New Waffle House and hotel proposed in downtown Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New Waffle House and hotel proposed in downtown Albany

The old mule barn in downtown Albany, which sits next to the former Bank of America (seen to the left of the barn in the background) The old mule barn in downtown Albany, which sits next to the former Bank of America (seen to the left of the barn in the background)
The vacant Belk location near the intersection of W. Broad Ave. and N. Washington St. The vacant Belk location near the intersection of W. Broad Ave. and N. Washington St.
Aaron Blair, Downtown Manager Aaron Blair, Downtown Manager
The Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Albany, which sits on the same block of the proposed developments The Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Albany, which sits on the same block of the proposed developments
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority says some big businesses could soon breathe new life into an old downtown district.

An out of state development company proposes building a hotel and a Waffle house next to the Hilton Garden Inn.  The plans could transform the area.  The downtown manager hopes it's the beginning of a new era for the city.

The quiet block that includes the former Bank of America, the old mule barn and the vacant Belk building could become prime locations for booming business.

"We were approached sometime ago by a private developer, Shandon Development, about a possible project on some property that they had obtained an option to purchase on in the 100 block near the Hilton and mule barn," said Aaron Blair, Downtown Manager. 

ADICA will develop a master plan of the block to show the possibility of a new hotel and a Waffle House.

"Anytime we get a private developer come that says we're looking at investing millions of dollars, yeah, that's a big step," said Blair. 

The downtown manager said the hotel would be attached to the old Bank of America, and the mule barn would be transformed into a convention center.  The Waffle House would be located somewhere in between.

"It helps with the Hilton's traffic.  One thing we always hear about downtown is most people want to stay downtown," said Blair. 

He said they're not sure which hotel brand would move in, but says extra business could spark economic growth.

"So having two will allow us to compete with larger conventions.  And you know, competition's always great.  It's healthy for people.  I think it'll just bring more people downtown," Blair said. 

Waffle House executives must now approve the site to give the green light to move forward.

"Waffle House, you saw them on Gillionville.  They popped that thing up in a couple days it seems like (laughs).  But again since this Waffle House is in the historic district, it's in our downtown, there are certain architectural requirements that they'll have to meet," said Blair. 

So future developments will keep the same historic feel of downtown Albany.

Aaron Blair said the 100 block of Pine Avenue will also be evaluated for potential development.  He said it could be more than a year before any construction starts.

The master plan for the block should be finished by late February.  Blair said development is never as fast as many people hope, but he said the city is on the right track.

 

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