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ATLman1

Next large Georgia city

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None of the above any time soon. Other than Atlanta, all of Georgia's other cities are pretty small places. However, if I had to chose one, I'd say Augusta, since its outgrowing the others presently.

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Augusta or Macon.

Macon has the advantage of proximity to Atlanta, but not being in Atlanta (Atleast for now)

After that I would say Augusta. Not sure why, just feels right :)

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It'll only be a matter of time before they all become satellite cities to Atlanta's sprawl.

My first thought was Augusta, and for Metro areas it probably is. If you're just talking municipal boundaries though, it'll probably be some Atlanta exurb that gets the higher population.

But i'm not sure any city will be "the next large city in georgia" as you asked. I just don't see any reason for them to overtake any of the other sunbelt cities.

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What advantages does Augusta have over Columbus? I can't think of any. Augusta has no large companies like Columbus which has AFLAC, Synovus, TSYS, and Carmike Cinemas. Columbus's population is about to explode this year. More than likely Ft. Gordon in Augusta will close. That would create a huge economic blow to that area. I just don't see Augusta having anything going for it like Columbus does.

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The main advantage Augusta has over Columbus is its location. Columbus is unfortuantely located in the boonies. There's really no reson to go anywhere near the city, if you aren't doing business in it. So, out of the secondary GA cities of Augusta, Macon, Savannah & Columbus, I see Columbus has having the least potential unless its location becomes more revelent.

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I have to disagree. It is located only 95 miles south of Atlanta and only about 70 mins from Hartsfield. It is only 25-30 mins away from the Auburn/Opelika area which is growing at an unbelievable rate. Columbus and Auburn/Opelika feed off of each other which is a good thing. Plus many people go through the Columbus area on their way to the beach. Just looking at job growth potential, Columbus is above Augusta. Like I said, there are no major companies in Augusta like there are in Columbus. Once Ft. Gordon closes, Augusta closes too. They have no other industry that can pull them out if that happens. I was in Columbus last weekend and it is amazing the amount of construction in the city. One day though Columbus will be a suburb of Atlanta along with Macon. Crazy thought huh? :blink:

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I would like for Savannah do it. It has a decent size shipping port, an International Airport that seems to be growing in leaps and bounds, a vibrant tourist economy, a military presence, and a decent size population. It appears to be growing and the trend is that they may consolidate with Chatham County. They have already merged the City of Savannah Police Department with the Chatham County Police Department and is now known as the Savannah-Chatham Metropoloitan Police Department. The city keeps annexing county area anyway and it wont be long till its all Savannah. As in terms of Skyline, i believe they have height restrictions near the historic district so it would be a midrise city near the core. The tallest is a 15 story bank downtown but i like the density. Besides this is Americas first platted city.

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I'm gonna hope that it will be Savanah because it is nowhere near Atlanta and it wont be sucked up with Atlanta's population. I wish they'd take that height restriction away and build some big buildings.

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I also agree, I'd like to see Savannah do it. But honestly, Columbus is really the city in line for it in my mind. Why? It has one of the strongest corporate bases of any city in Georgia outside of metro Atlanta. I would also agree it's biggest detractor is that it's not really in a great position transportation wise other than those that already support Atlanta. It does have freeway access, but only a spur, so it doesn't stand out as somewhere that would draw regional distribution centers. It also doesn't have a lot of significant population centers around it, since SW GA and SE AL are sparsely populated.

But if it can captalize on it's mfg industry and insurance corporations, it has a good shot.

Just my opinion though.

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I have to disagree. It is located only 95 miles south of Atlanta and only about 70 mins from Hartsfield. It is only 25-30 mins away from the Auburn/Opelika area which is growing at an unbelievable rate. Columbus and Auburn/Opelika feed off of each other which is a good thing. Plus many people go through the Columbus area on their way to the beach. Just looking at job growth potential, Columbus is above Augusta. Like I said, there are no major companies in Augusta like there are in Columbus. Once Ft. Gordon closes, Augusta closes too. They have no other industry that can pull them out if that happens. I was in Columbus last weekend and it is amazing the amount of construction in the city. One day though Columbus will be a suburb of Atlanta along with Macon. Crazy thought huh? :blink:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

How reliant is Augusta on Ft Gordon? How many soldiers, on average, are based there?

