DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Despite some high profile new restaurants and other businesses built in Albany this year, 2016 wasn't a great year for construction in the city.
Construction has a major impact on the economy and is a good indicator of the strength of the local economy, but construction projects in Dougherty County were down this year.
The county issued 32 permits for new single family homes in 2016, compared to 54 last year.
Commercial construction permits were also down from 33 to 28.
County planners said that the uncertainty that comes with a presidential election can impact construction, and they expect a good year in 2017.
"I think it's good. I usually judge how things are gonna progress by the way the phones ring. Last October, November the phones were kinda silent, but now that the election's over, the phone's ringing and people seem toe be excited about what's going on, and hopefully it's gonna be built in Albany," said Albany & DoCo Development Services Manager Tracy Hester.
The county also completed 250 commercial planning reviews this year, compared to 266 last year.
Despite the drop in construction in the area, one major contractor in Albany said that 2016 was a good year for them.
LRA Constructors Incorporated recently finished building the Albany Surgical Center on Westover Boulevard and the Starbucks on Dawson Road.
They're now working on the new microbrewery downtown and the school system's College of Career Academy.
The president praised the business friendly approach of city leaders.
"Better leadership that we're seeing in the city and in other entities where the leadership is so important. We think there's probably an uptick. We have great optimism then say we have since 2008 when we saw the crash," said LRA Constructors, Inc. President Ben Barrow.
LRA Constructors has completed 45 to 50 projects this year, equating to $20 to $30 million dollars in revenue.