There is a project in town that, while based in the Augusta buzz word of cyber, is going to have a much larger impact on Augusta in general and play a key role in revitalizing the Harrisburg neighborhood. On June 5th, Cape Augusta’s Eric Zuckerman gave members of the Cyberworks Meetup a walk through that showed those attending the different stages of restoration being done at the Sibley and King Mills located on the Augusta Canal. Zuckerman laid out the vision that Cape Augusta has for the mills to be a great hub for jobs, living, shopping, and entertainment as we went through the buildings. We started with the first finished project of the site which was the Augusta offices for EDTS and EDTS Cyber which last year won an award for the level of historic restoration that was done on the building. That followed with moving to a nearby building being restored for the new Augusta Cyberworks Academy instructional area. One of the goals that Zuckerman outlined with the academy was to help fill the needed jobs of cyber security personnel but to accomplish that by focusing on using veterans and their families to meet that goal. The grand opening for the Cyberworks Academy is to be in August of 2018.
Giving back to the community is clearly something that drives this project with not only wanting to help veterans, but also other community groups in the immediate area of the mills such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Augusta. Moving through the Sibley Mill, which was on the site of the former Civil War powderworks, the vision was painted of a mixed use facility with office space as well as entertainment options such as restaurants, a boutique hotel, and maybe even a brew pub! It was easy to image a nice dinner with a tremendous view of the sun setting on the canal as we went through the building that evening.
Moving to the King Mill we were able to see these large open spaces which lent themselves perfectly for housing a Tier 3 data center. One advantage that the developers saw when considering the mill locations was the canal which they will use to both provide electricity and help cool the data center that will reside in part of the King Mill. While some of the generators were in some areas we couldn’t get to, we were able to see one of them in action. Currently the Augusta Canal Authority runs and maintains the generators and sells the electricity to Georgia Power, but soon they will be instead partnering with Cape Augusta to power and maintain the new development. King Mill will also be a residential development as well, with plans for between 250-280 units ranging from studios to 2 bedroom apartments. Since there is not only space in the buildings, but on the grounds as well, there will also be amenities such as a pool and outdoor entertainment areas for the residents.
The large main mill buildings are not the only structures on the property and there are exciting plans for those as well. One building is envisioned to be what Zuckerman termed an “Artists Row” where there would be smaller boutiques and shops. Another thing that showed just how much this group is dedicated to truly making a positive impact on the local Harrisburg community was demonstrated when Zuckerman talked about the condition of Harrisburg being a food desert and his hope that one of the larger separate building on the campus could be developed into a grocery market to help alleviate that problem in the community.
It was great to have Eric and the folks from Cape Augusta and the Augusta Cyberworks give us the tour of the project and show those who came a sneak peak at a project that will really reshape and impact one of Augusta’s oldest neighborhoods. Thanks also to EDTS for showing us an example of what the finished product of these historical buildings will look like. Visit the Cyberworks Meetup page to stay abreast of what is going on with the renovations and also some great security talks and events.