ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Commercial construction in Albany is growing significantly. Officials say they are seeing more projects and increased value of construction projects again this year.
An old building in the 1200 block of North Jefferson Street is being demolished, to make way for needed growth at the Dialysis Clinic next door.
Increased medical care needs by the company calls for construction.
"Unfortunately in the Southwest Georgia area we have a lot of people with diabetes and chronic hypertension," said Dialysis Clinic Inc. Administrator Portia Wooden.
Albany Planning and Development Services say medical centralization is just one reason they are seeing an increase in construction permits.
"Some of the smaller hospitals and smaller clinics are closing or have had hard times," said Albany Planning and Development Services Director Paul Forgey. "So they are moving it back to the central city. We're fortunate that that's us."
Since 2012, the city of Albany has seen an 8 percent increase in the annual number of commercial construction permits, with a 34 percent increase in the value of the construction.
In 2015 there was a 15 percent increase in construction, with a 34 percent increase in their costs.
And they expect more growth and construction increases, especially in downtown for the rest of the year.
"I think that downtown and the areas around downtown are really poised to start something that we're going to continue," said Forgey.
Residential construction in Albany continues slow, but the commercial construction increases raises hope for job growth and improved development.
"I think Albany is in a good situation to really improve over the next few years," Forgey said. "I think we will see a steady increase."
The head of Albany's Economic Development Commission, Justin Strickland said they are encouraged by the continuing increase of commercial construction.
He also said Albany Albany is the capital of Southwest Georgia and is the center of retail, healthcare, and manufacturing.