D'town may get $10 Million project - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

D'town may get $10 Million project

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A ten million dollar development project could be in the future for downtown Albany.

Real estate developer and businessman Bob Brooks is behind the project. Brooks met with city officials Monday to discuss possible plans for the project, and it's funding.

Brooks owns a good deal of property downtown. While Brooks himself, is not talking much about the plan, the discussion includes a mixed use project that could potentially bring hundreds of jobs to downtown.

A ten million dollar project is in the planning stages that could potentially bring a residential component to downtown.

"It is going to jump start additional projects I am sure, but really it is going to bring a housing base that we need downtown to make all of our business more vital to the region," says Aaron Blair, Downtown Manager.

The mixed use project would have retail stores on it ground floor and a few residential floors above that.

"In a time like now when a construction comes to a halt in most places across the United States, a construction job like this is going to be very valuable to the region," says Blair.

"The location is what is key for us, it is on front street, it faces the park, it is one of our only partials that are in that area that we can do this so this is a key project for us on the future of downtown," says Blair.

And Albany residents agree.

"It is a well needed project," says Vanessa McRae, Albany resident.

Vanessa McRae lives and works in Albany and says this project could bring additional revenue to the downtown area.

"It will probably bring more people to our area," says McRae.

And more business means more jobs.

"We have a lot of unemployed people so it will help out a lot of people financially," says Taidesha Myrick, Americus resident.

Blair says city officials have been talking with Mr. Brooks for a while now about potential projects and funding for those projects.

"Most of it, 50%, 60%, most likely will come from Mr. Brooks himself and then the rest would be in a form of a request from Mr. Brooks from our tax allocation district for funds that he in turn will pay back," says Blair.

Bob Brooks declined our request for an interview today. While he is talking to city officials about his ideas he tells us, it is premature to discuss it saying "Nothing has been set in stone," says Bob Brooks.

Blair says he is hoping this development will happen and that it could potentially attract nationwide chain stores and shops.

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