AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – One of downtown Augusta’s biggest property owners has placed multiple properties on the market.

We spoke with city development leaders about what this could mean for downtown Augusta.

Morris Communications has just put eight downtown buildings up for sale. Leaders at the Downtown Development Authority are excited about what the sale of these properties can do for the growth of downtown Augusta.

“We’re working on our statistics for last year and it looks like we had another stellar year- between 30 and 40 new businesses opened up on the Broad Street corridor,” said Margaret Woodard, executive director of Augusta Downtown Development Authority. “So, it affects everything.” 

Augusta city leaders tell us that multimedia company Morris Communications has owned as much as thirty percent of downtown properties over time.

In March, the company placed the properties, which line Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Reynolds Streets, for sale at prices totaling more than $7 million.

“They have always, always kept their buildings in great shape,” said Woodard. “And they’ve developed some of them; some of them, they have not. But they’ve always kept them in immaculate shape.”

Woodard tells us that the hope is that they become income-producing properties that will be an asset to downtown. 

“There’s the Coke factory right by the Fifth Street Bridge, which would be, you know, a great purchase for someone,” said Woodard. “That could be a brewery, that could be something fun- be an amenity to the Fifth Street Bridge.”

Woodard tells us that, since the buildings are on the smaller side, she expects they may be more appealing for buyers looking for more intimate spaces. 

“These are just exciting times right now,” said Woodard. “And there are fewer and fewer properties that are available for sale and there’s a high demand, so this kind of solves that issue right there- the demand to invest and purchase downtown… It’s just part of the piece where you get more people downtown. You’re gonna have demand for more living. You’re gonna have demand for more retail and services. So, it’s part of the puzzle. And we’re very excited.”  

Woodard tells us she is looking forward to the sale of these properties adding to the growth that downtown Augusta has already seen in the past few years.