D'town manager gives notice - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany's D'town manager heads for California

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ALBANY, GA - (WALB) -

The city of Albany is looking for an interim downtown manager at a critical time for downtown redevelopment.  After three and a half year as Albany's downtown manager, Aaron Blair is hanging up his hat.

Aaron Blair is starting a new job in California but he's confident Albany will continue to grow.     "Now I feel confident that with me walking away that there's so many people at the table that are just going to continue with carrying the flag and moving forward," said Blair.    

Blair will begin his role as President and CEO of downtown Fresno Partnership in California in July.   During his time in Albany, he's helped bring businesses to downtown and help it grow.

"We've had over 30 come in to the downtown," said Blair.  "We've probably had a handful two or three that have either closed or moved. And that happens everywhere. But we really have a great group of people downtown right now and it's just going to get better."    

Blair is also the executive director of the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority Board.   In March the group approved a partnership with Shandon Developments, a private developer expected to bring in big business.  

Blair believes this will help the area grow. "Which was always a goal of mine was to have someone in the development world in the private sector engaged downtown to where they're leading and we're just supporting and we're there right now."    

City leaders say Blair has brought a fresh look and new ideas to Albany, and they hope the momentum continues.   "The main thing we want people to know, certainly from the ADICA board standpoint that we're still here to continue the progress we're making," said ADICA Board Member Tommy Gregors.         

Aaron Blair says a big reason why he took this job is to give his children other opportunities.  

"Going out to California has been something that my family have always wanted to do. We're just excited about the opportunity. We love big cities, we love the excitement around big cities and I'm really excited for my kids just to have this opportunity. That's probably more important to me than anything is that they have the opportunity to go out and experience some different things."

 

The city and ADICA board will work on a plan to find their next downtown manager.

 

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