If Columbus and Macon are swallowed by Atlanta, then Augusta and Savannah will be the only "autonomous" large cities left. (Its scary to think Atlanta could be that far reaching.

I'm not sure if you Georgians would include Albany in this picture (as a large city in GA).

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I think they are reliant on Ft. Gordon a lot. It employs thousands of people there. Without the base, Augusta wouldn't be much. They have no other industry or large companies that I know of. If it closes, Augusta will be economically broke. If that happens, Columbus would gain a lot.

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That being said, do you think Colombus will be a "large city"? I just don't see any Gerogia cities reaching the level of a Birmingham, Jacksonville or even a Mobile. They might reach population levels that high, but only in the shadow of Atlanta sprawl.

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To me Mobile isn't even a big city at all. It is not much bigger than Columbus. I can see Columbus becoming something like Birmingham in 25-30 years. I think with the new proposed interstate going through Columbus, its ability to continue to attract industry, local companies like AFLAC, Synovus, TSYS, and Carmike Cinemas growing, the new technolgy incubator at Columbus State University, and Ft. Benning's growth will help Columbus continue to grow in the right direction. I heard they just built a massive technology park in east Columbus which has already attracted Heckler and Koch and the new worldwide headquarters for Techsphere Systems International. Also, Ft. Benning is building the new National Infantry Museum. To me, the future looks bright for Columbus.

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I think they are reliant on Ft. Gordon a lot. It employs thousands of people there. Without the base, Augusta wouldn't be much. They have no other industry or large companies that I know of. If it closes, Augusta will be economically broke. If that happens, Columbus would gain a lot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I view that as a strength, not a weakness. Not having one industry as their primary employment center means that the area is diverse enough that if one a business should happen to close, the rest of the city won't be drasticly effected. If one of those companies in Columbus closes, that city will feel a strong impact.

Look at Charleston- the closure of its base (taking some 10,000 from the area) was indeed devastating to the economy, but it didn't compeltely ruin it. Within 10 years the city has turned itself back around and is the fastest growing city in SC.

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My thoughts on the next large GA city is that it will follow the trend being set in SC, and will be some place coastal. I think Savannah has a good chance of growth, however it may never be able to transform in to a "big city" due to the fact that much of the historical areas are pretty fully developed and will probably never be redeveloped. I'd keep an eye out for S. Georgia cities/towns, like Brunswick and Valdosta, as they may eventually take the lead of similar SC towns and begin to grow rapidly. Also, college towns, ie Athens and Statesboro are also always good candidates for explosive growth. I think the other 2nd tier cities will not wither away, but won't see huge growth.

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I can see Charleston turning itself around because of tourism, but Augusta doesn't have that. Augusta would be hit very hard.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As a response to the Augusta/Ft Gordon misinformation, the loss of Ft. Gordon would/will suck, but the base is in no way the largest economic catalyst of the region... In fact, I'm sure that local leaders would be more than happy to lost of Ft Gordon, if by doing so they could ensure against any more future layoffs at SRS. A military base is a good economic catalyst, but no city of any significant size can build a decent economy around one. 10,000 low-paying, transient jobs doesn't really do that much for an area. It doesn't spur an abundance of new housing, retail, or support jobs, since so much of the activity is contained on-base. The area near Ft. Gordon is one of the least attractive areas in the city economically... nothing but tattoo/piercing parlors, porn stores, pawn shops, cheap bars, etc. SRS and the Medical Industry are what drive Augusta's economy.

The top industries in Augusta are as follows:

1. Savannah River Site. Currently 15,000 extremely high-paid employees. The potential for growth here comes from renewed talk of nuclear energy, as well as the hydrogen corridor that Columbia is attempting to establish. Other current/future missions include nuclear waste disposal/processing, including a proposed MOX plant (waste conversion), that will guarantee at least 1000 new, high-paying jobs for at least 20 years.

