Growth in North Augusta is continuing: along the riverfront, at Knox Avenue, at Exit 5 and off Exit 1.

The city's Planning Commission has voted favorably toward a handful of subdivisions in the past year in some of these areas, and the growth is part of a bigger westward population expansion in Aiken County and may pick up as cyber security activity moves to Fort Gordon in Augusta.

Exit 1 off Interstate 20 on Martintown Road is one of the areas seeing growth, including the exit.

As part of the Georgia Department of Transportation-led project that will widen the interstate up to exit 1, the exit will be updated and a traffic light will be installed.

City Administrator Todd Glover said there are hundreds of acres in the area that are developable, probably for multi-family or single-family homes.

"You will definitely have a commercial node right there around I-20 and Martintown," he said.

The city has already been expanding amenities to those who live in the area. In August 2018, the city completed the Bergen Road Greenway tunnel project, which expanded the Greeneway underneath Bergen Road to the subdivisions in that area.

The city is also currently involved in a land swap for the North Augusta Country Club property off Gregory Lake Road, which will bring park services closer to those in the northern part of the city.

"We always planned to offer those amenities out in that area," Glover said, adding the new park will not be a replica of Riverview Park.

Other areas of growth in the city include Edgefield Road near Exit 5 off I-20, which has been expanding into a commercial area for some time, offering the city's second Walmart, a Holiday Inn Express, fast-food joints, sit-down restaurants and more.

"North of I-20 has been out biggest housing growth area since 2000," Glover said. "It's where the available land is, so that's where all the new housing is," he said, quoting that "business follows rooftops."

More rooftops are planned for the Exit 5 area, including the Highland Springs development off Belvedere-Clearwater Road, which is planned to become a housing development including retail, a park, a theater, plus two new Aiken County Public School District schools.

"Exit 1 will be the next growth area in the city, but at the same time, Exit 5 still has a lot of acreage that could still expand," Glover said.

Other expanding areas of the city include the Knox Avenue area, which has seen a rise in commercial businesses opening in the past few years, from IHOP and Tropical Smoothie Cafe, to a planned Planet Fitness, to a Lidl grocery store.

Growth is also occurring on the river in North Augusta.

In Riverside Village, a Crowne Plaza Hotel, two restaurants and two apartment complexes have joined SRP Park stadium in the riverfront development. 

Cyber security at Fort Gordon could play a role in the city's growth in the future as well. Aiken County Public School District was recently named as a Purple Star School District, a national program recognizing that the district is welcoming to students and families who are relocating with the military.

As cyber security moves into Fort Gordon, families will move to the CSRA.

"We now that as people move to the area and they look at quality of life, that we'll win as many battles on that as we lose," Glover said.

Lindsey Hodges is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Follow her on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.