Land to be developed along river - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Land to be developed along river

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July 27, 2006

Albany -- Albany leaders say empty areas in south central and east Albany are ripe for development, and they hope to help revitalize those areas. The city brought out of town residential and commercial developers to Albany for a two-day seminar highlighting opportunities for growth there.

Right now, 900 plots of undeveloped land in South Central and East Albany are on the market, many of which are owned by the city. City leaders hope to sell the land to developers so they can build affordable housing and commercial developments.

Out of town developers met with local contractors and city officials to talk about opportunities for growth in the city. David White of White Development, in Charlotte, North Carolina says it's an area definately worth investing in.

"Albany is one of the places that we looked that has been just up and coming. It's a place that's in the renovation stage, it's in the stage where it's going to be revitalized," said David White.

White already bought some land from the city and plans to work with a local contractor to build a gated townhouse community.

There are several other plots of land near the Flint River that sit untouched after the floods of '94 and '98. Much of it was acquired by the city, and now the city says it's important to sell and redevelop the land.

"Many of them are just sitting empty, empty lots that could be used for something productive such as affordable housing, retail outlets in the parts of town that really need them," said Alfred Lott.

Lott says another plus is the revenue the land could make for the city.

Chamber of Commerce President Tim Martin says the push to sell this land will bring affordable housing, jobs, and lots of growth to the city overall.

"As all of that comes together we'll see our tax base improve, opportunities for folks to live and to work, it's a real plus, very very excited about this," said Tim Martin.

"This project is going to be on the corner of Whitney and Jefferson. It's a 24 unit townhouse," said David White.

For developers like David White, Albany was a good investment. He plans to sell the townhouses for 160-175 thousand dollars each.

"It's a growing area, and the price was right," said David White.

A good deal for the developer, that will benefit the city too.

Many of the lots for sale are located within just a few blocks of the Flint River. Some lots are selling for just around 1-thousand dollars, and range up to 8-thousand, depending upon the location of the land.

Today, the out of town developers toured the city. Tommorow, they'll talk about potential development projects for some of that land.

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