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ATLman1

Auburn-Opelika Developments

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Just wondering if anyone thinks that Auburn/Opelika and Columbus/Phenix City metro areas will merge. Both metros are growing at healthy rate. Columbus and Auburn have been taking off with new developments everywhere. Only 26 miles seperate the 2 cities. Lee County (Auburn/Opelika) and Muscogee County (Columbus) touch each other. Auburn/Opelika gets its news from Columbus tv stations. Both metros have impacts on each other, but Auburn/Opelika is still not considered part of the Columbus metro area. Anyone think they will combine in the near future?

Edited by ATLman1

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That situation is kind of like Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa is less than an hour away from BHM and Jefferson Co. and Tuscaloosa Co. border each other. Tuscaloosa does have its own news, but many of its residents rely on BHM media for their news. Tuscaloosa Co. and Jefferson Co. are still independent enough to be considered separate, but frankly, I consider Tuscaloosa Co. alot more a part of metro BHM than Chilton Co. If ever added to the BHM Metro, Tuscaloosa Co. would add about 170,000 to our total.

What are the populations of Auburn/Opelika and Columbus separately and then together?

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Is Columbus/Auburn a CMSA yet? Auburn's infuence on Columbus seems a lot like Decatur's influence on Huntsville. The only difference is that Decatur does not have a university. But, who needs a major university when you've got Meow Mix! :)

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Is Columbus/Auburn a CMSA yet? Auburn's infuence on Columbus seems a lot like Decatur's influence on Huntsville. The only difference is that Decatur does not have a university. But, who needs a major university when you've got Meow Mix! :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, I am almost positive they are a CMSA. Both metros feed off of each other. There has been a population boom in southern Lee County in the Smiths Station area. Most people that live in that area commute to Columbus for work. Soon, I believe, both metros will combine to make one large metro.

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Here is some information on Auburn/Opelika's rapid growth. This is from Columbus's WRBL News.

There is new evidence of economic growth in Lee County today. Already, the county's unemployment rate is below four percent. Now, Opelika is seeing green in the form of new construction.

Edited by ATLman1

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Yes, I am almost positive they are a CMSA. Both metros feed off of each other. There has been a population boom in southern Lee County in the Smiths Station area. Most people that live in that area commute to Columbus for work. Soon, I believe, both metros will combine to make one large metro.

Sorry to bring up a rather old topic again, but...

I have trouble understanding people who differentiate a CSA and a MSA. The methods for them are slightly different, but they are still considered one region. That's what a CSA is, a COMBINED Statistical Area... Most of the major metros of the USA are CSA's. LA is combined with Ventura, Orange, and Riverside/San Bernadino. New York is combined with Long Island, Newark, Stamford, and Trenton. DC is with Baltimore. The list goes on. A CSA is considered ONE area.

Edited by Unifour

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there's a lot more to say about a question like this than can be said in one post.

auburn-opelika and columbus-phenix city have very much the same sort of problem (although it's more profound with auburn-opelika) - there is still a LOT of discontinuity between each pair of cities. auburn and opelika do not feel like a continuous city; nor do columbus and phenix city (though the presence of the chattahoochee as a natural divider plays a role). for all the development going on in auburn, VERY little of it is taking place along the existing corridor of disgusting, blighted, forsaken commercial space that connects the two towns. most of it (even that which lies between auburn and opelika) is happening on previously undeveloped land. the density of the auburn-opelika metro would have to reach a critical mass before growth in any direction outside the two cities would make sense (not to say that sense will be the guiding factor in these cities' growth).

too, the 25 or so miles which separate phenix city from opelika is a pretty long, rural, and sometimes topographically challenging 25 miles. it would take a freakish surge of sustained development to urbanize (or even suburbanize) that corridor within the next decade or so. if these areas are to eventually merge, i hope it's slow growth all the way. the two areas are distinct enough one from another that they need a long history of shared needs and trends before they can see a meaningful and productive merger.

as trivia, columbus is virtually tied with augusta as the second largest city in georgia in terms of population. augusta (last time i checked the back of my trusty atlas) has approximately 5,000 more people than columbus. it will be interesting to see how columbus cotinues to handle its growth across the river and into alabama.

