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Building Our Future. Honoring Our Past.

Downtown - How to make it great

What makes a great place to live? Similarly to how our opinions of what is beautiful might differ from person to person, what we look for varies. But there are consistent themes.

How 02

We generally value safe, comfortable neighborhoods, conveniently located near goods and services we need and want. We like good schools, nice parks, and places to gather that make us feel a part of our community.

Beyond that, personal tastes start to emerge. Great restaurants, good internet access, learning and social activities, arts and philanthropy that shows our town has heart, - all 'extras’ that make a good place into a great place.

How do we make sure Downtown Auburn is a great place?

  • Research
  • Planning
  • Dialog
  • Partnerships

Research provides us with objective data to make better decisions. The 2010 Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, and the Downtown Auburn Market Study provide an understanding of the present situation, forecasts for growth, and what kinds of economic development would be realistic for the Auburn marketplace.

Planning the appropriate land uses for Downtown properties will help harmonize the various businesses and services with residents and visitors for a vibrant place that is enjoyable for all.

Dialog among city leaders, residents and business owners helps determine what we would like to see in our Downtown. For instance, in 2010, during a public input session for the SIP, some consensus was found about how we would like Downtown to look:


  • Streetscapes with wide sidewalks with plenty of open room for walking around
  • Separation between sidewalk and parking
  • Greenery – trees and open spaces
  • Mix of commercial row and individual commercial ‘cottage buildings’
  • Liked clustered residential development with common greenspace
  • Traditional architecture – Tudor, craftsman, bungalow, depot style, etc.
  • Ornamentation
  • Large front porches


  • Contemporary/modern architectural styles
  • Architectural styles that are not represented locally
  • “More of the same” – didn’t want development that fit the same pattern already there – run of the mill, conventional suburban development
  • Didn’t like strip commercial
  • Lack of ornamentation, flat-faced buildings

Partnerships mean working with professionals in this arena, learning from what has worked in similar places to save time and money as we choose where to invest for the most value from our tax dollars. That doesn’t mean copying someone else ’ s city, but it does mean there is a consistent process to making the vision into reality. In addition to city leaders, county representatives and citizens, Auburn’s team includes, planners, engineers, architects, real estate and economic development professionals from around the region. Working with those who have helped other cities succeed helps Auburn move more efficiently toward the vision.

Among the public and private sector partners:

Barrow County
Barrow County Schools
Bleakly Advisory Group
Northeast Georgia Regional Commission