Major downtown projects move closer to groundbreaking - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Major downtown projects move closer to groundbreaking

A developer spoke to the city commission (Source:WALB) A developer spoke to the city commission (Source:WALB)
The Albany Heights project moved forward (Source:WALB) The Albany Heights project moved forward (Source:WALB)
Pace Burt, developer (Source:WALB) Pace Burt, developer (Source:WALB)
BJ Fletcher, City Commissioner (Source:WALB) BJ Fletcher, City Commissioner (Source:WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

City leaders expressed their excitement over big plans from local developers announced at Tuesday night's city commission meeting. 

After months of waiting, we now know when construction will start on the microbrewery, and commissioners gave initial approval to a new redevelopment plan for the Albany Heights building.

Construction work at the old Art Park will start in a couple of weeks.  

On Tuesday, developers used the word rebirth to describe the benefits a new brewery and apartment complex would bring.

"The key to every strong community is their downtown. I think Albany has recognized that. It's just been one of those things of trying to find the perfect fit of developers coming downtown," said Developer Pace Burt.

And, now they have, commissioners authorized the city manager to enter negotiations with Burt to provide a $500,000 loan to begin the Albany Heights project. 

"Living in Albany, it was the perfect time to take on this project. The previous developer had financial issues, couldn't get a loan to do the project and we were able to put the financing project together to get this project off the ground," explained Burt. 

The property will house a commercial ground floor with apartments above.

Burt said that the initial rent rates would be lower to attract more residents downtown, with the hopes of eventually raising them.

As of Tuesday night, the movement of another hotly anticipated company to the downtown area is one step closer. 

An official November 8th, groundbreaking date has been set for the microbrewery on Pine Avenue.

"The brewery has been a long time coming. We've got local investment that has put their money into it. This is the beginning of many great things that are happening in Albany," said Commissioner BJ Fletcher.

That is something many residents are hoping is true, that the developments now are pivotal points to a downtown renaissance.

Developers said that if things go as scheduled, the Albany Heights building could be opened by late 2017. 

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