If you were to ask someone to describe Laney Walker Boulevard in the 1960s you would hear conversations about “jamming” with James Brown or taking in a movie or a live performance at the Lenox Theatre. The community was thriving with single family homes and people walking the sidewalks on Laney Walker Boulevard from 15th Street down to the Lenox Theatre on 9th.
FAST FORWARD TO 2008. In 2008, City leaders approved long-term funding for community development in Laney Walker/Bethlehem. Led by the Augusta Housing and Community Development Department, the City is employing a multi-phased approach to guide redevelopment, growth and sustainability in this historic community.
Since the project’s inception, the Housing Department has developed a master plan and development guidelines for the area, set up a financial incentives program for developers and home buyers, selected a team of development partners, and created a marketing strategy to promote the overall effort.
The Housing Department is now rebuilding neighborhoods in six priority development areas, including Twiggs Circle and Heritage Pine, winner of the Georgia Planning Association’s 2011 Outstanding Plan Implementation award. In 2013, the Laney Walker/Bethlehem Revitalization project received the HUD Secretary’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award at the American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference.