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socaguy

The Hood...Laney Walker District, Augusta Ga.

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I went on another whirlwind trip though Augusta today, this time taking some pics of the area SW of Downtown. This neighborhood, called Laney Walker, runs along LW Boulevard from the Southern area of Downtown to the Medical District. It is Augustas largest African American enterprise zone and has some real potential, although sections are still quite rough. Also check out all of my Augusta pics..click the link at the end of the tour.

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ArmstrongGalleria.jpg

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OOPs, here is the link to see all of the Augusta photos.

http://www.cloudjungle.dns2go.com/DotNetNu...%20Ga.%20images

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WOW.... Yeah it really has improved in the last couple of years down there. And it really is the hood behind this streets face, still. I'm see you didn't get any pics of my old High School (A.R. Johnson) but that's alright, you have a good theme going anyway, the building would of ruined the moment, lol. I hope you or someone can update more pics whenever they finish "renovating/rebuilding" this school and also the NEW Laney HS sports complex that will be here in a few years.

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47227.jpg

Here's more info on the NEW Lucy C. Laney HS Sports complex:

  • 25 Acre Complex

  • 6,000 seat stadium

  • baseball, softball, and soccer fields

  • a field house

  • with Possible seat expansion deal with City of Augusta as a "city stadium" instead of just a HS stadium

  • 8.5 Million price Tag for School board

  • 146 Properties bought for complex (mostly OLD decaying and abandoned shotgun homes)

  • Expected Completion date: September 30, 2006

Other Facts

  • NEW A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet HS will be done to the NE of new complex

  • # of students at Laney: 700

  • # of students at ARJ: about 500 or less

  • City of Augusta has expressed interest in possibly expanding part of the stadium in the future

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Nice pictures. The Med Tech. building where I go to class is next to the one floor buildings in the upper right corner of the last photo. We park our cars on Augusta Ave. just out of view on the left of the last photo. It gets pretty rough towards Wrightsboro road in the Bethlehem neighborhood.

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When my aunt and cousins used to live in Augusta, we had to take Laney Walker Blvd to get to their house, and I certainly remember it being a "rough" side of town. It's good to see it has spruced up some. I really hope the area can make a complete turnaround.

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Yeah, it was a very quick trip and I was with a friend who wasnt to thrilled with shooting pics in the "ghetto" so I couldnt do much. Next time Ill have to explore a little more by myself. Yes, the streets off LW are mostly residential and in need of repair. There are lots of shotgun type houses as well as projects in the area. Im hoping any further development will be street-level retail instead of that horrible Armstrong Galleria shopping center they built several years ago. They touted that thing so much and when I saw it for the first time I was less than thrilled.

Very good to hear about the sports complex at Lucy-Laney. A 6000 seat stadium for a highschool seems huge. My little HS (Aquinas) had a stadium that probably seated less than 500..lol.

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Hopefully this will spur some retail development along this cooridoor. Even with MCG on one end, there is barely a place where you can buy a sandwich or pick up a bottle of aspirin.

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Here's an update on the Laney Stadium project which is slated to be finished by the fall of this year. Originally the stadium called for 6,000 seats but will now have 9,000 seats and extra bathrooms thanks to the city commisoners getting involved as well as other donations. The city will be able to use the stadium as well. Here's the scoop.

Full Story

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Laney walker is starting to look better and better recently. Now that the city has a program where they will spend 750,000 dollars a year to restore the inner city. The new buildings for mcg & university help the street presence, also Lucy C Laney stadium is probably the biggest high school stadium in augusta. There are new houses being built off laney walker, and AR Johnson is rennovating. The new houses look good almost like the brownstones in newyork(like the cosby's house), especially in that area where alot of the houses were probably built in 30's-60's and are rundown. All this area needs now is a starbucks, target, bestbuy, or something. It doesnt have to be a big retailer or store just something to attract more ppl to the area.

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I think a large sized grocery store would fit nicely with that area. Something that straddles the street...maybe demolish that Armstrong Galleria shopping center that doesnt fit in with the neighborhood. A really upscale Soul Food place would be neat in that area too.

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This area has definitely improved a lot. I think it should focus more on residential with maybe small boutiques and shops. The bigger stores should go on Broad Street and Greene Street which will naturally affect the Laney walker area as well.

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Other cities have offered tax incentives to encourage grocery stores to locate in economically depressed, inner city neighborhoods. This is something Augusta should consider. YOu have to make it worth their while to locate in the inner city.. because otherwise the suburbs are more of a sure thing as far as profit. Grocery stores are important because the make the whole area more attractive for residential growth. I also think getting some gentrification in that area would help.. maybe loft apartments at Laney Walker and RA Dent..marketed to medical professionals. They could walk to work. Also increase the police presence in that area..More lights.. all the things to make the area feel more safe. But you are going to have to draw working professionals to that area to encourage more retail growth.. Right now you are talking about a neighborhood where the vast majority live below the poverty line.. YOu have to bring more money into the neighborhood (thru resident profesionals with purchasing power) who can support these new businesses. But at least the area looks better.. even if its mostly cosmetic.

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Other cities have offered tax incentives to encourage grocery stores to locate in economically depressed, inner city neighborhoods. This is something Augusta should consider. YOu have to make it worth their while to locate in the inner city.. because otherwise the suburbs are more of a sure thing as far as profit. Grocery stores are important because the make the whole area more attractive for residential growth. I also think getting some gentrification in that area would help.. maybe loft apartments at Laney Walker and RA Dent..marketed to medical professionals. They could walk to work. Also increase the police presence in that area..More lights.. all the things to make the area feel more safe. But you are going to have to draw working professionals to that area to encourage more retail growth.. Right now you are talking about a neighborhood where the vast majority live below the poverty line.. YOu have to bring more money into the neighborhood (thru resident profesionals with purchasing power) who can support these new businesses. But at least the area looks better.. even if its mostly cosmetic.

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http://www.wjbf.com/midatlantic/jbf/news_i...01-16-0018.html

City leaders are making plans for the revitalization of downtown Augusta neighborhoods

The city of Augusta, and the Laney Walker Development Corporation helped make a dream come true for one Augusta family. But, in this area, where there is one new home owner, the city is taking steps to bring in hundreds more.

To take these giant steps, the city has a consultant on board, now, mapping a revitalization plan strategy for the Laney Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods. Of course, plans are one thing, but you also need the cash to carry them out.And this fits these plans to a tee. To pay for the upkeep of the new trade center, Commissioners approved a new hotel fee that will bring in $750,000 for inner city neighborhoods. That's the money the city plans to use to go after even more grant dollars, with the dream of taking what's now blighted, and make it brand new.

The Laney Walker and Bethlehem are two areas city leaders want to focus on.

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Laney walker District Revitalization

Hundreds of Gilbert Manor residents are being forced to move to make way for the Medical College of Georgia's expansion. The Augusta Housing Authority is selling the housing development to MCG. The move is making it possible for some people to get a fresh start.

Laney Walker Development Corporation a non-profit organization helps low-income families become homeowners. The group has already built 19 homes in the city's Summerfield East section.

The project is all part of Mayor Deke Copenhaver's multimillion-dollar revitalization project for Richmond County.

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