Tattoo shops may bring economic growth to downtown Albany
Aaron Blair, Downtown Manager
Diony Verano, a tattoo artist at Trademark Body Art, giving Annetta Parks a tattoo
Government Center in downtown Albany
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Tattoo artists may soon be able to do business in downtown Albany for the first time.
Tuesday, City leaders unanimously struck down part of an old law blocking tattoo parlors from downtown. The downtown manager said the decision will stimulate the area's economic growth.
Only a select few can create works of art on living canvases. "The artistic expression that these individuals can do is amazing," said Aaron Blair, Downtown manager.
The buzzing sound of creation could soon reverberate downtown after city leaders struck down an old law prohibiting tattoo shops from the area.
"It's good not to be out casted anywhere. That's for sure," said Diony Verano, Tattoo Artist. Verano has been giving tattoos for years, and is no stranger to the stigmas of skin ink.
"I'll go somewhere and people will snatch their children toward them like I'm gonna take their kids or something. It's not the case. I've got three kids myself," he said.
But he hopes the recent decision will help change old attitudes. "When we look at historically maybe tattoo parlors had a stigma associated with them about who would frequent them whether it was old bikers or things of that nature," Blair said.
Now, all kinds of people get tattoos. Leaders hope the shops will attract a new crowd, and complement existing businesses.
"More Younger people would want to go there and it would just make it more something fun to do down there than just the little bit that is there," said Annetta Parks, Albany Resident.
Planners said tapping into a new market could stimulate downtown revitalization. "We've had some interest from individuals who owned and operate tattoo parlors," said Blair. "And the ones I've visited in Albany, they're actually very nice, very clean."
Blair said attracting new businesses is essential to transform downtown back into a thriving district.
City commissioners also added the east side of the river into the riverfront overlay ordinance designed to improve the downtown area, and they approved regulations they hope will attract food trucks downtown.