Boom in Dougherty County commercial construction - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Boom in Dougherty County commercial construction

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September 28, 2007

Albany -- The national slump in the housing market can be seen in Albany in the slow down of new residential construction permits. But new commercial construction in Albany and Dougherty County is skyrocketing.

All the new building is good news for the local economy, and suggests growth in the community is not slowing down.

Stacey Holloway's construction company is putting the finishing touches on a new shopping center in Albany, Ledo Crossing, and has several more commercial construction projects starting up. Holloway said "it is booming."

 New permits issued shows the housing slowdown in Albany. This year only five permits issued in August, for less than the half the value of starts last August. But on the commercial side, August saw almost 8 and a half million dollars in new construction permits issued, in what is usually the slow time of year.

Albany Planning and Development Services Senior Manager Tracy Hester said "typically this time of the year, as a general rule, it starts to slow down in late September and early October. And usually pick back up after the first of the year. But we are not seeing that slow down at this point."

Hester says this month they are flooded with new requests for commercial construction permits, as the building boom continues. Office complexes, restaurants, and large box stores like Kohl's and the Sports Authority are building. That means jobs for construction workers, and good sales for building material suppliers. Hester said "optimism, maybe. The phone is still ringing, people are still interesting in development."

Holloway says 12 of the 17 stores in this business complex have already been sold, and he sees no slow down in the commercial construction in Albany. Holloway said "not for another year or two, at least."

And that is good news for local economic development. Holloway, whose business is headquartered in Moultrie, says he is considering moving to Albany because of the construction boom.

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