Commercial building surge encourages leaders - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Commercial building surge encourages leaders

Glenn Eames Glenn Eames
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

South Georgia developers are showing more confidence in the economy, and making investments in business development that hopefully will spur more growth.

Nearly 3,000 building permits have been issued for 2014.

Developers like Glenn Eames like the increase, and he says it gives him confidence as he prepares to open a new restaurant.

The new eatery will be called "Smoke and Fire," and will occupy the building of the closed Beef-O-Brady's near Darton State College.

Eames, a former baseball coach at the college, said the timing is perfect.

"You got Waffle House [that] just opened. You got Walmart putting in a grocery store. All this traffic," said Eames.

His commercial building permit is just one of nearly 3,000 issued in Albany so far in 2014.

Construction spending for the city has been estimated nearly $32,000,000. That's about 1/3 more than in recent years.

"There is a lot of retail involved in this," said Albany Development Services Manager Tracy Hester. But there is a wide variety of commercial redevelopment, remodels, and quite a bit of new construction in that."

Three new Dollar stores began construction in Albany, as well as a new Walmart, some gas stations, a McDonalds and a Hardees.

But the new construction also means more jobs and more tax revenue. City officials say that new development and confidence has more investors looking at Albany.

"The phone is still ringing," said Hester. There is a lot of interest from developers outside [the city]."

Eames knows the community and sees the market potential.

Eames said Albany has market potential.

"We have a lot of very, very good, great restaurants in Albany. But [there] seems to be that desire for a little bit more. So that led to this decision," explained Eames.

He hopes to see his restaurant open by November.

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