Albany city leaders hope to spur downtown living - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany city leaders hope to spur downtown living

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As city leaders try to lure more businesses downtown, they're hoping to convince more people to live there too. They're hearing plans from developers to bring more housing opportunities to the center of the city. One woman found her perfect spot downtown from a thousand miles away.

Rosie Turner is hard at work fixing up her new home but she never imagined she'd be a homeowner in Albany. "I'm here," laughs Turner.

It was on a visit from Minnesota that she first spotted her dream historic home. "I walked up on the steps and peeped in the door and the layout of the plan was exactly what I wanted," said Turner.

Before she knew it she was moving into her downtown home. "I love the character in this house," said Turner. Turner just has one complaint.

"We need some more residents in the city," said Turner. Albany city leaders agree.

"We're having great success in recruiting businesses and now we need to focus on the residential component," said Albany Downtown Manager Don Buie.

To reach that goal, Buie is meeting with developers who are putting together plans for more downtown riverfront living. "When you really think about it, how more picturesque of a scene is there than this? If you were to look out of your window every morning and view the Flint, have a great view of Ray Charles Plaza or Turtle Park. You couldn't ask for anything better than this," said Buie.

There are also plans in the works to turn some of the second floors of downtown businesses into apartments or lofts. "We don't have people living in this area to support the businesses," said Turner.

Turner hopes more people follow her route to downtown living by purchasing one of the many vacant homes. "Certainly fixing it up is cheaper than building another one," said Turner. But for now, she's happy to lead the way.

"One person is all it takes and I'm hoping to make my home as a model home to do that," said Turner. It's a plan she set in place all the way from Minnesota.

Developers plans for downtown living will be reviewed by the Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority. They'll have a public forum before approving any plans.

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