Albany-- Tons of cars ride down South Slappey Boulevard daily. But they often pass by For Lease signs and empty buildings. Occupied businesses can then go unnoticed between vacant spaces.
"It needs to be noticed because you can ride right by it," said Kuanatika Jackson.
Kuanatika Jackson didn't just ride by. Despite what some view as a scattered economic view in South Albany, she still decided this is where she'd like to open up shop.
"I just wanted to open up my own business," said Jackson.
Her future beauty shop is in a shopping center in the midst of a comeback. Business owners wipe down windows touting that they're open for business. Ann Jackson would like all of the windows in the area to brag about that same thing.
"Since the downtown area is being restored, now we have to build up the southside part of the town," said Jackson. Albany city leaders also have the same goal. Mayor Willie Adams agrees that both South and East Albany need some revitalization, both areas with a high minority population.
"What we eluded to is how we can come up with some type of effort to encourage businesses to go over in those areas," said Adams.
He has big goals for the areas and the city has been in talks with some big names. "All the way from minorities starting their own businesses to the prospect of some outside people like Arby's and Magic Johnson who concentrates on putting businesses in those types of areas," said Adams.
Adams believes big business would spur even more business to locate here. South Albany optimists believe the same. "Fill them up, success. It's too many empty buildings," said Ann Jackson.
"By them bringing more people, that will make the business for not only my shop increase but everybody else," said Kuanatika.
They're waiting for the words success and South Albany to be synonymous. Soon Kuanatika's view from inside may be different. Cars may be pulling in instead of passing by.
Mayor Adams also says he'd like to see local banks work together to encourage investment in East and South Albany.