Another downtown Albany business to leave - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Another downtown Albany business to leave

March 21, 2008

Albany -- Another successful downtown Albany business is leaving. Envy, a women's fashion store in the heart of the downtown district is moving to Northwest Albany.

Neighboring store owners say they are concerned, but city leaders say downtown is growing.

Haley Cimino came to downtown Albany from her Lee County home to shop at Envy.  Cimino said "yea, they have cute dresses."

Envy was a having a good Good Friday, with a number of customers buying Easter Dresses. But despite their success, Envy's owner Julia Temples is moving the store in May into a new shopping plaza on Old Dawson Road.

She says downtown rents are too expensive, among other reasons for her decision. Downtown manager Don Buie said "everyone has to make their own financial decision, based on their own business model."

City leaders say they are not concerned, but after years of work to establish businesses downtown, some of the more successful on West Broad Avenue like Envy and Harvest Moon have moved.

Several of the business owners neighboring Envy say they are worried about it's leaving, because they know empty store fronts don't attract traffic, and they like to work together to make everyone successful.  

New York Fashions owner William Livingstone said "unfortunately we don't like any businesses to leave, and we are going to enhance the fact that we do have other businesses like New York Fashion, and other businesses that are going to be here."

Downtown Manager Don Buie said "what the empty store fronts represent are opportunities for other people to move in."

But Haley said she will not come downtown, but instead follow Envy to their new location.  Cimino said "if they moved it closer to where I live, that would be cooler."

That's why downtown store owners are worried other customers like Haley won't come back to shop.

Downtown manager Don Buie says other downtown Albany businesses are expanding because of good business.

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