Albany D’town Manager looks forward to 2013 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany D’town Manager looks forward to 2013

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

There was positive growth for Downtown Albany this year according to Downtown Manager Aaron Blair, highlighted by events that attracted thousands to the area and businesses moving in.

"We've had blocks, for instance, Washington Street was completely boarded up and now it's very vibrant," said Blair.

Wednesday night, Blair hosted the final ADICA meeting of 2012 and after the meeting he talked to me about what a good year it's been for Downtown Albany's business success rate.

"We've had probably 20 businesses open, so when we hear about four of them closing, yeah we're sad about it but our success rate is very high," said Blair.

But now, Blair is looking forward 2013, where he will focus on getting people to live in Downtown Albany.

He says there is a growing interest in people wanting to live in lofts Downtown and says lofts will be available starting early next year.

"One thing downtown lacks is residential, not necessarily in the core, but all around we need to have residential growth. The reason it was so successful back in the 50's and 60's was because the core of the population was within a mile or two downtown and when you don't have that of course it's going to slow down," said Blair.

As Blair looks ahead to 2013, he believes convincing people to live in the area and giving them something to do are crucial for downtown's success.

"A lot of residential. Pushing, pushing, pushing for residential, but I think you will start to see an expansion from our arts community. It's starting to grow rapidly," said Blair.

He hopes this will be the spark that Downtown Albany needs to once again be a shining beacon of Southwest Georgia.

Blair will host a State of Downtown address in early January. He encourages the community to come out and get informed and let Downtown officials know what you want to see.

Downtown Albany hosted several new festivals this year and Aaron Blair hopes there will be more in 2013.

 

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