plan – None of the initial master plan initiatives on the Savannah River could have happened without first satisfying two essential conditions – amending the federal 1899 Rivers and Harbors Act in order to breach the levee and removing the railroad tracks from the south side of the levee.
11/5/1982: Augusta Tomorrow incorporated as a non-profit, public and private sector organization designed to act as a catalyst for downtown development.
12/20/1982: Augusta Tomorrow jointly with the City of Augusta signed a contract with American City Corporation to implement the $116 million revitalization effort for downtown Augusta. The contract retained American City Corporation on behalf of Augusta City Council and Augusta Tomorrow, Inc. for implementation of the first phase of projects called for by the Master Plan. The one-year contract fee of $240,000 was paid ½ by the City of Augusta and ½ by the members of Augusta Tomorrow, Inc. Initial efforts concentrated on riverfront improvements to capitalize on the river as an amenity for all kinds of development.