The main purpose for establishing the Aiken Downtown Development Association (ADDA) and, later on, The Aiken Corporation, was to diversify and expand the City’s economic base and improve the quality of life in Aiken. The Aiken Corporation was established as a non-profit development corporation and a public-private partnership between the Aiken Corporation and the City of Aiken.
The Aiken Corporation’s mission was to build a strong and stable economic base through the attraction of jobs, investment, and a diverse mix of businesses. Similarly, the mission and the purpose of the Aiken Downtown Development Association is to improve the economic vitality, enhance the beauty, and preserve the historical inheritance of downtown Aiken.
Throughout the years, members of the Aiken Corporation and ADDA used unique strategies to attain their mission. The purpose of this section is to highlight the numerous projects which were either initiated or supported by the Aiken Corporation and its members.
Enhancing Economic Growth
During the 1980s there was a widespread recognition for a need to enhance economic growth and quality of life in the City of Aiken. The downtown and the historic areas of the City were always the heart of the community. However, urban growth and development were occurring at a very slow pace and the City needed a new approach to growth management. There were several obvious problems that needed to be addressed in order for the City of Aiken’s downtown to blossom and expand. The most obvious issues were absentee property owners, few business leaders and a lack of sustained growth