Albany- The inside of a small building on Broad Avenue is a long way from being ready to fry potatoes.
"This will be French fries and dipping sauces," said Developer Peter Studl.
"Georgia Fries" will be the name of the business and it should be ready to open in about a month, Studl said Thursday.
He owns about 24 properties in downtown Albany, including most of the block across from Riverfront Park on Front Street and all of the block along Broad across from the new hotel. But his only businesses open so far are Popcorn in the Park on Front Street and Hubbles restaurant on Washington Street.
"We wanted to put a stake in the ground in that neighborhood as to what can be there and it's been quite successful."
Studl said last year he hoped to have businesses here ready by the time the Hilton opened it's doors. That's happening this weekend. The corner he owns still needs a lot of work.
"They would have liked this corner to be done at the opening, but you know, our view is, as long as things are moving forward not backwards," Studl said about the hotel principal investors.
But moving forward has meant crossing some hurdles, like not being able to put rear exits out of his buildings until he was able to buy the parking lot behind them.
"We wouldn't do it even if we were allowed to open these places without rear exits. It's just too sketchy."
Studl has also been criticized for the delays.
"I view that as a good sign. People want, they're getting a little impatient for things to happen. That wasn't the case two years ago."
Two years later, Studl says he wants to have his projects finished by 2008 or 2009.
"If we can complete this in three years, that would be a tremendous success."
If he doesn't, he'll have downtown customers and shoppers to answer to.