Interviews set for new downtown manager - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Interviews set for new downtown manager

July 14, 2007

Albany -- Downtown Albany just isn't what it used to be. "When I was a little girl, I remember going to the stores and getting popcorn and sodas from the counter. Just hanging out walking through the arcades and villas," owner of Mrs. B's Restaurant, Tangela Harris.

The city is doing what it can to bring the old flare back. And that task will fall on the new downtown development manager. But will this do the trick? "It's a great idea and hopefully it will make a difference," said owner of Envy, Julia Temples.

And what type of person will it take to get the job done? "Someone full of energy. People are attracted to energy," said Harris. Downtown business owners say it is necessary that they be included in the process.

"The only way to be able to address what is happening downtown is to talk to the merchants who are downtown. Who have been here over the years . Who have seen the success and the failures," said owner of New York Fashions, William Livingston.

Those business owners know the challenges the downtown turn around will take. And have plenty of suggestions. "Bring in more people down; bring in more businesses and make it easier and affordable," said Temples.

"One of the most immediate problems is that people don't know where to park," said Livingston.

But overall for downtown to be a success regardless of the new position, it will ultimately fall on the community. "The community come together as one and be able to stick together in a situation long enough and not give up. We tend to give up to easy," said Harris.

The downtown development manager will also serve as the director of the Albany-Dougherty Inner city Authority. Three candidates will interview for the downtown development position at the end of this month.

ADICA will make the final decision.

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