The Transformation of Columbus in Georgia Trend Magazine

The Transformation of Columbus in Georgia Trend Magazine

The river has always been the lifeblood of Columbus and Muscogee County. Just last month, the city officially opened a two-and-a-half mile stretch to whitewater rafting and kayaking. Beginning just north in the old Bibb City area, the course flows through Uptown with a takeout point just behind the Convention & Trade Center.

“This will not only have a tremendous economic impact on the community, but it’s a great environmental project as well,” says Richard Bishop, president and CEO of Uptown Columbus. “We’re going to bring visitors from throughout the Southeast and attract world-class events here at the same time.”

The river will likely solidify the quarter-century-long transformation of Columbus from dying downtown to hip center of culture and commerce. Clubs, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques fill every available storefront. Finding a parking space even on a weekday night is a challenge as throngs of people fill the streets.

“I’ve been in real estate development for 25 years with the Bradley Company, and the best way to describe it is with each successful project, it leveraged another successful project,” says Mathews Swift, president and COO of W.C. Bradley Co. Real Estate Division. W.C. Bradley Co. is not only headquartered in one of the renovated mill buildings along Front Street, but it has been a driving force in promoting Uptown as a place to live.

When the Eagle & Phenix building’s first phase was converted to condos, they quickly sold out. Offering a commanding view of the river, coupled with easy access to Uptown’s shops and restaurants, they represented just the kind of urban living so many young professionals demand.

Apartments are under construction in Mill No. 2 and the old administration building, just a short walk away.

“We’re at a point where it’s no longer just, ‘Can we make downtown a very energetic and exciting place to be?’” says Swift. “Now the question is, ‘How can we maximize all of it?’”

Read more about the transformation of Columbus in Georgia Trend Magazine.