Downtown Brunswick has undergone a resurgence in recent years. Through the dedicated efforts of city leaders, business leaders and other stakeholders, downtown has become an inviting place to work, live and play.
The two biggest problems downtown is facing are housing and parking. There’s not enough of either.
The housing issue is already being addressed as more developers are turning unused vacant buildings into much-needed apartments and lofts.
Of course, with more people comes a bigger need for parking. There has been some talk of a potential municipal parking garage, but nothing is finalized yet.
There is also a huge chunk of land at the city’s disposal that could fulfill both needs. The Oglethorpe block has enough space to provide a plethora of new housing options while also providing some parking relief.
The goal is not only to get more people to visit downtown, but also to get them to live there. To do that, there needs to be more places for people to live and more amenities to keep them there.
If demand grows enough, businesses like grocery stores and other establishments will follow. That’s how supply and demand works — if there is a significant need, there will be a business ready to step in and fill it.
Something else future downtown dwellers will need is significant green space. Such spaces are especially important if most of the residents are living in apartments or lofts.
The city does have such spaces available in its city squares. The Signature Squares of Brunswick nonprofit group is dedicated to restoring all 14 of the city’s public squares to their former glory.
Signature Squares Executive Director and City Commissioner Julie Martin recently told The News that the squares are “incredible assets” that have been hidden this whole time.
Funding for the restoration effort comes from grants, SPLOST revenue and private donations with volunteers used for landscaping and other work. Martin said the arrangement has “worked well” and that the organization is “moving as fast as we get the money.”
Brunswick’s squares can be a great asset to the city. These are important assets that can serve as great areas to sit and enjoy nature or serve as a hub for an outside event like a concert or block party.
We applaud Signature Squares for its work to restore these green spaces back to their prime. We hope it continues to receive the financial support needed from local government and private donations to finish this project.