Consultant: Downtown improvement is key - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Consultant: Downtown improvement is key

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The Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission hired consulting firm Janus Economics to get an outsider's view of what Albany has to offer and to find out areas where the city needs to improve.

Evaluator Robert  Pittman says, "When we come in to do a study like this, we come in to talk to business leaders. We also talk to stake holders and people from all walks of life".

The study found Albany has a lot of potential to grow based on manufacturing and agricultural advancement. As well as transportation, business space, and medical services.  

Among other facts the evaluator stressed that building up downtown is one of the city's biggest assets.

"Any vibrant city has a vibrant downtown, and the only way to turn Albany into the vibrant city that we hope it to be, we definitely need to redevelop our downtown area", says downtown merchant Patrick Jenkins, owner of Global Essence.

The assessment found that a lack of a specialized work force and the lack of a solid long-term plan could be holding the city back from major job growth.

Chair of the Economic Development Committee Jay Smith says,  "Listening to the presentation certainly we need to be more farsighted and strategic looking down the road and at the kind of things that we want Albany and Dougherty county to be"

The commission believes this evaluation will help them bring out Albany's potential.

Smith says, "I think it was very insightful and will cause us to look beyond what we have been looking at".

A new set of eyes that could bring a new look to downtown Albany and new growth to our economy.

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