2. Medical Industry. Augusta is one of the largest medical centers in the SE, and probably one of the best, if not the best, as far as per capita medical investment. 4 of the area's top 10 employers are hospitals, and the presence and phenomenal continued growth of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) will ensure that Augusta retains its presence in this field. Future economic catalysts include increased research ties with Athens and UGA, such as a large investment in Cancer research and treatment. Also, attracting Biotech industries is a big goal, and is very achievable due to the current medical infrastructure.

3. Mills/textiles/manufacturing. Heavy industry is still huge in the area, specifically in Aiken County, where its hard to go 1/2 mile in the area between Aiken and Augusta without seeing a large mill. Avondale mills (~5000 employees) and Graniteville Co. are the large factors, but there are tons of other smaller operations (and plenty of older abandoned facilities just waiting for a new life as residential or industrial). The 2 largest golf cart manufacturers are located in Augusta (Club Car and EZ-GO), though one of them recently moved its HQ to Charlotte, but still retains Augusta for its primary operations.

4. Tourism/retirement. I know the Masters only happen once a year, but they're a huge economic catalyst. Aiken is fairly reknowned for its abundance of equestrian training/boarding facilities, as well as some very popular races (15,000-20,000 spectators). Aiken has a designated horse district, in which many of the major roads will never be paved, and all of the homes are freakin' enormous. Also, the oldest/longest continually active polo field in the world is located in Aiken. Retirement is a quickly growing sector of the economy, as Aiken has been a well-noted retirement community for a long time, and Augusta is finally starting to gain recognition as well.

5. Military and Fort Gordon go here (and could possibly be flip-flopped with tourism/retirement).

Sorry to be long-winded, I just wanted to show that there's a lot more going on in Augusta that people give it credit for. Downtown's on a roll, and is actually a pretty hip place to be. An article was posted in the Chronicle today about the proposed new judicial center (a project i thought was dead), and land is finally being purchased (hooray) for the 20 story building (Augusta's future tallest). 2 current downtown discussions (pipe-dreams for now) are a badass pedestrian bridge connecting Augusta's Riverwalk and North Augusta's Greeneway, and a riverfront retirement highrise, with attached downtown mall. Currently a sweet and functional New Urbanist community is going up right across the 13th St. bridge in N. Augusta. The medical district is perpetually building new midrises. Also in the near future is a new regional arena, either at an abandoned mall site, or in Columbia County. While its no building boom, I just wanted to show that the metro is by no means stagnant, and if the right leadership ever is put in place, the city is ready for good things to happen.

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Augusta is smaller than the already small Clumbus. Augusta appears bigger than the 50,000 person city that it is because it consolidated with the county.

Columbus and Savannah seem to be close in metro size, but Savannah has much recognition than Columbus and of course is on the coast. Savannah's biggest advantage is its historic district though.

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Savannah has a strangely small population. It seems much larger than it is. Last census I read puts it at under 300k. I have been there many times and it is poised for growth with a decent sized airport and expanding expressway system. It also has great recreational opportunities. It also has a thriving tourism industry. It just doesn't have a booming growth rate for some odd reason. Something is holding them back. If whatever that is changes, I think Savannah will outpace not only GA but also most regional neighbors.

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Spartan - I will try to dig up some of these articles and determine what's still relevant. Everything project I posted has been discussed recently, except unfortunately the pedestrian bridge, which received a lot of attention about 3 years ago.

mjcatl2 - It's been discussed and confirmed in this thread and others that Augusta is (hands down) the 2nd largest metro in the state. In fact, even if the SC portion was removed, Augusta would still be the 2nd largest. The order goes: Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Columbus, Macon (using 2003 MSA definitions). Using the 2000 definitions, Macon hops up a few spots to no. 3.

FlaNatv - I completely agree with your assessment. I think it will be one of GA's coastal cities that booms next, and I don't know what's holding Savannah back. I wonder if it has something to do with the amount of developable land near downtown (the SC side is basically a giant, most undeveloped swamp), or ifs its the unfair perception that Savannah is a high crime city...

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Augusta appears bigger than the 50,000 person city that it is because it consolidated with the county.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So is Columbus.

I agree that Savannah's potential has not been fully harnessed. I wouldn't be suprised to see more growth in SC if Jasper County gets its new port.

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