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there's a lot more to say about a question like this than can be said in one post.

auburn-opelika and columbus-phenix city have very much the same sort of problem (although it's more profound with auburn-opelika) - there is still a LOT of discontinuity between each pair of cities. auburn and opelika do not feel like a continuous city; nor do columbus and phenix city (though the presence of the chattahoochee as a natural divider plays a role). for all the development going on in auburn, VERY little of it is taking place along the existing corridor of disgusting, blighted, forsaken commercial space that connects the two towns. most of it (even that which lies between auburn and opelika) is happening on previously undeveloped land. the density of the auburn-opelika metro would have to reach a critical mass before growth in any direction outside the two cities would make sense (not to say that sense will be the guiding factor in these cities' growth).

too, the 25 or so miles which separate phenix city from opelika is a pretty long, rural, and sometimes topographically challenging 25 miles. it would take a freakish surge of sustained development to urbanize (or even suburbanize) that corridor within the next decade or so. if these areas are to eventually merge, i hope it's slow growth all the way. the two areas are distinct enough one from another that they need a long history of shared needs and trends before they can see a meaningful and productive merger.

as trivia, columbus is virtually tied with augusta as the second largest city in georgia in terms of population. augusta (last time i checked the back of my trusty atlas) has approximately 5,000 more people than columbus. it will be interesting to see how columbus cotinues to handle its growth across the river and into alabama.

With Fort Bennings expansion, along with AFLAC and Kia adding thousands of new jobs in the area, Columbus is expected to gain 30,000+ new residents over the next 3 years. By 2010, Columbus will be way ahead of Augusta in population.

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as trivia, columbus is virtually tied with augusta as the second largest city in georgia in terms of population. augusta (last time i checked the back of my trusty atlas) has approximately 5,000 more people than columbus. it will be interesting to see how columbus cotinues to handle its growth across the river and into alabama.

The 2005 county estimates (and both cities are consolidated with their counties) has Augusta up by 10,000 in population: 195,769 in Richmond County and 185,271 in Muscogee County. Also both counties have lost population since 2000, with Richmond experiencing a 2% loss (~4,000) and Muscogee having lost 0.5% (~1,000). Augusta's suburban counties picked up some steam since 2000 though, especially Columbia (16.3% increase) and Aiken County, SC (5.4% increase). Harris County in metro Columbus experienced a 17.2% increase, but it is a relatively small county with less than 30K residents. It will be interesting to see how the next few years play out for both metro areas, with Columbus getting some economic investment and Augusta seeing more growth in its suburban counties (the real estate market is pretty hot in Aiken County right now).

As far as CSA vs. MSA, in some cases I can see where a difference is needed. I don't think DC and Baltimore should necessarily be included as one "metro area" since both cities, while having interaction, still have their own spheres of influence. In some cases, there are sizable distances between satellite cities and the primary urban core, such as between Salisbury, NC and Charlotte. Even the distance from Orange County to LA isn't a hop, skip, and a jump, not at least to me when I rode from the latter to the former; yet there is still significant interchange between the two areas. So I see the distinctions as somewhat useful, but who knows; by the time of the next census, the definitions will probably change again.

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Opelika OKs new retail center

It looks like TigerTown and The Shoppes at Capps Farm will soon be retail rivals near heavily traveled I-85.

A public hearing was held on the proposed retail commercial shopping center during Tuesday's Opelika City Council meeting. The center, located on the southeast corner of Exit 58 off I-85, is slated to stretch 370,000-square-feet. The 62-acre property would include retail, restaurants and its own movie theatre and would also boast a children's playground and open-air amphitheater.

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^ i'd thank you for the update, but then i'd have to thank you for every one of the other MCMLVXXI updates you manage to post!

nah, serious thanks for the update. keep that info coming!

when i get my hands on a digicam again, i'll go through town and start snapping photos of as much of the construction as i can before i collapse (there's a lot of building going on, especially all the separate residential multistory projects downtown.) i more or less live on top of toomer's corner, and the building spree in the campus section of auburn is a little dizzying.

Edited by convulso

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^ i'd thank you for the update, but then i'd have to thank you for every one of the other MCMLVXXI updates you manage to post!

nah, serious thanks for the update. keep that info coming!

when i get my hands on a digicam again, i'll go through town and start snapping photos of as much of the construction as i can before i collapse (there's a lot of building going on, especially all the separate residential multistory projects downtown.) i more or less live on top of toomer's corner, and the building spree in the campus section of auburn is a little dizzying.

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More than likely, if the Capps Farm shopping development focuses more on traditional mall-type stores and department store anchors, it will complement the big box offerings of TigerTown. Unfortunately, The Shoppes at Capps Farm will probably signal the end of Colonial University Village enclosed mall. :(

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More than likely, if the Capps Farm shopping development focuses more on traditional mall-type stores and department store anchors, it will complement the big box offerings of TigerTown. Unfortunately, The Shoppes at Capps Farm will probably signal the end of Colonial University Village enclosed mall. :(

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The city of Auburn hired KPS Group to help develop a plan for the future development of the city. The resulting plan is on the city's website, linked below. It looks good, and I hope the city follows through with it.

Rather than continuing single-use retail sprawl along major automobile corridors, Auburn will focus development upon a compact pattern of Village and Neighborhood Centers supported by adjacent residential neighborhoods. The City of Villages concept encourages the development of compact centers that focus and complement surrounding neighborhoods - centers that are supported by existing and planned road networks constructed in response to traffic demands of both auto and pedestrian.

....The neighborhood is an essential element of this new vision for development in Auburn. It is the basic tool for development, redevelopment and enhancement of the City.

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Opelika-Auburn is becoming increasingly linked economically with Columbus, GA metro area. Two things will continue to strengthen the ties -

- The growth of Smiths Station, Alabama. Owe's its very existence to the Allen Bypass in Columbus-Phenix City, but this fast-growing town in Lee County is growing out 280 toward Opelika. New subdivisions are also going up in the Salem zip code. These are all marketed as Columbus suburbs, but many are closer to Opelika than Columbus. The 'Backwaters' (Lake Harding) has long been a Columbus getaway, but now has many new subdivisions there with 'bi-city' families. Families with one spouse/significant other that works in OA and the other in Columbus/PC.

- Kia in West Point, GA - right on the Alabama border. Some of the Hyundai suppliers will expand to also supply Kia. Kia has also opened a recruiting office in Opelika. Althought it's just outside Harris County, many in Columbus hope for economic impact. Obviously, some will commute from Columbus to Kia. Sometime earlier in this post, I'd mentioned I'd heard some in Columbus calling this triangle 'COAL'. (Columbus-Opelika-Auburn-Lagrange). Someone twisted it to COLA, either way, folks are recognizing the potential of this expanded and combined metro area.

Are there any discussions in Opelika Auburn regarding the potential of an I-22 extension? This would seem to be something economic developers and others would obviously support.

I-22-color.JPG

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The Georgia DOT is holding regional meetings in Southwest Georgia to determine necessity, feasibility and desire for 'access' to Interstates. This area along with Southeast Alabama was like the land that the Interstates forgot. I would think that, since the very definition of an Interstate involves more than one state, Alabama and Florida would be brought into the discussion... Anyway, here's a link to the dedicated website. There will be a stakeholders meeting (presentation link) in Columbus, GA on April 15th. Other area meetings have already occured. Southwest Georgia Interstate Study website.

The study area map:

studyarea.jpg

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